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1. Law, Policy & Practice
- U.S. Retains Suspension of Nepal Adoptions, Citing Inadequate Reforms
- CT Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Gay Couple Described as Landmark
- Suit Argues for Disclosure of Identities of Egg and Sperm Providers

2. Research
- Parent-Child Conflicts Found to Predict Adoptee Conduct Poblems
- Researchers Report Foster Youth Have Positive Attitudes on Adoption
- Study: School Stress May Trigger Behavior Issues for Chinese Adoptees
- Deficiencies Identified in Home Studies for Child-Specific Recruitment
- Abortions, Anti-Trafficking Policies Cited in China Adoption Decline

3. News
- New British Guidelines Aim to Remove Transracial Adoption Barriers
- Ethiopia Reportedly Accuses Agency of Trafficking, Revokes License
- Proposed Texas Budget Would Make Steep Cuts Relating to Foster Care

4. Resources
- FY10 Report Shows Continuing Decline in Intercountry Adoptions
- Online Program Provides Free Training For Therapeutic Parenting
- Website Offers Resources for Those Adopting Children with HIV/AIDS
- New Adoption Indexes Include Information on Ethics and Parenting
- Child Welfare Data Broken Down by State, Region and Other Criteria

5. From Our Partners
- Latest ALP Webinar Focuses on How to Form Strong Attachments
- CWLA's Upcoming Conference Includes Adoption Institute Presenters
- AQ: Special Issue Devoted to National Survey of Adoptive Parents

6. Institute Update
- Please Attend the Institute's Unique March 10 Event at Hard Rock in NY
- Pertman Writes Blogs About Child Welfare and Oprah – and a New Book!
- Article, Citing Institute, Suggests High Adoption Rates by Adoptees
- Institute Submits Testimony in Support of Birth Certificate Access
- It's All About the Shoes – With Thanks to Our Friend Kristin Chenoweth
- Spring is in the Air – and So Are Names Like Jackman and Jean-Georges
- Upcoming Appearances and Presentations by Institute Staff Members

 

Law, Policy & Practice

U.S. RETAINS SUSPENSION OF NEPAL ADOPTIONS, CITING INADEQUATE REFORMS
The U.S. State Department has informed Nepal that concerns about the international adoption process have not been adequately addressed by recent reforms implemented by the country's government, according to Kiran Chapagain in the February 19 Republica article "West Not Impressed by Changes in Adoption Process." During a visit to Nepal, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Susan Jacobs said that the origins of Nepali children matched for adoption were still unclear, despite new rules requiring proof that the children were orphans. "The U.S. suspension on new adoption cases involving abandoned children will remain in place until substantive progress is made on the issues raised by a February 2010 Hague Convention report," said a U.S. Embassy spokesperson. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/fdqYHJ. To read the State Department's updates on adoptions from Nepal, go to: http://bit.ly/binkq3.

CT SUPREME COURT RULING IN FAVOR OF GAY COUPLE DESCRIBED AS LANDMARK
Two partners with a valid surrogacy agreement can both be named on the children's birth certificates, the Connecticut Supreme Court has decided in a ruling described as groundbreaking for both gay and straight couples, according to a story in the February 16 Fairfield Citizen. "Fairfield Lawyer Wins Landmark Adoption, Surrogate Case," by Genevieve Reilly, explains that the case involved two gay men who were married; the state Department of Health initially refused to list the non-biological parent on the birth certificate and told the couple to go through a second-parent adoption. Instead, the case wound through lower courts and wound up with the Supreme Court deciding in their favor. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/fp4USQ. To read the Adoption Institute's report on gay/lesbian adoption, "Expanding Resources for Children," go to: http://tinyurl.com/http-ExpandingResources-org.

SUIT ARGUES FOR DISCLOSURE OF IDENTITIES OF EGG AND SPERM PROVIDERS
A pending case in Vancouver will determine if donor-conceived individuals in Canada will have a right to learn the identities of the people who provided eggs or sperm for their conceptions, Tom Blackwell reports in a January 28 National Post article titled "Genetic Rights: The Other Half of the Family Tree." Although opponents of disclosure argue that raising the curtains on donor identities will decimate an already-small pool of gamete providers, the suit emphasizes the importance of finding one's identity and roots, and points to the success of mandatory disclosure in Great Britain. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/hGm4tR. To read the Adoption Institute's report on adoption's lessons for assisted reproductive technologies, "Old Lessons for a New World," go to: http://bit.ly/djYdXD.

