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FLORIDA APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS STATE BAN ON GAY/LESBIAN ADOPTIONS
Florida is no longer the only state to outlaw adoption by gay and lesbian parents after the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that the law is unconstitutional, reports a September 22 Miami Herald article, "ACLU: We are Grateful That the Court Saw the Cruel Consequences This Law Has on Children." As a result of the decision, Martin Gill, a gay father, will be allowed to adopt the two brothers he has been fostering for over five years. The Adoption Institute joined several other child welfare organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of Gill. To read the article, go to:
http://bit.ly/cNuaRY. To read the amicus brief, go to:
http://bit.ly/aVKoAi. To read the Adoption Institute's research on gay and lesbian adoption, go to:
38 STATES GET INCENTIVE PAYMENTS FOR INCREASING FOSTER CARE ADOPTIONS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on September 15 announced that 38 states will get adoption incentive awards for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States receive $4,000 for every adoption over its baseline in 2007, with additional payments for children over age 9 or who have special needs. Texas received the largest payment, $7.4 million, and Florida had the second-highest, $5.7 million. To read the release, go to:
http://bit.ly/d8aoJr. To read a full list of the recipients, go to:
http://bit.ly/cLMomU. To read Adoption Institute reports on the adoption of children in foster care, go to:
NEW YORK ENACTS LAW ALLOWING ALL UNMARRIED COUPLES TO JOINTLY ADOPT
New York Gov. David Paterson signed a law allowing any unmarried couple, including gay and lesbian partners, to jointly adopt children, according to an Associated Press article in the Boston Herald on September 20 ("NY Law Lets Unmarried Adults Jointly Adopt"). The law allows children to receive insurance and other benefits from both parents, and is effective immediately. New York already allows single gay parents to adopt. To read the article, go to:
http://bit.ly/9DDe9H. To read the Adoption Institute's reports on gay and lesbian adoption, go to:
AUSTRALIAN STATE OKAYS GAY ADOPTIONS, BUT EXEMPTS RELIGIOUS GROUPS
According to an ABC.com article posted on September 9 ("Same-Sex Adoption Bill Passes NSW Parliament"), gay and lesbian adults will now be allowed to adopt in New South Wales. However, last-minute amendments will allow religious organizations to be exempt from anti-discrimination provisions regarding gay and lesbian prospective adoptive parents, and birth parents will be able to request that their children not be placed with gay and lesbian parents. Still, supporters viewed the bill as a major victory for children in foster care who would not otherwise be adopted. To read the article, go to:
http://bit.ly/bEZkfk. To read the Adoption Institute's reports on gay and lesbian adoption, go to:
STUDY FINDS STRONG YOUTH-ADULT RELATIONSHIPS PREDICT PERMANENCY
By tracking the permanency outcomes of a random sample of 12- and 13-year-old foster youth, and assessing predictive variables through interviews with caseworkers and foster parents, researchers found that over 40 percent achieved permanency over an eight-year period (19% through adoption), and adoption was best predicted by youths' being highly integrated in their foster homes. "Predicting Family Reunification, Adoption, and Subsidized Guardianship Among Adolescents in Foster Care," by Sonya Leathers, Lydia Falconnier and Jill Spielfogel, is in the current issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Volume 80, Issue 3). An unexpected finding was that behavior problems were not related to any permanency outcomes. The researchers stressed the importance of the youths' developing strong relationships with adults as critical to achieving any type of permanency. To access an abstract, go to:
ANALYSIS: MANDATED COVERAGE FOR IVF DOES NOT DECREASE ADOPTIONS
The first empirical examination of the effects of state-level mandates for insurance coverage of in vitro fertilization on adoption rates found that complete mandates actually are associated with a statistically significant increase in domestic, non-relative adoptions and a positive, but not statistically significant, increase in international adoptions. "Trading-Off Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Does Subsidizing in Vitro Fertilization Decrease Adoption Rates and Should it Matter?" by Glenn Cohen and Daniel Chen, will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Minnesota Law Review (Volume 95, December issue). One possible explanation hypothesized by the authors is that individuals may attempt IVF, fail, and then go on to adopt. An advance copy of the article, with an invitation to comment, may be accessed at:
LARGE PERCENTAGE OF PARENTS TELL THEIR CHILDREN OF DONOR CONCEPTION
Two studies in the upcoming October issue of Human Reproduction (Volume 25, Issue 10) address the issue of disclosure to children conceived through donor conception. The first, "Increasing Openness in Oocyte Donation Families Regarding Disclosure Over 15 Years," by V. Doderstrom-Anttila, M. Salevaara and A. Suikkari, is a survey of parents of 231 children conceived through egg donation from 1992-2006 at a fertility clinic in Finland. While a high proportion of the parents (77%) had disclosed the nature of their children's conception to other adults, a smaller ratio planned to tell their children. The percentage who disclosed to their children or planned to do so increased with the year of conception – 83% of parents of 1- to 3-year-olds compared to 44% of parents of teens. To access an abstract, go to:
