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30
Nov

Famous Adoptees – Infographic

To wrap up National Adoption Month, we want to leave you with an infographic that shows adoptees can be anything, do anything and go anywhere in life. We hope you’ve enjoyed our content throughout the month, and more importantly, that you’ve learned something about adoption. 

As they first think about creating an adoption plan, many expectant parents wonder if an adopted person can be as successful. But birth parents and adoptive parents alike know that adopted people go on to be just as successful as their peers. Just read the infographic below to learn about some famous adoptees!

famous-adoptions-infographic

23
Nov

Birth Mother Myths vs Realities – Infographics

As you know, November is National Adoption Month, and to honor this special holiday, we will be posting a new, helpful infographic every Wednesday this week. We hope these graphics will help you understand more about the adoption process and adoption in general.

It’s not uncommon for adoption newcomers to have preconceived notions about who a birth mom is, what her life is like and why she might be choosing adoptions.

But the truth is the brave and selfless women who choose to place their children for adoption come from a variety of ages, backgrounds and family types and also choose adoption for a variety of reasons.

Check out the infographic below for myths and realities about birth mothers. And then keep reading below to learn more about the sort of birth mothers who place their children with our agency.

MythvReality2.0 - smaller

18
Nov

Incorporate Birth Parents into Your National Adoption Day Celebrations

November is National Adoption Month, and one of its highlights is National Adoption Day. It’s a national effort to raise awareness for more than 100,000 kids in the foster care system, and thus far it’s helped almost 58,500 children find their forever families! In 2015, which was the 16th National Adoption Day, approximately 4,000 kids went to their permanent homes.

But National Adoption Day isn’t just a day to celebrate those associated with the foster care system. It’s a great chance for you and your child to work on your relationship with his or her birth parents. The selfless decision they made in placing their child in your care is certainly something to be celebrated!

The ways in which you celebrate National Adoption Day with birth parents depend, of course, on the type of relationship you have. But no matter the degree of contact, we’ve got some suggestions to help you honor the holiday.

  1. Meet up with the birth parents. If you have a relationship that includes in-person visits, it’s a great chance for everyone to catch up. If the weather’s nice enough, a picnic in the park followed by playing in piles of leaves is always a pleasant afternoon. If it’s chilly, you can always grab dinner or some hot chocolate. Giving them the chance to see the family you’ve built and the happy environment they placed their child in may be the best gift you can give to them.
  2. Schedule a phone call or Skype chat. If your child’s birth parents live far away, or if in-person visits aren’t part of your adoption plan, try scheduling a Skype session or a phone call. Letting the birth parents hear your child’s voice (whether he or she is speaking or just cooing) is an excellent way to let them know they’re on your mind.
  3. Send a care package. If your relationship with your child’s birth parents consists of updates in the forms of pictures and letters, now is a great chance to send a special one! Maybe include an extra picture or two, and update them on how your child is doing. Homemade cards are always an adorable idea if your child is old enough to draw!
  4. Start a journal. Having no contact with the birth parents doesn’t mean you can’t think of them on this special day. Try starting a journal and write a letter to them. You can tell them what is going on in your child’s life, how you’re feeling and how appreciative you are of the immense gift they gave you. You don’t have to send it. Hang on to the journal and make it a National Adoption Day tradition! It could be a nice gift for your child one day, or just a therapeutic exercise for yourself.

No matter what method you choose to honor National Adoption Day, make sure you do celebrate it! Adoption and the process that brought your family together is special, and it’s a great chance to show your child how proud you are of that. Enjoy!

16
Nov

Bad vs Good Adoption Language – Infographic

As you know, November is National Adoption Month, and to honor this special holiday, we will be posting a new, helpful infographic every Wednesday this month. We hope these graphics will help you understand more about the adoption process and adoption in general.

Many adoptive families struggle daily with those unfamiliar with adoption using insensitive adoption language. While it may seem innocent to an outsider, these negative adoption terms can have a lasting affect on adoptive families and especially adopted children.  

No matter how well-intentioned they may be, a stranger who approaches an adoptive family in the supermarket could potentially inflict pain on an adoptive parent or child with one simple statement or question. A simple phrase could cause a child to question the way he was brought into his family. One innocent word can cause a child to think she is strange or different or unwanted.