 

Research

PARENT-CHILD CONFLICTS FOUND TO PREDICT ADOPTEE CONDUCT PROBLEMS
A longitudinal study of 672 adolescents adopted as infants in 405 families investigated whether their behavior problems evoked conflictive parenting or vice versa; it found that parent-child conflict predicted the development of teens' conduct problems. "The Association Between Parent-Child Conflict and Adolescent Conduct Problems Over Time: Results From a Longitudinal Adoption Study," by Ashlea Klahr, Matt McGue, William Iacono and Alexandra Burt, is in the February issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Volume 120, Issue 1). The researchers found that for boys and girls, parent-child conflict at Time 1 predicted conduct problems at Time 2, but not vice versa. To access an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/aQWSGp.

RESEARCHERS REPORT FOSTER YOUTH HAVE POSITIVE ATTITUDES ON ADOPTION
Researchers explored the factors that predicted positive attitudes toward adoption and mentoring among 54 foster youths, ages 10-17; they found that being male, Caucasian and of younger age were linked to more favorable attitudes. "Youth in Foster Care: Developmental Assets and Attitudes Towards Adoption and Mentoring," by David Diehl, Robin Howse and Carol Trivette, is in the February issue of Child & Family Social Work (Volume 16, Issue 1). Overall attitudes toward adoption were positive, averaging a 3 on a 4-point scale. Youths' perceptions of control and their rating of risk factors were not linked with adoption attitudes, but perceptions of their own assets were. For an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/igu0r0.

STUDY: SCHOOL STRESS MAY TRIGGER BEHAVIOR ISSUES FOR CHINESE ADOPTEES
A longitudinal study tracking the behavioral adjustment of 842 girls adopted from China examined the continuity of Child Behavior Checklist scores over a two-year period of three age cohorts of girls, finding an increase of maladjustment, particularly in internalizing problems, for the two younger cohorts, although their scores were still not significantly higher than those of non-adopted peers. "Two-Year Follow-up of Girls Adopted from China: Continuity and Change in Behavioral Adjustment," by Tony Tan, is in the most recent issue of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Volume 16, Issue 1). The study found girls adopted after 12 months of age were more likely to have high externalizing problem scores than those adopted younger. Tan concluded that unlike their non-adopted peers, as the Chinese adopted girls got older, their behavioral adjustment worsened, possibly due to the school setting being a source of stress for them. To access an abstract of this article, go to: http://bit.ly/ieui9M.

DEFICIENCIES IDENTIFIED IN HOME STUDIES FOR CHILD-SPECIFIC RECRUITMENT
Surveys and focus groups with recruiters of adoptive families for foster children evaluated the adequacy of home studies for child-specific recruitment efforts. In "The Intersection of Home Study Assessments and Child Specific Recruitment: The Performance of Home Studies in Practice," by Thomas Crea, Amy Griffin and Richard Barth, recruiters identified family ability to address a child's behavioral issues and other needs as the most important consideration in matching, but the least likely from a list of 24 topics to be addressed in typical home studies. The researchers, in the January issue of Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 33, Issue 1), also found home studies often fall short of capturing sensitive information on issues such as substance abuse problems or parental history of mental illness. They recommended use of a uniform format, such as SAFE. For an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/hguiXI.

ABORTIONS, ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICIES CITED IN CHINA ADOPTION DECLINE
David Smolin's article, "The Missing Girls of China: Population, Policy, Culture, Gender, Abortion, Abandonment, and Adoption in East-Asian Perspective," will be published in the next issue of the Cumberland Law Review (Volume 41, Issue 1). Smolin analyzes the increasing gender imbalance of China's population, including steep declines in international adoptions from China – from 7,903 in 2005 to 3,001 in 2009. He attributes the drop primarily to increased sex-selective abortions and increased enforcement of anti-trafficking policies following a 2005 scandal. The scandal uncovered problematic practices by some Chinese orphanages, including the buying of children through the work of intermediaries and other inducements. To download the article, go to: http://bit.ly/eT2Res.

More research is in the Adoption Quarterly section of "From Our Partners" below.

 

News

NEW BRITISH GUIDELINES AIM TO REMOVE TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION BARRIERS
Michael Gove, Britain's Education Secretary, issued revised guidelines for transracial adoptions that aimed to remove barriers for white people adopting children of color, according to a February 22 Telegraph article titled "Adoption Shake Up: Political Correctness and Red Tape Has Failed Children, Says Education Secretary." The guidance also emphasized that local authorities should take full advantage of resources that could help speed adoptions, such as the Adoption Register and voluntary adoption agencies. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/elhtbp. For earlier newsletter coverage of this issue, go to: http://bit.ly/gwkhf8. To read the news story, go to: http://bit.ly/gi1n61.

