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1. Law & Policy
- South Korea Signs Hague Convention; No Date Yet on Implementation
- Measure Would Protect Immigrant Children Whose Parents Are Detained
- Russia Adoption Developments Include Official U.S. Visit, Legal Actions
- State Department Reports Progress on Pending Guatemalan Adoptions
- Bills Seek to Reinstate Adoption Tax Credit's Refundability Provision
- Legislation Would Ban Bias in Adoption Based on Sexual Orientation
- Obama, Marking Foster Care Month, Says We 'Owe' Children Stable Families

2. Education & Advocacy
- Institute Calls for Legal Action on Poor Internet Adoption Practices
- Institute Backs Missouri Bill Providing Post-Permanency Supports
- Senate Holds Hearing on Funding Targeted for 'Children in Adversity'
- Institute Provides Research, Testimony on State Birth Certificate Bills

3. Research
- Parents Report Positive Impact of Lifting Florida's Gay Adoption Ban
- FASD Researchers Recommend Better Training and More Supports
- Study Provides Insights Based on Nurses' Experiences with Adoption
- Depression in Birth, Adoptive Parents Negatively Impact Children

4. News
- Woman Poses as Expectant Mother, Defrauds Prospective Parents
- South Dakota Moves to Dismiss Native American Tribes' Adoption Suit

5. Resources
- Article Examines Needs of First/Birth Parents Relating to Grief, Loss
- Infographic Shows High Levels of Gay Parents in Mississippi, Salt Lake
- Framework Suggested for Conducting Child Rights Impact Assessments
- Resource Aims to Help Parents Tell Children Their Adoption Stories

6. From Our Partners
- Adoption Quarterly: Project Examines Mix of Heredity and Environment
- Adoption Today: June Issue, Focusing on Attachment, Available for Free
- Adoption Learning Partners: 'Can We Talk?' Webinar Set for July 18
- Spence-Chapin: Variety of Support Groups, Meetings Offered in June

7. Institute Update
- Taste of Spring 2013 – Thanks for Making it a Success in Every Way
- In the Media: Doing Best for Children, Role of Social Media & More
- Upcoming Staff Appearances

 

Law & Policy

SOUTH KOREA SIGNS HAGUE CONVENTION; NO DATE YET ON IMPLEMENTATION
According to a May 28 U.S. State Department "Adoption Notice," South Korea signed the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption on May 24, the first step for that country to become a Convention partner. According to South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare, which will be designated as its Central Authority, it does not know when Seoul will deliver its instrument of ratification or when the Convention will enter into force. In the meantime, adoptions between the United States and South Korea are not subject to the requirements of the Convention and relevant laws. Americans adopted 736 children from South Korea in 2011, down from 1,994 in 1999.

MEASURE WOULD PROTECT IMMIGRANT CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS ARE DETAINED
The Senate Judiciary Committee this month passed an amendment sponsored by Sens. Al Franken (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the "Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act" (HELP Separated Children Act), to the immigration reform bill (S744). The Act seeks to protect children whose parents are involved in immigration enforcement actions and keep them out of the child welfare system when it is not necessary to ensure their safety. HELP allows parents to make calls to arrange for their children's care and ensures that children can call or visit their detained parents; permits parents to participate in child welfare and family court proceedings; ensures that parents can coordinate their departures with their children's; and requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement to consider children's best interests in their parents' detention, release and transfer. Speaker John Boehner (OH-R) reportedly said the House will draft its own legislation.

RUSSIA ADOPTION DEVELOPMENTS INCLUDE OFFICIAL U.S. VISIT, LEGAL ACTIONS
A May 22 Russia Beyond the Headlines article, "Russia's children rights ombudsman to go to U.S to tackle adoption problem," reports that Russian children rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov plans to visit the U.S. in June, stating, "It seems to me that we have not exhausted opportunities to agree, to create fair legal mechanisms between our states following the principle of children's prosperity and better future for children, who left Russia and live in the U.S." Meanwhile, a U.S. court granted a waiver by Texas parents to terminate custody of three adopted Russian orphans who they were accused of abusing (Russian Legal Information Agency, "US family waives custody of adopted Russian orphans," May 22, 2013).