American Adoptions, along with others in the adoption community, promotes the use of positive adoption language that encourages a more accepting view of adoption. A few small changes in vocabulary can help promote adoption as a normal way to build a family.

Adoption Language Infographic

9
Nov

Adoption Process for Adoptive Families – Infographic

As you  know, November is National Adoption Month, and to honor this special holiday, we will be posting a new, helpful infographic every Wednesday this month. We hope these graphics will help you understand more about the adoption process and adoption in general.

Many families who are just beginning the adoption process become overwhelmed by the many steps and legal aspects of the adoption process. It can be difficult for families to even understand where to start. 

The infographic below takes you through the adoption process step by step. From moving past your infertility to finalizing the adoption we have broken everything down to help you understand exactly how adoption works.

AF-DK

7
Nov

All About Domestic Adoption: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Brothers through AdoptionNovember is National Adoption Month.  In Massachusetts in 1976, then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed Adoption Week in his state and the idea grew locally and nationally.  Eventually, the entire month of November was declared Adoption Month, due to the number of events being held in most states.  Today, many local, state, federal, and private organizations celebrate adoption as a way to positively build families.

One way to do this is through domestic adoption.  Domestic adoption is the placement of U.S.-born infants for adoption by their birth parents.  The infant’s parents legally consent to the adoption with a family they’ve chosen, usually through an adoption agency or adoption attorney.

Once a family has made the decision to adopt an infant, they have to decide if they want to adopt through an agency or a private attorney.  Both agencies and attorneys help the adopting families prepare paperwork and fulfill legal requirements.  Both will screen prospective birth families and provide counseling for the birth and adoptive families.

A home study is one of those legal requirements that must be completed by an adoptive family.  This is an evaluation of the family’s home life and background, done by a social worker.  The social worker will help you collect background checks, as well as medical and financial records.  They will also interview all family members living in the home, and conduct a home inspection.

Once a home study is approved, prospective families often submit an adoptive family profile to potential birth families, introducing themselves.  This can include photos, videos, and a letter to the birth parents.  The birth parents will then use this profile to choose a family for their child.

When a prospective family has been chosen by birth parents, they will work together toward a mutual adoption plan.  Usually, the birth parents want to communicate with the adoptive parents. It is common that they will want to get to know the adoptive family a little better.  These days, openness is more common in adoption, as it helps the birth family feel more comfortable with the choice they’ve made for their child.  Agencies and attorneys help mediate the communication.

Once a child is in the care of the adoptive family, they will have a few more tasks to complete for the adoption to be finalized.  There will be post-placement visits, to ensure the baby and adoptive family are adjusting well to one another.  There will also be a finalization hearing, to make sure post-placement visit were completed and the birth parents’ rights were legally terminated.  Once the hearing is complete, the adoptive family will be awarded legal custody of the child.

2
Nov

Adoption in the U.S. – Infographic

As you know, November is National Adoption Month, and to honor this special holiday, we will be posting a new, helpful infographic every Wednesday this month. We hope these graphics will help you understand more about the adoption process and adoption in general.

As they consider adoption, many pregnant women wonder what life will be like for their adopted child.

A pregnant woman gets to choose the path for their own adoption journey and can select exactly the sort of family she’s looking for.

But we do also have statistics and information that tell us what the lives of adopted children are often like. See in the infographic below for more information:

Adoption in the US infographic - smaller

1
Nov

Happy National Adoption Month!

November has finally arrived, which means it’s once again National Adoption Month! Many of our readers already know how special National Adoption Month is to members of the adoption triad – but if you’re new to the world of adoption, you can start learning about it right here.

Each year, National Adoption Month, sponsored by the Children’s Bureau, spreads adoption awareness, honors adoptive families and highlights newborns and children who are still waiting for permanent homes. Adoption Month is a great time for adoptive families, adopted children and birth parents to share their stories and celebrate the role adoption has played in their lives.

