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

February 11, 2008

2 Articles on Changes in International Adoption in the US – Adopting from Vietnam, and a Rise in Domestic Adoptions.

Here are two related articles about changes in international adoption, and the effects on domestic US adoption-

From the New York Times:

Eyes like black pearls, the softest skin and little tufts of hair made it totally easy to fall in love at first sight. And that is what Julie Carroll — and Jewel McRoberts and Tommi-Lynn Sawyer — did when they saw the three tiny girls at a Vietnamese orphanage. They adopted the babies after months of waiting and then had to leave them behind because they could not obtain entry visas to bring them back to the United States.

That was almost four months ago, and the families last week began a public campaign to press the State Department to let them bring Madelyn Grace, Eden and Anabelle to the United States. Enlisting the help of the senators from California, where two of the families live, the adoptive parents argue that they have been unfairly caught in diplomatic wrangling between the American and Vietnamese governments over concerns about corruption in the adoption process that led to the suspension of Vietnamese adoptions from 2003 to 2005.

“What has happened to us is completely unconscionable,


January 31, 2008

ICASN Newsboard

The Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN) recently updated their website, and have added a new section: The Newsboard. It offers international news about adoption, as well as adoptee perspectives and information on support groups and meet-ups.

Also, don’t forget to check out the ICASN articles on this site: ICASN Articles at adoptedthemovie.com.


November 29, 2007

Trailer for Adopted: The New American Family

Filed under: Watch — Tags: , , , , — Catherine @ 2:40 pm

View the Trailer in Quicktime.

Don’t have Quicktime? It’s also available on Youtube.


October 22, 2007

Documentary on Indian Adoption

Filed under: Adoption — Tags: , , , — Catherine @ 1:08 pm

 

A group of Indian adoptees is making a documentary on Indian adoption and is looking for people who would be interested in sharing their stories. Specifically, the producers are looking for adoptees who have connected with their biological parents and learned that they were adopted under false pretenses. If you or anyone you know can help, please contact Pushpa at luckydunck@comcast.net


August 17, 2007

She Looks Just Like Me

The following post comes from a new blog written by Deborah Capone, adoptive mother and founder of As Simple As That, an organization dedicated to providing products and resources for multiracial and multicultural families. Here, Deb writes about how her daughter–born in China– reacted to receiving a doll that looked just like her. The following has been reprinted by permission of the author.

If I ever doubted the importance of ethnic and racial role models for children of color the events in my household yesterday was enough to change my mind forever!

I ordered my daughter-remember the girl born in China-a Karito Kids doll named Wan Ling. First of all the doll is simply beautiful and quite authentically Chinese. Secondly, the company donates a portion from the sale of each doll to a charity that kids choose and can follow. But enough about me! The real story is my daughter’s reaction.

My girl has never been much for dolls. When pushed she did get an American Girl Doll (Kaya, the American Eskimo) and she will pull her out occassionally, but she was way more interested in the horse that Kaya came with, so I was not anticipating that she would flip over Ling.

And flip she did. When she opened the package, she gasped and said, "she looks just like me." She turned the doll over, looked at her again and began kissing her making her comfortable in her new ‘home’. She made Ling a bed, got pillows for her, changed her into pajamas. Ling even ate dinner with us last night. Shockingly, my daughter cleared out her beloved stuffed animals in her closet to make an apartment for Ling. All the while, my daughter kept looking at her and telling me how beautiful she was and how much Ling looked like her. My daughter played with that doll more in one night than she has played with any combination of dolls in seven years.

She just couldn’t get over that this doll looked like her. It really was amazing to see the reaction she had to this doll-and to reinforce how much children do need authentic-looking toys and books in their lives. The ‘look-alikes’ resonate with them and validates their images of themselves and other people of color.

Of course, that is not all of the story. When we were reading Ling’s story, my cerebral daughter noted that they were very much alike, they both loved pandas and zoos. However, when my daughter read that Ling had just relocated with her family from Chengdu to Shanghai she started to cry! Why? Because the doll and her story reminded my daughter of her life in China-one that is shrouded in mystery. She missed China. When Ling expressed her feelings of loss when her family moved, my daughter went back in time and space to a place that she can only imagine.

My daughter-while incredibly attuned to the sense of loss she feels for her birthparents and country of origin-has never quite had the same kind of reaction. It was as if Ling’s sadness somehow gave her permission to explore her own loss at a different level.

Wow, what a doll.

The importance of images of all kinds of people, places and things can not be downplayed for any children. Your children may not have the visceral reaction that my daughter did, but they will see a kid, with real issues and feeling and realize that they are more alike than different. Coupled with an authentic images and your attention to using ‘people-first’ and non-biased language, your children get a real lesson in diversity without the emotion that sometimes accompanies discussion of diversity, bias, and racism.

So, it is some doll. But without you subtly or not so subtly encouraging your children to look at the world from different points of view it might as well sit on the shelf.

Look around your home today and see what images-decor, toys, books, etc-are displayed and what isn’t displayed. Then see if you are willing to do something about it. I know that I am constantly looking for ways to make diversity part of our lives rather than something we ‘do’. Frankly, it is easier that way.

With respect
Deb


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
sources."

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."

 


July 27, 2007

NPR Series on Adoption in America

Don’t miss NPR’s four-part series, Adoption in America, that looks at the way adoption has affected four different families:

An adopted child changes a family forever.

That’s what we’ll hear from conversations this week on Morning Edition
about adoption in America. Four families and adoptees have learned that
it’s not just family photos that change — but entire family trees,
family traditions and family stories that are altered by an adopted
child’s own story. We’ve asked them to reflect on their experiences
with adoption, and share the stories that define who they have become.

The series looks at transracial, international and domestic adoption, addressing the complications that can arise in terms of race and identity, and what happens when adolescent adoptees feel as if they’ve been abducted from their birth families and countries.

 


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.
 


May 18, 2007

Jen’s Experiences with Name Calling

“Adopted: The New American Family” follows Jen, an adult Korean adoptee, as she confronts issues of race and identity. In the video clip below, Jen has frank discussions with her parents about being teased as a child because of her race. Watch the video and tell us about your experiences with your child’s racial identity. Or if you’re an adoptee, let us know what it was like to grow up confronting racism and how you discussed your feelings with your parents.


Newer Posts »