Also this month, Russian child welfare professionals urged President Putin to permit adoptions by Americans of 100 children whose adoptions are nearly final ("Top doctors ask Putin to allow U.S. parents to adopt 100 children," The Moscow Times, May 2, 2013) and speaking on behalf of 230 "pipeline" families, Americans presented a proposal to U.S. lawmakers and the Russian ambassador to allow adoptions to proceed ( "Families in the midst of adopting Russian orphans urge officials to release children," Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, May 14).

There reportedly are 600,000 Russian "orphans," though 70-90 percent have living parents; 10,000 such children are "returned to orphanages every year by frustrated adoptive parents;" and "as many as 25 percent of American parents who have adopted Russians report 10 to 15 years later that they don't believe their children will be able to live independently because of developmental disabilities," according to Laurie Miller, a Donaldson Adoption Institute Senior Fellow ("Russia's orphans: Government takes custody of children when parents can't cope," Washington Post, May 3, Will Englund). Foreign adoption applications ruled upon by Russian courts in 2012 (2,426 cases heard) were 21 percent lower than in 2011, while Russians filed 14,380 adoption applications ( "Number of foreign adoption applicants in Russia falls," Russian Legal Information Agency, May 23, 2013).

STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTS PROGRESS ON PENDING GUATEMALAN ADOPTIONS
A May 28 U.S. State Department "Update on Intercountry Adoptions in Guatemala" reports on joint USCIS-State meetings with Guatemalan government officials. According to the update, the U.S. officials "emphasize[d] that the timely and transparent resolution of all the remaining pending transition adoption cases in the best interests of the children remains a top priority for the United States." In the last several months, Guatemala "has accelerated its completion of cases, and fewer than 100 pending transition adoption cases are awaiting resolution," with 52 cases in various stages of investigation. Of cases that have concluded since Jan. 2012, nine resulted in the immigration of the adopted children to the U.S. and 14 in the child's reunification with a biological family member in Guatemala.

BILLS SEEK TO REINSTATE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT'S REFUNDABILITY PROVISION
On May 23, Sen. Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Braley (D-IA) introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013 to make the credit refundable (S1056 and HR2144); both bills are in committee. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L.. 112-240), enacted in January, included a permanent extension of the adoption tax credit but did not make it refundable. As a result, according to the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, "most of the benefit of the adoption tax credit goes to families making $100,000 or more per year." Read the Joint Committee on Taxation Report to the House Committee On Ways And Means (the adoption credit is on pages 145-146) and ATCWG comments. A recent IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service report concludes: "The IRS, facing a sizeable refundable credit, reacted with an enforcement strategy that was focused on stopping nearly all returns claiming the credit and subjecting a large percentage of them to an audit, instead of reaching out to stakeholders (including states) to understand the impacted taxpayer population." The Adoption Institute is a member of the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group Executive Committee.

LEGISLATION WOULD BAN BIAS IN ADOPTION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION
This month, Rep. Lewis (D-GA) introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act ( HR2028) "to prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved." The bill has 55 cosponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. There is not yet a companion bill in the Senate. Similar legislation had been introduced in the House and Senate in 2011. Read the Institute's latest report on adoption by gays and lesbians, "Expanding Resources for Children III: Research-Based Best Practices in Adoption by Gays and Lesbians."

OBAMA, MARKING FOSTER CARE MONTH, SAYS WE 'OWE' CHILDREN STABLE FAMILIES
To commemorate May as National Foster Care Month, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation stating that "we have no task more important than ensuring our children grow up healthy and safe. It is a promise we owe to the hundreds of thousands of youth in foster care –– boys and girls who too often go without the love, protection, and stability of a permanent family." The U.S. Children's Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway and National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections launched a 2013 National Foster Care Month website with the theme of Supporting Youth in Transition. Also this month, the Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing, "Letting Kids Be Kids: Balancing Safety with Opportunity for Foster Youth" and Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep. Bass (D-CA) hosted a briefing on Children at the Intersection of Child Welfare, Foster Care Systems and Domestic Child Trafficking and the Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (HR1732) that would equip agencies to enable identification and protection of trafficking victims. Read the Institute's "Never Too Old: Achieving Permanency and Sustaining Connections for Older Youth in Foster Care."