An English longitudinal study of families created through gamete donation completed a fourth phase of data collection when the children were age 7, and conducted interviews with the 23 families (34% of total) who had told their children about their conception. "'Daddy Ran Out of Tadpoles': How Parents Tell their Children that They Are Donor Conceived, and What Their 7-Year-Olds Understand," by L. Blake, P. Casey, J. Readings, V. Jadva, and S. Golombok found that all but one of the families who had disclosed their donor conception to the children had done so by age 4; and no children were reported as reacting negatively. Most children interviewed showed little understanding of their conception despite early disclosure, although a few were able to explain this to the interviewer. To access an abstract, go to:
REVIEW REPORTS STEEP RISE IN CHILDLESSNESS AMONG WOMEN IN EARLY 40S
A review of recent research on pathways to parenthood, including adoption and assisted reproductive technologies, reports that the rate of childlessness has doubled since 1976; in 2000 nearly 20 percent of women 40-44 had never had a child, and it is much higher among women with college degrees. "Diversity in Pathways to Parenthood: Patterns, Implications, and Emerging Research Directions," by Pamela Smock and Fiona Greenland, is in a recent issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family (Volume 72, Issue 3). The review reports that 44% of childless women in their early 40s have made the choice to forego parenting. Among women ages 40-44 with no biological children who have used infertility services, 26 percent have adopted and another 10 percent were taking steps to adopt. For an abstract, go to:
U.S. REPORTEDLY ENDED VIETNAM ADOPTION AFTER FINDING WIDE CORRUPTION
U.S. State Department officials were aware of systemic corruption in adoptions from Vietnam but did not have tools to combat the wrongdoing, reports E.J. Graff in her September 12 Foreign Policy article titled "Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis." Faced with evidence of coercion, fraud and kidnapping, American officials attempted to investigate and pressured Vietnam to conform to the 2005 bilateral agreement governing international adoptions, but were met with staunch resistance and even threats from the protective Vietnamese government, according to Graff's article. Ultimately, she writes, the State Department concluded there was no other option but to end adoptions from Vietnam effective September 2008. To read the article, go to:
http://bit.ly/cUSR2B. To read the Adoption Institute's research and papers about ethics and adoption, go to:
MANY ADOPTEES IN IRELAND WHO SEEK BIRTH CERTIFICATES DO NOT GET THEM
Although adult adoptees in Ireland may request copies of their original birth certificates through the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI), nearly half of the requestors have yet to receive them, according to a September 27 Independent article titled "Adoptees Battle to Get Copies of Birth Certificates" by Patricia McDonagh. The story says that applications to the AAI get forwarded to private adoption agencies, which must get permission from the adoptees' birth mothers before releasing them. There is no legal provision in Ireland for adoptees to have access to their birth certificates, and previous attempts at passing legislation to establish such laws have been unsuccessful. To read the full article, go to:
http://bit.ly/cYP2f8. To read the Adoption Institute's reports on U.S. adoptees' access to their original birth certificates, including our most recent paper "For the Records II," go to:
FOUNDATION RELEASES LIST OF 100 MOST ADOPTION-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption released a list of the 100 most adoption-friendly workplaces in the U.S., according to a September 23 PRNewswire release. The list is based on a survey of more than 500 organizations that asked about the respondents' adoption-related policies, including monetary subsidies and parental leave provisions. Companies included in the analysis offer an average adoption reimbursement of $5,500 and an average paid adoption leave of five weeks. To read the full press release, go to:
STATISTICS SHOW DROP IN CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE, INCREASE IN ADOPTIONS
The U.S. Children's Bureau has released updated Adoption and Foster Care Reporting and Analysis System (AFCARS) statistics, including the following documents: Trends in Foster Care and Adoption for FY 2002 - FY 2009; AFCARS Report #17 with estimates for FY 2009 data; State Specific Foster Care Statistics for FY 2002-2009 Entries, Exits, and Numbers of Children In Care. These data show a decline of children in care, from 523,000 in FY02 to 424,000 in FY09. Adoptions have increased in recent years to a high of 57,000 in FY09. For access, go to:
ARTICLE ANALYZES EFFECTS AND ETHICS OF ADOPTION SERVICES ON INTERNET
