Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

February 19, 2010

Why We Shouldn’t Use the Word, “Adopt,” Casually

Filed under: Uncategorized — Catherine @ 2:46 pm

Casual use of the word “adopt” — as in, “Adopt a Highway” — can be painful for adoptees. Adopted director Barb Lee explains why in this letter to the editor, an appeal to the City of Aspen to reconsider its use of the phrase “Adopt a Tourist.”

I read with interest the story you published about the “Adopt a Tourist” program here in Aspen. It’s a great program concept and truly reflects a part of the Aspen culture that isn’t as appreciated as it should be — kindness. It is with this aspect of our culture in mind that I would like to ask Mr. McFarlane and the city council to reconsider the title of this very fine program.

As an adult adoptee, please allow me to share something that these fine folks must not be aware of. The word adopted is very important and very complicated to so many families here in the valley and around the world. It’s a word that the adoption community embraces because it describes how we built our families and it’s a word which requires us to defend our families much too often. “Adopted” is used as the opposite of “real” children and “real” parents to minimize the sacred bonds adoptive parents have with their children. It’s used commonly as a humorous insult among birth families whenever they want to deny that a child has a legitimate connection to that family. Sadly, it is used much too casually around adopted children, and it causes them to doubt their permanence, their safety and their true belonging to a family that loves them unconditionally and eternally.

In the eyes of a young adopted child, if an Aspen citizen can adopt a tourist for a couple of days, then can’t her adoptive mom send her packing pretty soon? Adoptive parents spend years assuring their children that nothing can ever take them away from their families again. They spend years trying to help their children heal from the trauma of losing their first family. I assure you, these parents don’t need their own townspeople working against them in this cause.

Unfortunately and unintentionally, the title of this new tourist program and the council’s attempt at cute signage minimizes and insults some of Aspen’s families and some of the adoptive families who will visit our town. Furthermore, it creates a new layer of painful, anxiety-provoking questions and doubts for the young adopted children who see the signs.

I’m 45 years old and I’ve never written a letter to the editor of any paper, so I’m not one to overdo politically correct language or try to please every species on the planet. Nor am I one to complain. But, I am going to make a request on behalf of the adoptive community of the Roaring Fork Valley and on on behalf of those adoptive families who might visit us. City Council members, please show our families what Aspen intends to show all our visiting guests — a little kindness.

January 29, 2010

Layers of Trauma for Haiti’s Orphans: A Webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry

Filed under: For Parents — @ 6:32 pm

Monday, February 1st, 2010
from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Central Time
(a recorded version will be available subsequently)

This free webinar features Bruce D. Perry M.D., Ph.D., the Senior Fellow at The ChildTrauma Academy. He will discuss the likely impact of the many traumas children coming home from the orphanages in Haiti have experienced. The webinar will help prepare families who are now awaiting or have already received placement under the United States’ expedited program. Dr. Perry will cover the impact of the multiple traumas on this group of kids, explain what parents can expect, and give advice on how they can ease the transition for their child. The webinar will have practical advice for adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and interim caregivers. Please forward this invitation to any family awaiting a placement from Haiti as well as staff and/or interim caregivers for these children. In order to give priority to families who will benefit the most from this live webinar, we ask that you refrain from inviting those who are just starting to explore the option of adopting from Haiti. Dr. Perry will address specific trauma-related questions from the audience as time allows. We ask that you submit questions in advance through the registration form.

PLEASE NOTE: this session is intended for those families who were in process of adopting from Haiti prior to the earthquake and are therefore receiving an expedited placement of their child. The Haitian adoption process itself as well as advice for those looking to start the process of adopting from Haiti will not be covered. This webinar is brought to you by Adoption Learning Partners , the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute , the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and Heart of the Matter Seminars . To register, please click here.

April 27, 2009

Raising Katie: Newsweek Article on Black Parents Raising their White Daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Catherine @ 1:58 pm

If you haven’t yet read this recent article, you’ll want to check it out: Raising Katie: What adopting a white girl taught a black family about race in the Obama era. Author Tony Dokoupil impressively uses an anomaly–black parents of a white child–to point out not only the complexities involved in transracial adoption, but also, more poignantly, the continuing problems of race relations and racial inequity in this country.

“Let me just put it out there,” says Mark, a 38-year-old private-school admissions director with an appealing blend of megaphone voice and fearless opinion, especially when it comes to his family. “I’ve never felt more self-consciously black than while holding our little white girl’s hand in public.”