 

Education & Advocacy

INSTITUTE CALLS FOR LEGAL ACTION ON POOR INTERNET ADOPTION PRACTICES
The Adoption Institute called on regulatory, legislative and law enforcement organizations nationwide to follow the lead of the Illinois Attorney General's office in taking action – which came in the form of "cease and desist" letters – on Internet-based adoption providers who don't comply with states' legal requirements relating to adoption and child welfare. The Institute last year published a report on the subject, "Untangling the Web: The Internet's Transformative Impact on Adoption" and this month released a resource, "Proceed with Caution: Asking the Right Questions about Adoption on the Internet," intended to serve as an initial guide for pregnant women considering placing their babies for adoption, pre-adoptive parents, and anyone else using the Internet for adoption-related purposes. To learn more about the Illinois Attorney General's "cease and desist" letter, read this Chicago Tribune story by Bonnie Miller Rubin.

INSTITUTE BACKS MISSOURI BILL PROVIDING POST-PERMANENCY SUPPORTS
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to Missouri Governor Nixon in May relating to a bill before him for signature ( SB47) that would provide subsidies to children's qualified, unrelated legal guardians (including foster parents). Currently, subsidies are only available for related legal guardians. The letter noted that in many cases, guardianship is a more achievable and acceptable permanency alternative than adoption, particularly for older children/youth and if there is a provision for financial support. It also pointed out that research shows the likelihood of adoption decreases significantly for children over age 9, and that there are substantial financial, social and personal costs to allowing youth to age out of care. As of May 29, Governor Nixon had not yet signed the legislation, which was sent to him on May 22. The letter is part of the Institute's "Keeping the Promise" initiative to enhance Adoption Support and Preservation Services.

SENATE HOLDS HEARING ON FUNDING TARGETED FOR 'CHILDREN IN ADVERSITY'
A Senate Appropriations subcommittee held a May 21 hearing on "Review of U.S. Foreign Assistance for Children in Adversity" about funding the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. Among the witnesses were Dr. Susan Bissell, Associate Director, Programs and Chief, Child Protection, UNICEF; and Dr. Neil Boothby, Special Advisor for Children in Adversity, U.S. Agency for International Development. The plan was released in December 2012 and provides the first U.S. strategic guidance for children affected by HIV/AIDS, orphans, trafficked, exploited for child labor, in disasters, recruited as soldiers, neglected, or in other vulnerable states. Seven federal agencies and departments plan to align funding that addresses the needs of vulnerable children toward building strong beginnings, putting family care first and protecting children. The Adoption Institute is a member of a coalition –– Children in Adversity Policy Partnership –– of U.S. children's NGOs that issued a letter in support of the plan.

INSTITUTE PROVIDES RESEARCH, TESTIMONY ON STATE BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILLS
The Institute continues to educate state legislators nationwide about the need to restore adult adoptees' access to their original birth certificates (OBCs). The Institute submitted testimony in Washington state on an OBC access bill ( HB1525) that recently passed and was signed by the Governor, removing the limitation of applying to adoptions only after Oct. 1, 1993, but including birth parent non-disclosure affidavit (though with medical history information) and contact preference provisions. The Institute provided written testimony to the New York State Senate Leadership Committee on S2490a "bill of adoptee rights clarifying language and procedures for obtaining birth certificates and medical histories for adoptees" and the Maine House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary on LD1401/HP997, "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Issuance of and Access to Birth Certificates and Certain Medical Information;" the bill died in the Senate. Separately, the Oregon legislature passed SB623 allowing adult adoptees access to their court adoption file upon request, though they must petition to access the home study conducted on the adoptive parents. The Institute's advocacy on this issue is based on its research for its "For the Records" publications.

 

Research

PARENTS REPORT POSITIVE IMPACT OF LIFTING FLORIDA'S GAY ADOPTION BAN
"What Changed When the Gay Adoption Ban was Lifted?: Perspectives of Lesbian and Gay Parents in Florida" by Abbie Goldberg (an Adoption Institute Senior Fellow), April Moyer, et al., is in the June issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy (Volume 10, Issue 2). This qualitative study explored the perceptions of 22 gay and lesbian adoptive or pre-adoptive parents residing in Florida when the state's ban on adoption by gays and lesbians was lifted, and underscored the myriad ways that legal discrimination enhances minority stress. The legal invisibility of one partner was a major stressor; some participants obtained a second-parent adoption after the ban was lifted. Some reported the anxiety of foster children (whom they subsequently adopted) related to their lack of legal security. Others reported the lifting of the ban prompted their ability to pursue parenthood, and many described a greater sense of security and legitimacy as a family. Read the Institute's "Expanding Resources for Children III: Research-Based Best Practices in Adoption by Gays and Lesbians."