"Adoption Activities on the Internet: A Call for Regulation," by Jini Roby and Holly White, analyzes the functions, consequences and ethical problems involved in the growing practice of adoption services on the internet. The article, in the current issue of Social Work (Volume 55, Issue 3), calls for the profession to strive for greater regulation of such activities, citing an ethical standard by the National Association of Social Workers that requires those who provide services via electronic media to inform recipients of the limitations and risks involved, and recommends a national task force to draft regulatory guidelines. To access an abstract, go to:
GUIDE OFFERS STRATEGIES TO RECRUIT ADOPTIVE FAMILIES IN RURAL AREAS
The Northeast Ohio Adoption Services has recently made available online a final report from a federally funded Adoption Opportunities project to recruit adoptive families in rural areas. This 53-page report, "Recruiting, Preparing, and Supporting Successful Adoptive Families: A Step-By-Step Recruitment Guide to Educate and Empower Agencies for Recruiting Adoptive Families in Rural Communities," details strategies and lessons learned. To download, go to:
'GETTING STARTED MANUAL' OUTLINES WAYS TO ESTABLISH SUPPORT GROUPS
FACES of Virginia, an organization supporting foster, adoptive and kinship families, has made available on its website a Getting Started Manual to facilitate the development of peer support networks. The guide contains practical information and outlines a step-by-step approach for establishing a local support group. To access the manual, go to:
From Our Partners
NEW WEBINAR FROM ADOPTION LEARNING PARTNERS: FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Adoption Learning Partners is pleased to announce a new webinar entitled "Food For Thought: The Impact of Poor Nutrition in Early Development." Dr. Dana Johnson – a Senior Research Fellow of the Adoption Institute – shares the results of his research on the common physical, cognitive and behavioral impact of poor nutrition on internationally adopted children, as well as practical tips for parents. This exciting webinar, co-sponsored by the Spoon Foundation, Rainbow Kids and the Joint Council on International Children's Services, will offer tips and insights for adoptive parents to help children catch up and thrive. For more information or to register, go to:
CWLA PUBLISHES REVISED EDITION OF MALLON BOOK ON SERVING LGBTQ YOUTH
The Child Welfare League of America recently published a revised edition of LGBTQ Youth Issues: A Practical Guide for Youth Workers Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth
(http://bit.ly/9kkq6J). With a combination of practical tips, proven research and personal vignettes, this book is a guide for workers who want to help LGBTQ youth confront challenges with their families, at school, in out-of-home care or in the wider community. The book is available alone or as a package with Lesbian and Gay Foster and Adoptive Parents: Recruiting, Assessing, and Supporting an Untapped Resource for Children and Youth. The books are by child welfare educator and advocate Gerald P. Mallon. To order, call 800-407-6273 or go to:
PERTMAN DISCUSSES ISSUES AND TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
The Adoption Institute's Executive Director, Adam Pertman, appeared on New America Media's show New America Now: Adoption Across Borders, with host Sandip Roy, on September 17. The show also featured film directors Deann Borshay Liem and Stephanie Wang-Breal, and novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda, who all discussed their upcoming projects related to international adoption. Pertman explained the evolution and history of international adoption, and elaborated on current issues facing international adoption this year. To listen to the interview in its entirety, go to:
LEGALIZED INFANT ABANDONMENT IS DESCRIBED AS 'COUNTERPRODUCTIVE'
Tom Blackwell's September 21 article in the Vancouver Sun, "Two-Day-Old Abandoned at St. Paul's Hospital," reported on the first infant abandoned legally through Canada's initial "safe haven" program. Similar to laws throughout the United States, Vancouver's "Angel's Cradle" program allows parents to anonymously abandon their infant children in hospitals and other designated locations anonymously and without prosecution. In the article, Executive Director Adam Pertman said that "unfortunately, this approach to dealing with unsafe abandonments does not appear to be working; in fact," he added, "these laws are even more counterproductive than we'd expected." To read the full article, go to:
http://bit.ly/aBfQth. To read the Adoption Institute's report on the issue, go to:
CONFERENCES: INSTITUTE JOINS ST. JOHN'S, CENTER FOR FAMILY CONNECTIONS
The Adoption Institute is pleased to announce that it will partner in presenting two upcoming conferences: the sixth biennial adoption conference sponsored by St. John's University in collaboration with Montclair State University on Oct. 14-16, 2010, in New York City; and the fifth biennial international ACTION conference sponsored by the Center for Family Connections on Feb. 3-5, 2011, in Cambridge, MA. Adoption Institute staff will be among the presenters at both conferences. To learn more about the St. John's event, "Open Arms, Open Minds: The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century," go to:
http://bit.ly/9y15Qx. The ACTION conference is designed to provide training, treatment, services and educational tools for families, children and professionals. To learn more, go to:
ADOPTION INSTITUTE STAFF MEMBERS TO SPEAK AT EVENTS AROUND THE U.S.
