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

April 13, 2009

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.

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.

August 17, 2007

Do Parents Love Adopted Children Differently than Biological Children?

Don’t miss this week’s New York Magazine feature on transracial adoption. The author, Emily Nussbaum, centers the piece around a central question:

Celebrity blended families have become a cultural flash point, revealing a broad anxiety: Do parents really love adopted children differently than their own offspring?"

In her interviews with several families with both adopted and biological children, Nussbaum uncovers many layers of adoption and shows the struggle parents face when trying to determine whether their children’s behavior is a reflection of adoption, race, sibling rivalry, or age. These families are quite candid in explaining their reasons for adopting, their reactions to meeting their adoptive children’s biological family members, and their struggles upon returning to the U.S. with their children.

Nussbaum draws her own conclusion that our culture might be too obsessed with genetic explanations for our children’s behavior ("He has your eyes." Or, "She gets her stubbornness from me.")

In a country that has gone mildly bonkers for sociobiological
explanations, adoptive parents may be the last holdouts. It’s not that
they don’t believe that anything is genetic; they do. But they take
seriously the idea that that stuff is not the be-all and end-all,
because they need to in order to love children from such different

She ends with this quote from the mother a four-year-old son (biological) and one-year-old daughter (adopted from Ethiopia):

My husband is six foot seven, highly educated, intelligent, athletic… With Huck, for three years, I was expecting him to be those things. And then I brought home Tana, and I have no expectations. And I realize the injustice I’m doing to my biological child. It’s just very freeing—to find that I’m so excited to see who these two little people are going to be. Because it made me realize, I have no idea. And before, I thought I kind of knew who Huck was going to be! I don’t have that feeling anymore. Because Tana taught me that."


August 8, 2007

Petition: Adoptee Birth Records

Filed under: Adoption,adoption news — Tags: , — Catherine @ 1:16 pm

A current draft of adoption guidelines in India has many in the adoption community concerned.  One of the most troubling proposed practices deals with access to original birth records. As they’re written now, the guidelines state that in the case of abandoned children, the authorities cannot issue a birth certificate until the child is adopted so that the adoptive parents’ names appear on the certificate.

Adoptee rights advocates have composed a petition to India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) asking for the following changes to adoption guidelines:

  • That adoptees be provided with original birth certificates with the names of their biological parents.
  • The right for adoptees to access birth files and adoption records, even if they were born to unwed mothers.
  • The establishment of independent post adoption services.

Click here if you would like to sign the petition and let us know your thoughts on the issue by posting a comment to our blog.

July 9, 2007

Changes in Korea

Filed under: Adoption,adoption news,Korean Adoption — Catherine @ 2:53 pm

There has recently been a huge development in Korean family law, with the potential to change some of the social aspects of Korean society. Read this article from The Korea Herald and tell us what you think:

The Korea Herald

June 6, 2007

Since monarchical rule centuries ago, Koreans have lived under the patriarchal "hoju" or family head system. Family registers have been compiled on the basis of the father-to-first son lineage and daughters and younger sons are separated from the family line upon marriage.

These documents, called "hojeok," which record marriages, births, deaths, adoptions and divorces taking place in the family have defined every citizen’s origin and status in this homogenous, male-dominated society. Beginning on Jan.1, 2008, hojeok will no longer be in public use, replaced by "individual family records."

By the end of the year, government computers will rearrange hojeok data under individual entries so each item will contain the names of the nuclear family plus those of the couple’s parents only. A more important change will be that a new couple can decide to give their future offspring the mother’s family name and specify so upon their marriage registration. A woman can change the name of her children from her previous marriage to that of her present husband. Adopted children are to be given exactly the same rights as children from the marriage.

All these changes mean a departure from the tradition of the rigid family head system and also reflect a significant rise in the legal status of women under a new family law enacted in accordance with a Constitutional Court decision in 2005. The top court nullified the Civil Code provision that children should take their father’s family name in response to a petition from a coalition of some 130 feminist organizations.