ETHIOPIA REPORTEDLY ACCUSES AGENCY OF TRAFFICKING, REVOKES LICENSE
The Ethiopian government has revoked the operating license of Better Futures Adoption Services, a Minnesota adoption agency facilitating adoptions solely from Ethiopia, according to a February 10 CBSNews.com article on the topic, "Ethiopia: U.S. Adoption Agency Involved in Child Trafficking," by Michael Rey. The article said that the agency was charged with falsifying documents and other illegal acts related to child trafficking. An adoption alert posted on the U.S. State Department's web page on February 15 urged prospective adoptive parents who are involved with the Better Futures Adoption Agency to "seek the advice of a legal professional." The number of adoptions from Ethiopia to the U.S. increased from 731 in 2006 to 2,277 in 2009. To read the alert from the U.S. State Department, go to: http://bit.ly/igQzm3. To read the Adoption Institute's research on the consideration of race when placing children, "Finding Families for African American Children," go to: http://bit.ly/5nA0Lz.

PROPOSED TEXAS BUDGET WOULD MAKE STEEP CUTS RELATING TO FOSTER CARE
A draft budget under consideration in the Texas state Senate calls for reducing foster care reimbursements by 5-7 percent, cutting Child Protective Services by 66 units, and eliminating funding for day care services through the Relative Caregiver Placement program, reports Sommer Ingram in her February 1 Associated Press article titled "Texas Foster Care Children May Not Find Placement." The Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Anne Heiligenstein, said that such drastic measures would lead to a decline in the number of foster parents and could force children to live in the Department's offices because enough homes could not be found for them. The state of Texas is the legal guardian to about 29,000 children. To read the article, go to: http://bloom.bg/hUJSx7. To read the Institute's research on children in foster care, go to: http://bit.ly/aBt1WT.

 

Resources

FY10 REPORT SHOWS CONTINUING DECLINE IN INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
The U.S. Department of State's newly released FY2010 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions shows that there were 11,059 total adoptions into this country from others, plus 1,090 children came into the United States on humanitarian parole visas. If these two numbers are added together, there were 12,149 children coming into the country for adoption, as compared to 12,753 last year and 22,990 in the peak year of 2004. China was the leading "sending" country (3,401), followed by Ethiopia (2,513). The report for the first time includes statistics on disruptions/dissolutions in intercountry adoptions as reported by states; there were 21, plus two child deaths. These statistics did not include the boy "returned" to Russia by his mother in Tennessee, since that adoption had not yet been legally dissolved by fiscal year's end. To access the report, go to: http://bit.ly/ep2ppD.

ONLINE PROGRAM PROVIDES FREE TRAINING FOR THERAPEUTIC PARENTING
Dr. Karyn Purvis has created an online training program – entitled Created to Connect: A Christian's Guide to the Connected Child – for the parents of children who come to adoption from a background of deprivation and trauma. The program includes 13 study guides and 39 articles, along with 13 audio and 21 video vignettes, all of which can be downloaded at no cost. The curriculum is based on biblical principles and focuses on attachment building, helping reduce the child's fear response, nurturing strategies, and other aspects of therapeutic parenting. To access the training program, go to: http://bit.ly/9Y6qON.

WEBSITE OFFERS RESOURCES FOR THOSE ADOPTING CHILDREN WITH HIV/AIDS
Bethany Christian Services has developed training resources for people who are considering adopting a child with HIV/AIDS. The toolkit includes three training webinars and print resources that may be downloaded from Bethany's website for a fee. The materials can be accessed at: http://www.bethany.org/hivtoolkit

NEW ADOPTION INDEXES INCLUDE INFORMATION ON ETHICS AND PARENTING
The Child Welfare Information Gateway added several sections on adoption resources that index a range of publications in specific areas. They include "Ethical Issues in Adoption," which can be accessed at: http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_ethics/; "Parenting after Adoption," available at http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_parenting/.

CHILD WELFARE DATA BROKEN DOWN BY STATE, REGION AND OTHER
The U.S. Children's Bureau recently launched a new website with Child Welfare Outcomes data for 2006-2009 that can be accessed in a variety of ways, including by region or state. The site is available at: http://cwoutcomes.acf.hhs.gov/data/. For example, you can access state data on the percentage of adoptions of teens: http://bit.ly/f5UbBS.