This particular family’s experience shows us we have a long way to go before America truly becomes post-racial:

Decades after the racial integration of offices, buses and water fountains, persistent double standards mean that African-American parents are still largely viewed with unease as caretakers of any children other than their own–or those they are paid to look after.

April 13, 2009

Adopted Video Downloads Now Available!

Filed under: Adoptees,For Parents,Site News — Catherine @ 10:11 am

Shipping Costs Too High? DVD Player Incompatible?

Now You Can Download Digital Versions of Adopted and We Can Do Better

The Adopted & We Can Do Better set includes:

  • A visual teaching guide with 5 educational sessions including more than 2 hours of expert advice and case studies for today’s adoptive families.
  • An 80-minute documentary film that delves deep into the intimate lives of two families coping with the subtle challenges all adoptive families face.

Visit our new video download store to purchase individual educational sessions and the feature film for as little as $9.99 — and begin watching within minutes.

Please Note: Digital Downloads for Private, Home Use Only. Institutions planning to use the videos for screenings, workshops or training should purchase the Institutional Use DVD set here. To inquire about licensing, webinars, group and library discounts, please send an email to

A Note to Our Canadian Customers

Filed under: Adoption,adoption news,For Parents,Site News — Catherine @ 10:01 am

To our Canadian Customers:

Due to an arrangement with our online store manager, we previously were only able to offer UPS for shipping to Canada. However, we recently learned that UPS was charging an extra $40 in customs fees, in addition to the shipping and handling charges customers were accepting on our Web site. So that shipping costs do not prevent families from purchasing the Adopted DVD set, we have added US Postal Service as a shipping option to Canada, which means total shipping and handling comes to $19.95 and there won’t be any surprise customs costs. We hope this helps. And, if you still aren’t sure you want to pay for shipping at all, check out our new video download store where you can purchase any of the Adopted videos and download them straight to your desktop.

December 4, 2008

Adopted DVD Now Available!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Catherine @ 2:36 am

Point Made Films is pleased to announce the release of “Adopted” on DVD. This 2 DVD set includes both the feature documentary “Adopted” as well as an educational DVD with 5 video teaching sessions. These 5 videos are packed full of upfront advice from therapists, psychologists, advocates, adult adoptees and adoptive parents. The most trusted names in the adoption community come together on this DVD to help you navigate the rewarding, but complex journey of adoption.

One hour of family therapy – around $100.00.

Our DVD set with more than 3 hours of practical, useful guidance – $59.99

Click here to purchase the DVD:

July 2, 2008

ICASN Adoptee Perspectives: Intimate Love Relationships – Share Your Thoughts

Filed under: Adoptees,Perspectives — Catherine @ 2:27 pm

From Lynelle Beveridge at ICASN:

Our topic is Intimate Love Relationships, whether they be of same or opposite sex than yourself.  I think all people, adopted or not, find intimate love relationships challenging and rewarding but I’m interested to know how inter-country adoptees navigate this area of our lives and whether being adopted makes it easier, harder, or has no impact at all?

Feel free to write what you wish to share and in case you want some questions to jog your thoughts to begin:

  • Describe & identify any type of patterns in your intimate love relationships to date?  Eg. What types of partners do you chose?  How does their non adopted or adopted status impact your relationship? What cultural or ethnic backgrounds do you tend to be attracted to?  How does that fit with your sense of ethnic/cultural heritage?  Who typically ended the relationships?  Who pushed the most for the relationships to reach certain milestone like “marriage” or “children”?
  • Do you avoid intimate love relationships altogether?  How does that impact you?  What would need to happen to help you not avoid these types of relationships?
  • How do these words fit within your thinking and experience of having intimate love relationships – trust, security, fear, abandonment, loss, independence, over or under achiever, connection, heritage, ethnicity, shame, attraction, aloneness, anger, love, family, push, gratefulness, sensitive, …..
  • How does your adoption impact your intimate love relationships?  If it doesn’t, please also share your thoughts on this.

You can be anonymous or put your name – just let me know your preference.

I look forward to hearing from you as I know that in this topic, it is an area that we all have experience in so hoping that many of you will be able to share your thoughts.