FASD RESEARCHERS RECOMMEND BETTER TRAINING AND MORE SUPPORTS
"The Impact of Raising a Child with FASD upon Carers: Findings from a Mixed Methodology Study in the UK", by Raja Mukherjee, Elizabeth Wray, et al., in the April issue of Adoption & Fostering (Volume 37, Issue 1), explored parents' stresses in parenting children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Based on data from over 60 adoptive and foster parents attending educational sessions, researchers used focus groups and analyses of Parenting Stress Index (PSI) responses to identify eight themes: this parenting was different; lack of adequate information; lack of knowledge among professionals; having to fight for things; feeling misunderstood and blamed; family stress and benefits of one-on-one interaction with child; isolation; and concerns about the future. Recommendations include better training for professionals and parents and greater access to ongoing supports.

STUDY PROVIDES INSIGHTS BASED ON NURSES' EXPERIENCES WITH ADOPTION
A qualitative study of nurses' experiences in working with members of the adoption triad, based on Internet interviews with 17 nurses (14 were triad members), identified four themes: viewing experiences from both personal and professional perspectives; the emotional rollercoaster of paradoxical reactions; the unique context of each adoption experience; and insights regarding ways to enhance care. "The Personal and Professional: Nurses' Lived Experiences of Adoption," by Karen Foli, Roberta Schweitzer and Courtenay Wells, is in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing (Volume 38, Issue 2). Nurses recommended incorporating information on adoption and adoption-friendly terminology in nursing training, identifying adoption-competent experts within organizations, becoming familiar with referral resources, and other steps to enhance care.

DEPRESSION IN BIRTH, ADOPTIVE PARENTS NEGATIVELY IMPACT CHILDREN
"Effects of Prenatal and Postnatal Parent Depressive Symptoms on Adopted Child HPA Regulation: Independent and Moderated Influences," by Heidemarie Laurent, Leslie Leve, et al., is in the May issue of Developmental Psychology (Volume 49, Issue 5). Based on the Early Growth and Development Adoption Study –– a longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental influences on child development –– researchers found that higher internalizing behaviors (affective and anxiety problems) and lower cortisol levels in 192 adopted children at age 4 years were associated both with their birth mothers' prenatal depressive symptoms and lower cortisol levels, and with adoptive parents' depressive symptoms. (Lower cortisol levels are indicative of neuroendocrine dysregulation and associated with internalizing symptoms.) There was a compounding of effect for children who were at high risk due to birth mothers' prenatal depression, adoptive mothers' depressive symptoms at 9 months post-adoption, and adoptive fathers' depressive symptoms at 27 months post-adoption.

 

News

WOMAN POSES AS EXPECTANT MOTHER, DEFRAUDS PROSPECTIVE PARENTS
A May 7 UPI article, "Woman headed to prison for posing as expectant mom in adoption scam," reports that an Oklahoma woman posed as an expectant mother looking to place her unborn child for adoption. The 40-year-old woman reportedly "defrauded at least five adoption agencies and adoption law firms, as well as prospective adoptive parents in Florida, Kansas, and Oklahoma." Over the course of five months, the woman received more than $50,000 for "rent, utilities and other personal items" from the prospective adoptive parents. A District Judge ordered her to repay the money and sentenced her to five years in federal prison.

SOUTH DAKOTA MOVES TO DISMISS NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES' ADOPTION SUIT
According to a May 21 Associated Press report, "SD Social Services Wants Tribes' Lawsuit Tossed," the head of the Department of Social Services of South Dakota asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Oglala Sioux tribe, Rosebud Sioux tribe and three Native American parents for lack of standing and failure to state a claim. The tribes are suing the Director and an employee of South Dakota's DSS, a county state's attorney, and the 7th Judicial Circuit Court Presiding Judge, alleging the State does not comply with federal adoption and foster care laws. The suit claims "the state is violating the Indian Child Welfare Act by holding improper hearings after children are removed from homes."