 

From Our Partners

LATEST ALP WEBINAR FOCUSES ON HOW TO FORM STRONG ATTACHMENTS
Please join Adoption Learning Partners for our latest webinar, in which world-renowned attachment expert Dr. Dan Hughes will share family-centered strategies on how to form strong attachments and stay connected throughout your child's development. Dr. Hughes will be joined by Lynn Wetterberg, Executive Director of ATTACh. Wetterberg will discuss finding attachment-related resources and adoption-competent professional support. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, March 8, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Q&A will run from 8 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Please note: All times are Central. For more information, go to: http://bit.ly/ibcvzx.

CWLA'S UPCOMING CONFERENCE INCLUDES ADOPTION INSTITUTE PRESENTERS
There's still time to register for and attend the Child Welfare League of America's annual conference, which will be held March 27-30 in Washington, DC, and which this year is entitled "The State of Children and Families: Building an Effective National Voice." Professional institutes and workshops will be available on a wide range of topics relating to child welfare practice and policy. Two of the presenters relating to adoption issues will be the Adoption Institute's Executive Director, Adam Pertman, and its Program & Project Director, Susan Livingston Smith. For more information or to register, go to: http://tinyurl.com/cwla-org.

AQ: SPECIAL ISSUE DEVOTED TO NATIONAL SURVEY OF ADOPTIVE PARENTS
The current Adoption Quarterly (Volume 13, Issues 3-4) is a special, double edition devoted to articles analyzing data from the National Survey of Adoptive Parents. Articles from this issue are featured in several newsletters.

"Adoptive Family Relationships and Healthy Adolescent Development: A Risk and Resilience Analysis," by Kathleen Whitten and Scott Weaver, explores the relationship between parent-child relationship quality and adjustment in 701 adopted teens. Better parent-child relationships were associated with reduced problem behaviors (skipping school, suspension, trouble with police, or substance abuse) and increased school performance when controlling for demographic factors and prior abuse. Similar results were found among a sub-sample of transracially adopted teens. To access an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/ez3Ztv.

"Cultural Socialization Practices in Domestic and International Transracial Adoption," by Elizabeth Vonk, Jaegoo Lee and Josie Crolley-Simic, examines cultural socialization practices in families of 802 transracially adopted children (55% intercountry, 45% domestic). Both domestic and intercountry adoptive parents were more likely to use cultural socialization practices that did not involve interaction with people of the child's race/ethnicity, and fewer than half reported choosing child-care providers or other role models of the child's race/ethnicity or living in a diverse neighborhood. For intercountry adopters, parents who participated in post-adoption education were more likely to choose friends and service providers of their child's race/ethnicity. To access an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/huP35C. To read the Adoption Institute's study on positive identity formation in adoption, "Beyond Culture Camp," go to: http://bit.ly/1C1m7Z

 

Institute Update

PLEASE ATTEND THE INSTITUTE'S UNIQUE MARCH 10 EVENT AT HARD ROCK IN NY
The Adoption Institute's unique educational event, focusing on adult adoptee access to original birth certificates, is coming up fast. It will take place 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 10, at the Hard Rock Café in New York; if you plan to attend – and we hope that you will – please let us know with a quick RSVP email to [email protected]. In addition to a rich discussion of the issue, this exciting, unusual event will feature the world premier of the music video "I'm Legit" by Darryl (DMC) McDaniels and Zara Philips – and our cosponsors include the Child Welfare League of America, American Adoption Congress, Center for Family Connections, Center for Adoption Support and Education, Adoptees Have Answers, Concerned United Birthparents, New York State Unsealed Initiative, and New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education. For more information, go to: www.adoptioninstitute.org/old.

PERTMAN WRITES BLOGS ABOUT CHILD WELFARE AND OPRAH – AND A NEW BOOK!
Among Executive Director Adam Pertman's writing for his blog site this month were two commentaries, "The Real Clone War: Children vs. Budgets" and "Lessons from Harvard, B.J. Lifton and Oprah." To read them, go to www.adampertman.com or click the link in the upper-right corner of the Institute's home page, www.adoptioninstitute.org/old; the latter commentary also appears on the Huffington Post at http://tinyurl.com/HuffPost-Pertman. Speaking of Pertman ... the Institute is proud to announce that his newly published book, Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America is now available for pre-order at: http://tinyurl.com/adoption-nation. A formal announcement and more details about Adoption Nation – which has been reviewed as "the most important book ever written on the subject" – are coming soon.