For decades, women’s rights advocates had fought for the abolition of the "hoju" system which they determined as the fundamental device being used to keep women under male dominance. First, they attaned the goal of equal rights between male and female children in property inheritance, and then they campaigned against the male family head system. Protests from traditionalists, including Confucian scholars, were strong, but they could not resist the changes in social concepts for too long.

A full 50 years have passed since the Legal Aid Center for Women started the campaign for family law revision, and the women’s movement in Korea has arrived at a milestone with the establishment of the new family registration system, including flexibility in naming children. Feminist endeavors to remove discriminatory legal provisions and public systems can be encouraged in the days ahead with the voices of women rising in various walks of life, particularly in the legal professions and political arena.

Yet, now is also time for the leaders of women’s groups to take a fresh look at the goals of their movements. The peculiar situation in Korea requires women to exert their social improvement efforts in two directions: they need to continue to fight against disadvantages in the workplace, in pay, promotions, and assignments on one hand, while, on the other, they should play a more active role in protecting family values in our homes, which are being threatened by steep changes in social trends as seen in a low birthrate, a high divorce rate and even the rising incidence of suicide, all registering record numbers by global standards.

Women still are definitely the weaker side in society, but mothers are also the strongest members of families. As changes in laws and systems reduce impediments to their activities, they are entrusted with better care for their families through the right education of children and good management of homes.


June 4, 2007

Adoptions from Ethiopia on the Rise

Filed under: adoption news — Tags: , , — Catherine @ 1:24 pm

Today’s New York Times reports on the growing number of Ethiopian children being adopted by American families. The story points to a few reasons for the recent increase in international adoptions there: less corruption, lower fees, shorter waiting times, and a unique foster system that experts and adoptive parents say helps with attachment issues.

It is no wonder, given these advantages, that Ethiopia, a country more often associated by Americans with drought, famine and conflict, has become a hot spot for international adoption. Even before the actress Angelina Jolie put adoption in Ethiopia on the cover of People magazine in 2005, the number of adoptions there by Americans was growing. The total is still small – 732 children in 2006, out of a total of 20,632 foreign adoptions, but it is a steep increase, up from 82 children adopted in 1997.

Ethiopia now ranks 5th among countries for adoption by Americans, up from 16th in 2000. In the same period, the number of American agencies licensed to operate there has skyrocketed from one to 22."

Be sure to view the accompanying multimedia component with slideshow and audio.

While the article gives a decent overview of Ethiopian adoptions, it doesn’t mention race at all. And the adoptive parents featured in the slideshow only talk about how easy it has been adopting from Ethiopia. "The adoption stuff has been really easy," says the adoptive mother of three children from Ethiopia. "As a culture, they’re so affectionate toward children…[The Children] inherently trust that they’ll be looked after." The feel-good tone raises the question of whether parents adopting from Ethiopia are preparing themselves for the racial and identity issues their children may have.

Also, experts quoted in the article say there’s less corruption in Ethiopian adoptions than in other parts of the world like China and Guatemala. Will Ethiopia be able to handle the increased interest in adoption without the system becoming corrupt?


May 29, 2007

Guatemala Ratifies Adoption Treaty

Filed under: adoption news — Tags: , , , — Catherine @ 12:44 pm

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Guatemala ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions requiring government agencies to regulate adoptions to prevent baby trafficking.

"We will avoid that adoptions become a market for buying and selling children," said Rolando Morales, chairman of Guatemala’s congressional commission on children and families.

Last year, Americans adopted more than 4,000 children from Guatemala, making it the top country for U.S. adoptions after China. But amid reports that brokers were allegedly paying or threatening Guatemalan mothers to give up their babies, the U.S. government urged lawmakers there to tighten up regulations and threatened to revoke visas for adopted babies if changes weren’t made. In March, the U.S. government urged Americans to stop adopting from Guatemala altogether.

Tell us below what you think about adoption in Guatemala. Have allegations of baby trafficking stopped you from adopting? Do you think the Hague Convention will change anything? We’d also love to hear from any parents who have already adopted from Guatemala.