“To understand this increased risk of sexual or physical harm, it is helpful to consider the lack of oversight which occurs when both biological parents are no longer working as a team. Ideally, parents work together to teach children body safe rules, observe children in play particularly with older peers, and thoughtfully choose care providers. Post-divorce, this doesn’t always happen. Another explanation for these increased risks of harm connects to the potential negative/dangerous role older step/bonus siblings can play in the lives of younger children. (Even when sexual or physical abuse by an older step/bonus sibling is not a factor, children who live with step/bonus siblings are more aggressive.) Yet, most significantly, one must face the difficult truth that the primary cause of harm to children in blended family settings is the unrelated, usually male, adult – brought into the mix through romantic involvement with the biological parent.”
If you have not read much about adoption, this is the one to read. Investigative journalism at its best.
“When WCAU-TV did an adoption series eight months ago, reporter Jim Walker ran into the same practice. His crew filmed one Northeast housewife talking to a Miami lawyer about adopting a baby that was then a six-month-old fetus, a fetus that already had a $10,000 price tag on its head. The lawyer also asked for a $1500 deposit before the baby was born.”
[Author’s note: This story led to major Congressional hearings in DC, led by Sen. Walter Mondale. The hearings resulted in new legislation. The story also won some awards.]
SHE ALWAYS THOUGHT it was a figure of speech. She’d hoped that one bearing her name wouldn’t have to lose its life. They were such lovable little things, so round and soft and white. But deep in the dawning of a cold Monday morning, the rabbit died. Crazy rabbit.
It created certain problems because Carrie and Jimmy weren’t married, even though they had told all of their relatives and most of their friends that they were, just to avoid the hassles. But when Jimmy found out about the baby, he didn’t exactly run out of the apartment to buy a box of cigars. He just ran out.
Carrie was 20 years old, a very thin girl with very small bones and very blue…
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I’m not sure if I can write this article. It may or may not stay up. I am trying to be empathetic and see adoption through the eyes of a biological child, born and raised by their parent who is an adoptee. This article though may need to be written by such a person. All I can say is I will try my best here, and mean no harm.
Society overlooks a lot of things in adoption. There are next to no studies on first fathers, first fathers are always seen as never around, no psychological programs out there tailored to helping siblings who learn they have an adopted out brother or sister, and no support group, psychological tailored program, self-help book (you get the picture) for children of adoptees. The voice of a child-be they still a child or an adult- of that of an adoptee is completely mute…
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If you’re adopted, you’ve likely heard many of the comments below. (I even heard three of ones on this list from members of my biological family early in my reunion with them.)
Credit: Chiara Vitellozzi Fotografie | NuageDeNuit/Flickr
And if you’re not adopted, you may have uttered some of these chestnuts thinking you were being thoughtful and empathetic.
Trust me, you’re weren’t.
And on behalf of all adoptees, many of whom are working to #FliptheScript for National Adoption Awareness Month, I beg you to stop.
- You don’t look adopted.
- Who are your real parents?
- How much did you cost?
- What a gift you are to your adoptive parents.
- It was probably for the best. Who knows what kind of life you might have had otherwise?
- Why would you want to find your birth mother? She didn’t want you.
- I have a friend who is perfectly fine with being adopted.
- You must…
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“As Professor Baumeister noted in his study, “Many good events can overcome the psychological effects of a bad one.” In fact, the authors quote a ratio of five goods for every one bad.”
I don’t blog. I’m not really good at writing. I’m not good with words. I always hated English and was never good at it. I went back and forth on whether or not to write some blogs about my adoption journey. It’s a very personal subject. Things I mention are things I have never shared with anyone. But with this month being National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM), I felt challenged to add my voice to the conversation. A voice that for years has remained silent out of fear of upsetting others, ruffling feathers, making others uncomfortable, and bringing judgement upon myself. I have realized that for far too long the voice of the adoptee has remained silent. My voice has remained silent.
I began asking myself why I was allowing others to speak for me. Adoption agencies cannot speak for me, yet they do. Birth mothers cannot speak for me, yet…
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Advocacy is defined by Merriam-Webster as the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. Dictionary.com defines it as the act of pleading for, supporting or recommending, but my favorite definition is by Wiktionary which says that advocacy is the practice of supporting someone to make their voice heard. What is more important than having one’s voice heard?
Advocacy raises awareness, it breaks down barriers, crushes stigma and helps further the cause, any cause. And it works. That’s why I will Walk4Hearing again this year. The theme is Communication Access — one of my favorite advocacy initiatives.
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Everywhere I go there are people with hearing loss, but they don’t want to be found. They will reveal once I do, but not before, and only to me — not more broadly. I find them at conferences, school events, lectures — always sitting up near the front, just like I do — but silent about the need for the speaker to use a microphone or to not turn his back to the audience. How can we change this mindset?
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An author and an adoptee sharing her thoughts…
“Empathy is heartbreaking for the virtuous adoptive parent who has given all the love and care and hugs they can to a child that continues to struggle with anger management issues.” Judith Land
“Our self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment and determines what we become. A belief in a positive self-image is the cornerstone of all the positive changes that take place in a person. Anger clouds our judgment and causes us to respond wildly based on our emotions. Anger is a negative emotion that is toxic to the body that interferes with its harmonious functioning and balances by negatively affecting our heart, immune system, digestion and hormone production. If you’re an adoptee who has experienced physical and psychological responses to anger that is disruptive to the natural flow of energy in your body, learn the principles of anger management to change the image of self to create a positive…
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