ARTICLE, CITING INSTITUTE, SUGGESTS HIGH ADOPTION RATE BY ADOPTEES
An article profiling two Korean adoptees who adopted Korean children of their own ("Born Identity: Adopted Asians Returning Home to Adopt Their Own," by Kelley Christine Blomberg) highlights the Institute's research study "Beyond Culture Camp." The article, posted on February 20 on NewAmericanMedia.org, suggests that adoptees who go on to adopt may be a trend. "No one's done that kind of work so we don't know for sure, but if you look at the study, there was a stunning percentage of adoptees who adopted," said Adam Pertman, the Adoption Institute's Executive Director. To read the full article, go to: http://bit.ly/gg7kSA. To read "Beyond Culture Camp," go to: http://bit.ly/1C1m7Z.

INSTITUTE SUBMITS TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE ACCESS
The Adoption Institute works regularly with advocacy organizations and state lawmakers across the country to shape better laws and policies, including those relating to adult adoptee access to their original birth certificates. During the last month, for instance, Executive Director Pertman held phone consultations, wrote letters and/or provided written testimony for South Dakota, Washington State, Indiana and New Jersey, among others. To read an example of a letter the Institute provided to legislators, along with written testimony – these were for Washington State – go to: http://bit.ly/dEYbvH. To read the Institute's research on adult adoptees' access to their original birth certificates, go to: http://bit.ly/edQ6KP.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOES – WITH THANKS TO OUR FRIEND KRISTIN CHENOWETH
Last fall, long-time Institute friend and Honorary Board member Kristin Chenoweth brought a unique opportunity to us. In partnership with ShoeDazzle, a limited-edition boot was designed and marketed during the end-of-year holiday season. All of the profits from the sales of the "Little Diva" were to go to the Institute. The results are now in, and the "Little Diva" was a huge hit – for the people who now have beautiful new footwear, of course, and for the Institute, which recently received a $15,000 donation as a result of the campaign. The Board and staff are deeply grateful to Kristin, ShoeDazzle and everyone who bought the shoes!

SPRING IS IN THE AIR – AND SO ARE NAMES LIKE JACKMAN AND JEAN-GEORGES
Once again, it is time to mark your calendars for the Adoption Institute's annual "Taste of Spring" benefit. This year, the event will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan on Thursday, May 12, 2011. We are delighted to announce that Broadway and television star Kristin Chenoweth will be our honoree. The event's Honorary Chairs are Jurate Kazickas & Roger Altman, Jane & Bill Donaldson, and Mimi & Jim Stevens. The Honorary Co-Chairs are Katie Brown & William Corbin, Deborra-lee Furness & Hugh Jackman and Marja & Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We hope you will be able to join us for an evening of good food and great fun all in support of our unique, important work. For more information, to purchase tickets or to become a sponsor, please contact Development Director William Boltz at [email protected].

UPCOMING APPEARANCES AND PRESENTATIONS BY INSTITUTE STAFF MEMBERS
The following is a partial listing of near-term appearances by Executive Director Adam Pertman and presentations by senior staff. To inquire about Institute staff availability for speaking engagements, call 212-925-4089 or email [email protected]. For more information and a more complete list, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/events/appearances.php.

  • March 5 – Keynote presentation by Adam Pertman at the Chicago Area Families for Adoption 20th Annual Conference, Parenting Through Adoption 2011, in Wheaton, IL. For more information, go to: http://www.caffa.org/2011conference.html
  • March 9 – Presentation by Adam Pertman titled "Achieving Equality for All Families: What Research and Reality Teach Us about Access to Birth Certificates" on behalf of the Connecticut Association of Foster & Adoptive Parents at State House in Hartford for legislators and the public about sealed birth certificates. For more information about CAFAP, go to: http://cafap.com/cgi/site/news.php
  • March 10 – Book reading and signing by Adam Pertman of newly published Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America." Sponsored by the Lutheran Social Services Post-Adoption Resource Center from 7-8:30 p.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church, New Haven, CT. For more information, go to: www.adoptlss.org
  • March 17 – Presentation by Adam Pertman titled "Rethinking Adoption" at the 7th Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law, "Maintaining a Family: Post-Adoption Challenges for Families" at Capital University Law School in Columbus, OH. For more information, go to: https://culsnet.law.capital.edu/LawReview/Wells/
  • March 27 – 30 – Presentations by Adam Pertman and Susan Smith titled "If Only I Had Known Then What I Know Now Part One: What Research Teaches Us about Best Practices in Adoption" at the Child Welfare League of America's national conference in Washington D.C. Pertman and Smith will also give other presentations, including "Keeping the Promise: Policy and Practice Perspectives on Post-Adoption Services". For more information, go to: http://cwla.org/conferences/conferences.htm

 

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.


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