The ways you can celebrate throughout the month of November are endless. Whether you’re an adoptive parent, a birth parent, an adoptee, or just someone interested in adoption, here are some of the things you can do this month:

  • Learn about adoption – There are many places you can go to learn about the adoption process and adoption-positive language – including our website!
  • Start a conversation – By reaching out to those you know, you can be the one to begin the discussion about adoption in your local school, work, or church community.
  • Set up a donation – Many people like to donate books related to adoption to their local libraries.
  • Send a gift – Know someone who has been touched by adoption? Send them a small gift to let them know you’re celebrating this month with them!
  • Use social media – Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are a great way to spread awareness about National Adoption Month.

If you’re interested in learning more about National Adoption Month, you can also see some of the following pages:

Check out the American Adoptions Facebook and Twitter pages to see how we’re celebrating this month!

21
Nov

Happy National Adoption Day!

National Adoption DayToday is National Adoption Day, which is a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on adoption in your family. Falling on the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year, National Adoption Day was created as an occasion for courts to finalize adoptions of children in foster care, joining them with their forever families just in time for the holidays. In 2014 alone, 4,500 children had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day; since its inception in 2000, over 50,000 children have been helped through this holiday.

However your family was built, National Adoption Day is a great time to open the doors to celebrate adoption at home, involve the community, and honor the birth parents in your lives.

National Adoption Day at Home

  • Take a family photo each year on National Adoption Day. Keep the photos in a special photo album.
  • Create a scrapbook for your child or, if you are a waiting family, begin one for your future child. If available, include photos of your child the day they were born, photos of the birth parents, etc. As your child grows, they can help you add pages to their scrapbook. It will also help you share their adoption story with them as they grow.
  • Get together with other adoptive families, friends, neighbors, etc. and have an Adoption Day party. Blow up balloons, have a potluck dinner and celebrate your family and the thousands of other families across the U.S. who are touched by adoption.

Raising Awareness in the Community

  • Ask your local library to create a display of adoption books in honor of National Adoption Day. If your library hosts a children’s story hour, ask that they read a children’s book about adoption– if you have a favorite story, suggest it to them!
  • Ask your church, synagogue or other religious institution to recognize National Adoption Day by speaking about adoption or recognizing adoptive families and waiting families during an upcoming service.
  • Ask your local schools to recognize National Adoption Day. Have teachers read adoption-themed books during story time, or incorporate a lesson about adoption into their lesson plan. You may also wish to take the opportunity to educate the teachers about appropriate adoption language!

Celebrating Birth Parents

  • If you are an adoptive family that shares correspondence with your child’s birth parents, make a special card, send a heartfelt note or simply send them fun new photographs of your child(ren) enjoying fall. National Adoption Day is a time to recognize birth parents, as well.
  • Make some holiday crafts that capture your child’s and the birth family’s heritage. Take the opportunity to talk about cultural diversity and the role it plays in your family.
  • Sit down with your child and write a letter to his or her birth family. If your child’s parents are involved in his or her life, you can send the letter as a special gesture.

View our previous year’s blog post to learn more about this special day, and have a happy National Adoption Day with your family!

19
Nov

Make Adoptee Voices Heard: Support The Adopted Life Episodes Campaign!

theadoptedlifeOne of our favorite movies here at American Adoptions is Closure, a documentary that follows transracial adoptee Angela Tucker as she sets out to find her birth mother. Angela’s story brings to light many important issues in adoption, and addresses them from a lesser heard perspective: the adoptee’s.

To continue to shed light on the adoptee perspective, Angela and her husband, filmmaker Bryan Tucker, have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their newest project, The Adopted Life Episodes.

The Adopted Life Episodes is a new series that will be hosted by Angela, who will sit down to speak one-on-one with transracially adopted youth to bring awareness to some of the complex issues adoptees face, from birth parent relationships to racial identity to forming friendships and a sense of belonging.

Bryan and Angela are more than halfway to their goal, but they need your support before their campaign ends on November 30.

Donations to the Kickstarter campaign will allow Bryan and Angela to create the first three episodes of The Adopted Life, which will allow viewers the rare opportunity to gain first-hand perspective from adoptees and let other young transracial adoptees know they are not alone.

Watch the trailer for Closure below to learn more about Angela and her story, and make a pledge to support The Adopted Life Episodes campaign before the end of National Adoption Month on November 30.

 

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