As part of its mission to improve adoption laws, policies and practices – and thereby the lives of those affected by adoption and foster care, the Institute offers presentations by its personnel at conferences, educational events and other venues. Here is a sampling of upcoming appearances by our staff members:
Executive Director Adam Pertman, Program Director Susan Livingston Smith, Policy Director Jeanne Howard, and Research Director David Brodzinsky will present a plenary panel discussion on October 16 of how research can improve practice, at a conference at St. John's University, "Open Arms, Open Minds: The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century." Pertman also will participate in a panel on adoption in the media. For more information, go to:
http://bit.ly/9y15Qx. To read our staff's bios, go to:
Associate Director Tara Linh Leaman will participate in a panel discussion on the experiences of adoptees from Asia, sponsored by the Library of Congress' Asian American Association on Tuesday, October 19, between noon and 2:00 p.m. in the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library. After the discussion, the Library will formally accept essays highlighting the voices of adoptees into its new Asian Pacific Islander Collection. There is no admission fee. More information will be posted at a later date here:
http://www.loc.gov/loc/events/ and http://lcasianfriends.org/event/asian-adoptee-program.
Research Director David Brodzinsky will be a featured speaker at the "LGBT Adoption: Our Community, Our Voice" conference in Tucson, AZ, on November 6. The conference, sponsored by Ethica and The Alliance Fund, will address topics including solutions for barriers to LGBT adoptions, accessing support networks, and identifying particular protections needed for LGBT triad members. For more information, to:
OUR ANNUAL L.A. BENEFIT, PART OF NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY, IS ON NOV. 13!
The Adoption Institute is delighted to announce that its annual L.A. Benefit, "Celebrating ... Our Families, Our Children" – which will take place at The Beach Club in Santa Monica on November 13 – is now an official part of this year's National Adoption Day campaign. We are also pleased to announce that actress and adoptive mother Nia Vardalos, the 2010 National Adoption Day spokesperson, is joining other of our supporters – including Dr. Jane Aronson, Zach Braff, Kristin Chenoweth, Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman, Sue Naegle and Dana Gould, Peter Levine (last year's honoree at our event) and Sharon Roszia – as an Honorary Co-Chair of "Celebrating ... Our Families, Our Children." We will be paying tribute to the late Annette Baran at our event, and our organizational honoree will be the David Bohnett Foundation. To learn more about attending or supporting this important benefit, which (in addition to being a lot of fun) provides funding for the Adoption Institute's unique work, go to:
http://bit.ly/LAbenefitNov13. For more information, contact Michael Teta Associates at 818.906.0240 or
[email protected]. If you want to read about our last star-studded LA event, go to:
About the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Since its establishment in 1996, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has been a pre-eminent, independent voice for improving adoption for everyone it touches - particularly children - through innovative programs, educational initiatives, research and analysis, and advocacy for better practices, policies and laws.
Our award-winning web site, www.adoptioninstitute.org/old, is a popular and reliable source for accurate adoption information. Re-read our past e-Newsletters at: http://bit.ly/archivednewsletter.
Support Our Work
The Adoption Institute was established in 1996 with a one-time grant. To continue our work, we depend on new and renewable sources of funding. We need the financial support of people like you whose lives have been touched by adoption and who care about the future of vulnerable children everywhere. Please consider supporting our important work by:
Making a donation – and asking friends and relatives to honor birthdays and anniversaries with gifts to the Institute
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The Adoption Institute e-Newsletter highlights laws, policy, practice, news, research, and public opinion to educate readers about emerging issues and new information that may impact adoption. The Adoption Institute does not make any representations about the accuracy or reliability of the information reported in the newsletter, and inclusion of items in the newsletter does not signify Adoption Institute support of author perspectives or positions.
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