 

Resources

ARTICLE EXAMINES NEEDS OF FIRST/BIRTH PARENTS RELATING TO GRIEF, LOSS
The April issue of the National Council for Adoption's Adoption Advocate (Number 58) includes an article by Kris Faasse entitled "Birthparent Issues of Grief and Loss," which explores a range of needs of expectant parents considering adoption, from their need to be assisted in exploring the option of parenting, to ways to assist them in reconciling adoption loss. It also includes information for adoptive parents and practice tips for practitioners. Faasse is Director of Adoption Services at Bethany Christian Services. Read the Institute's report, "Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process."

INFOGRAPHIC SHOWS HIGH LEVELS OF GAY PARENTS IN MISSISSIPPI, SALT LAKE
On May 20, the Williams Institute at UCLA released a new infographic, "Metro Areas with Highest Percentages of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children Are in States with Constitutional Bans on Marriage". It reports that Mississippi and Salt Lake City – both places with bans on gay marriage – have the highest percentage among states or metro areas of gay and lesbian couples raising children (26%). The full infographic contains the percentage of same-sex couples raising children for all states.

FRAMEWORK SUGGESTED FOR CONDUCTING CHILD RIGHTS IMPACT ASSESSMENTS
"Ensuring Children's Well-Being: Analyzing Policies and Practices through a Child Rights Lens," by Marv Bernstein and Pat Convery, is in NACAC's Spring issue of Adoptalk. The article describes the framework for conducting a Child Rights Impact Assessment, as recommended by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and it gives examples of how assessing the impact of laws and policies on all children, or on specific groups of children, can avoid unintended consequences and achieve better outcomes for children.

RESOURCE AIMS TO HELP PARENTS TELL CHILDREN THEIR ADOPTION STORIES
"Why Adopted Children Need to Know Their Story," by Angie Johnston, an adopted adult and mother, was released in May by Bethany Christian Services. It is a resource for parents focused on how to talk with their adopted children about their histories, and it explains the primary benefits to the children of doing so – a sense of being, well-being and self-acceptance, as well as the ability to give and receive love.

 

From Our Partners

ADOPTION QUARTERLY: PROJECT EXAMINES MIX OF HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT
"Design, Utility, and History of the Colorado Adoption Project: Examples Involving Adjustment Interactions," by Sally Rhea, Josh Bricker, et al., in the previous issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 16, Issue 1), describes the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) and many of its primary findings related to the importance of heredity, environment and their interaction in behavioral development. CAP began in 1977 and has followed about 245 adoptive families, biological parents, and matched "control" families up to the present. Many aspects of adjustment have been found to be influenced by an interaction of genetics and the rearing environment; for example, adopted youth at age 12 whose birth mothers scored high on negative emotions (genetic risk) and whose adoptive parents had divorced, had higher behavior problem scores than adoptees with the same genetic risk but no divorce in the family.

ADOPTION TODAY: JUNE ISSUE, FOCUSING ON ATTACHMENT, AVAILABLE FOR FREE
Separation from a biological parent, even at infancy, can be a traumatic experience for a child. For parents raising children who have come to them through adoption, learning how to help their children attach can be critical. Because of the importance of attachment for all children and families, the June issue of Adoption Today focuses solely on the topic of attachment and trauma and will be offered at no cost on the website during June. Remember that a portion of every new subscription goes to support the Donaldson Adoption Institute's vital work; subscribe today for $12 for the year (12 issues).

ADOPTION LEARNING PARTNERS: 'CAN WE TALK?' WEBINAR SET FOR JULY 18
Join Adoption Learning Partners on Thursday, July 18, for a webinar titled "Can We talk? When Kids Start Asking About Adoption." In the car in the kitchen at bedtime it can happen when you least expect it –– your child asks you a question about adoption and you don't know how to answer it. The webinar features Pat Johnston, author and publisher, as she discusses common adoption questions kids start asking and when and how to share the tough stuff and answer questions with limited information.

SPENCE-CHAPIN: VARIETY OF SUPPORT GROUPS, MEETINGS OFFERED IN JUNE
Spence-Chapin will present a variety of June support groups and meetings including: Adopted Teens and Adoptive Parents Support Groups, Birth Parent Support Group, Adult Adoptee Support Group and International Adoption Information Meeting.