If you’d like to view previous ICASN Perspective Papers, please go to


Lynelle Beveridge
Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN)

June 10, 2008

NPR Programs on Transracial Adoption

Filed under: Adoption,Uncategorized — Catherine @ 7:11 pm

NPR recently presented a few stories on transracial adoption:

‘Colorblind’ Adoption Scrutinized

Report Criticizes ‘Colorblind’ Adoptions

Growing Up Black in a White Family – An interview with transracial adoptee and actor Aaron Stigger

June 2, 2008

Major Changes Urged in Transracial Adoption; Some welfare groups say black children ill-served by ‘colorblind’ approach

Filed under: Adoption,adoption news — Catherine @ 10:51 am


At the heart of the debate is the fact that the foster care system has a disproportionately high number of black children, and on average they languish there nine months longer than white children before moving to permanent homes. The latest federal figures showed that 32 percent of the 510,000 children in foster care were black in 2006, compared with 15 percent of all U.S. children.

Of the black children adopted out of foster care, about 20 percent are adopted by white families. The Donaldson report said current federal law, by stressing color blindness, deters child welfare agencies from assessing families’ readiness to adopt transracially or preparing them for the distinctive challenges they might face.

“There is a higher rate of problems in minority foster children adopted transracially than in-race,” said the report. “All children deserve to be raised in families that respect their cultural heritage.”

Read the full article here: Major Changes Urged in Transracial Adoption.

May 14, 2008

Inter-Country Adoption Reform & The Princess Problem

Filed under: Adoptees,Articles,For Parents — Tags: , , , , , — Catherine @ 11:40 am

From Lynelle Beveridge/ICASN:

Hello to you all in the broader Inter-Country Adoption Community!
Have you read the “Orphan Angels�? website that represents Deborah Lee’s Campaign for Adoption Reform in Australia?

As an adoptee, I think the language used in the website needs to be challenged and questioned. As an example, the name of the website – am I the orphan and my adoptive parents the angels? Or, the “save a child�? concept – what about the adoptive family who mutually benefit from adopting and the birth/natural and extended family who have lost their child legally forever? Also, the launch of Adoption Awareness week on Mother’s Day – as one adoptee pointed out, the insensitivity of this when it is the one day adoptees keenly feel the loss of their natural/birth mother.

What concerns me is the Orphan Angel campaign appears to neglect the larger picture of Inter-country adoption and its complexities, for example, the adoptees, the birth/natural families, post adoption support services that are needed for all involved! The campaign seems to promote change that benefits only the prospective adoptive parents and it appears to uphold the USA model of adoption as the end goal! The USA has only just signed up to the Hague last month and have problems with unethical adoptions due to a commercialised model of adoption!

I totally believe there is a place for ethical and well thought adoptions – done in a way that doesn’t promote child trafficking or activities that take advantage of people in unfortunate situations – done in a way that is sensitive to all parties involved. I disagree with the imbalanced perspective that only the orphaned child benefits or able to achieve their full potential through being adopted as promoted by Orphan Angels!

I totally agree that across the nation, there should be a process that is fair, equitable, and accessible to all prospective families who wish to adopt a child. It should also include comprehensive education to prospective families and the community, along with support and services after the child arrives and into the child’s life time. I also believe we do need Adoption Awareness educational events that challenge societal adoption attitudes, misconceptions, and judgements to ease the identity issues adoptees face as they grow up.
As a well informed Inter-Country Adoption community, let’s not stand by and allow this type of campaign to have the Government’s full support without advocating for changes to be done in a way that represents a more balanced perspective of inter-country adoption? Please help us tell the Government what you think of Deborah Lee’s “Orphan Angel�? campaign and what you believe Adoption Reform should include to ensure all voices in the Australian adoption community are heard.

For your views to be included in a collation that will be sent to the Attorney General and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, go to and add your comments. You can remain anonymous or include your name. Alternatively, you can email me directly at .

Kind Regards,
Lynelle Beveridge
Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN)

From Anti-Racist Parent:

I take a special interest in the media images my children consume, as do most parents I know, regardless of race. I don’t rely on entertainment executives or book authors to affirm or protect my children. That’s my job. But I do seek out age-appropriate books, movies, and other media that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live, with characters who look like us and the people we know and love.

But what about fairytales and the other “classics,” those all-white, generations-old stories and characters that are presumed staples of American cultural literacy, likely to turn up as “Jeopardy” questions? We love “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins”, but quick: Name an American children’s classic featuring a black cast. The good, but depressing “Sounder”?

Should classic stories and movies be avoided then because they tend to feature all-white casts?

Read the rest of the article, which also includes a review of several wonderful children’s books, here- The Princess Problem: There’s More Than One Way Of Being Pretty.

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