 

Institute Update

TASTE OF SPRING 2013 – THANKS FOR MAKING IT A SUCCESS IN EVERY WAY
Adoption Institute friends and supporters enjoyed outstanding food, beverages and company at the 10th Taste of Spring at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on May 9. The evening celebrated the Institute's achievements and honored Jack Sussman and CBS Entertainment for their annual broadcast of the acclaimed Home for the Holidays. We are deeply indebted to Jack for both his commitment to children who need homes and for all he did to make this event so wonderful. Special thanks go to Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman for presenting our award to their good friend. The Institute also extends its thanks to our fantastic restaurants and food purveyors: Alison 18, Butter & Scotch, Corner Social, Fresco by Scotto, Landmarc, Lucy's Whey, The Mercer Kitchen and Sfoglia. We also offer a bow of appreciation to the generous beverage companies: 67 Orange Street, Cognac One, Laughing Man Coffee & Tea, Kobrand, Opici Wines, Shea Vineyards and Sherry-Lehmann.

We would also like to thank our event leadership, Honorary Chairs Jane & Bill Donaldson, Jurate Kazickas & Roger Altman and Mimi & Jim Stevens; Honorary Co-Chairs Mario Batali, Katie Brown & William Corbin, Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Ebersole & Bill Moloney, and Deborra-lee Furness & Hugh Jackman; and Co-Chairs Kim Donaldson, Hollis Forbes, Annie Lansing, Cathy Lorenz, Sandy McManus, Holly Heston Rochell and Lisa Selz. The overwhelming success of the 10th Annual Taste of Spring was the direct result of your support and hard work. Thanks to you all! And remember it's not too late to contribute.

IN THE MEDIA: DOING BEST FOR CHILDREN, ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA & MORE
On May 9, the Huffington Post ran a new commentary by Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman, "Paul Ryan + Mother's Day + Gay Marriage = Doing What's Best for Children," in which he applauds Rep. Paul Ryan's recent announcement that he now supports adoption by lesbians and gays. Noting that Ryan still opposes marriage equality, Pertman goes on to say that "it is in the best interests of children to have the opportunity to live in families "in which they can receive the most protections and the greatest advantages." Read more on his blog.

On May 30, Pertman was featured on NBC Nightly News for the segment "Road to Retirement," which told the story of a couple entering into their retirement years who decided to adopt a 17-year-old boy who on his next birthday would have aged out of foster care. There are currently over 104,000 children in the foster care system waiting to be adopted. Touching on the trend of people waiting until they are older to adopt children, Pertman stated, "The reality is that there is a big gap between parents' age and children's age in a lot of families today."

On May 17, KABC – TV in Los Angeles ran "Social media helping more parents with adoption," which highlighted the growing number of couples who are using social media in their quest to adopt. Pertman was quoted as saying that this is just one illustration of the historic changes taking place, as explained in the Institute's recent report "Untangling the Web: The Internet's Transformative Impact on Adoption."

On May 14, the New York Times ran "Filling up an Empty Nest" which touches on a growing trend where many adults entering their retirement years adopt children. Generally these children are older, ages 6 – 21. Pertman is quoted as saying "most of these kids have special needs at some level. They were placed into foster care for some reason. You don't suffer abuse or neglect without some repercussions." Pertman agrees that older parents may not have as much energy as younger ones, but says "on the other hand, you may have more wisdom to bring to the table."

UPCOMING STAFF APPEARANCES
The following is a partial listing of upcoming appearances and/or presentations by Pertman and Institute senior staff. For a complete list, go to: http://bit.ly/bPNVDc. To inquire about Institute staff availability for speaking engagements, call 212-925-4089 or email [email protected].

  • June 6 – Adam Pertman, Executive Director, and David Brodzinsky, Research & Project Director, will discuss their book, "Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension in Family Diversity," at an event in San Francisco sponsored by the On Your Feet Foundation and the Our Family Coalition. Reservations are required: [email protected] or 415-513-5010.

  • June 20 & 21 – Pertman will present during a two-day workshop in Montreal that will address "Donor Conception: Lessons for Clinicians, Families, Policy Makers and Researchers," hosted by the University of Montreal.

  • June 20, 21 & 28 – David Brodzinsky, Research & Project Director, will discuss "Identity and loss in adopted adolescence: Helping parents help their children" at a June 20 workshop in Clovis, CA sponsored by Aspiranet and the Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services. He will present "Preparing and supporting the adoption of older and special needs children" the next day in Madera, CA. On the 28th, he will discuss the "Inner world of adopted children: Professional and parenting implications" at a workshop in Visalia, CA.

 

About the Donaldson Adoption Institute

Since its establishment in 1996, the 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.

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