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24
Apr

Infertility Awareness Week 2017

Image result for infertility awareness weekApril 23-29th is National Infertility Awareness Week. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 couples get diagnosed with infertility every year and that more than 7 million women in the U.S. are affected by infertility issues.

Many of American Adoptions’ adoptive families struggled with infertility before ultimately adopting a child. We want to offer our support to anyone who’s ever had to face the pain of infertility.

American Adoptions and American Surrogacy will be at the Kansas City Infertility Awareness 2017 Family Building Conference, providing education and support for those interested in adoption or surrogacy as family-building options. Come stop by on Saturday, April 29th to learn more!

Share this article to lend your support to those who are struggling with infertility. 

For Those Who Aren’t Facing Infertility, But Want to Show Support to Those Who Are

Couples facing infertility need your love and support. There are a number of ways that you can care for them during this difficult time. RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, offers some infertility etiquette guidelines to help you navigate such a sensitive topic, and you can learn what you should never say to a couple grieving infertility here.

RESOLVE has also published a list of 25 ways you can increase public understanding and participate in the movement to erase the stigma of infertility.

For Those Who Are Grieving

If there’s one thing you should take away from National Infertility Awareness Week, it’s that you’re not alone. Others have faced these difficulties and have dealt with them in many ways.

Adoption is one way that many couples dealing with infertility are able to heal and become a family, but there are equally healthy ways to move forward after the grief of infertility, all of which are important.

If you think you might be ready to consider adopting, you can find more information on the Infertility to Adoption section of our website.

Want to read more about others who are going through similar experiences? You can find some of our previous posts about infertility and adoption below:


How Other Adoptive Parents Healed from Infertility

Some of our adoptive parents dealt with infertility for many years before pursuing adoption. They dealt with their grief in different ways, but these couples all sought to become a family through adoption after reconciling with their infertility journey. We hope that the words of others who’ve experienced infertility will be a source of comfort and a reminder that you’ll get through this.

“I kept miscarrying, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to spend all of this money and not end up with a baby in the end.’ We knew adoption would eventually lead us to a baby.” –Nikki

“We thought, let’s take that money where there’s a better change of us becoming parents. So that’s what we did… Honestly, after ten years, you begin to think. I think my one regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.” –Silke

“If we hadn’t pursued this option, we wouldn’t be parents. And in the end, that’s what it’s really about, becoming parents. That’s what it’s all about.” –Mike

“To me, the adoption is going to happen. Whereas fertility, there was no guarantee of anything. You could just be heading toward a brick wall. So with the adoption, you knew.” –Jim

“It taught me that if one thing in your life doesn’t work out, don’t give up. I really thought I would be able to have my babies biologically and everything would go according to plan. But it’s just an amazing lesson to teach my kids that everything is not going to work out. You’re going to have some challenges in life and things that aren’t fair at the time. But just hold on. It’s like my testimony to people.” –Robin

“There are a lot of emotions with [infertility]. Actually making the decision to adopt was easy. I don’t think we even gave it a second though. Our biggest question was: How do we do it?” –Nancy

“I was so beaten down from all of the infertility treatments. There was never an ‘adoption thing’ I had to get over. We just wanted to be parents. I just wanted to do something that would end with a child in our lives. I read a book, Adoption After Infertility, that said the person you love most in the world is your spouse, and you picked them with no relation to you. Your friends are the same way, and the same is true with adoption.” –Anne

“The hardest part of the whole process for me was deciding to adopt. I was opposed to it at the beginning. After going through everything with Cheryl in terms of reviewing American Adoptions… it actually became a lot easier for me and I was able to accept it. It’s the greatest thing we ever did.” –Craig

“We looked into other possible fertility treatments, but it was just something that we never really felt at peace about doing. My dad is adopted and adoption was always talked about in our family. We knew it would be a pretty easy transition, so it was a growing process to mourn the loss of not being able to have more of my own kids and moving to adoption.” –Nikki

Take the cause to social media! RESOLVE suggests that by sharing your own infertility journey with your loved ones through social media, you can help and inspire others who may experience the same struggles.

Share this now and remind those dealing with infertility that they’re not alone!

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17
Apr

How to Access Your Original Birth Certificate as an Adoptee

Most adoptions today are open adoptions, where information between birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees is readily accessible just by picking up the phone. But for many adult adoptees who were born during an era of closed adoptions, accessing any information about where they came from can be difficult.

If you’re an adoptee who grew up in the closed adoption era, or know an adoptee who wants to learn more about their closed adoption, share this to let others know!

In every adoption, there’s an original birth certificate and an amended birth certificate. The original birth certificate that includes the name(s) of your birth parent(s) is sealed along with your adoption records, and the amended birth certificate is handed to your adoptive parents with their names on it shortly after an adoption is finalized.

Sealing these records or omitting birth parent names on documents in closed adoptions was done in an attempt to protect their privacy. This was especially common in the old era of closed adoptions when adoption was something viewed as secretive and shameful.

Many adult adoptees in closed adoptions want to search for their birth family, or at least learn more about their adoption. This process usually begins by opening your adoption records and requesting your original birth certificate. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy.

Are you interested in accessing your original birth certificate? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Understand Your State’s Adoption Laws

Each state will have different levels of adoption information accessibility to adult adoptees, and each county may have a slightly different process for obtaining adoption records.

States with open adoption records include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

Partial-access states include:

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont

States with restricted open adoption records include:

  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

States with sealed adoption records or very limited access include:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

If you live in a state with open adoption record access, you’re in luck! Accessing your original birth certificate is typically as easy as calling the County Court Clerk where you were adopted and asking about the request process for your original birth certificate.

States with limited or sealed access to adoption records may not give you your full adoption record unless there’s some sort of medical emergency or your birth parents are deceased, and even then, the identifying information is usually redacted. If this is the case, you’ll need to proceed to Step 2.

2. Petition the Court

You’ll need to file a petition with the county clerk’s office where your adoption was finalized. The petition will explain your reasons for requesting your original birth certificate. Unfortunately, medical need is usually the only instance where strict adoption access states will approve your petition.

If your birth parents are no longer living, accessing your birth certificate will also be more likely. The state no longer puts birth parent privacy first after a birth parent is deceased.

Your case will be presented before a judge, who will decide whether or not you may have access to your original birth certificate and adoption records.

3. Order Your Original Birth Certificate with a Court Order or Through Your Attorney

You can take the signed court order from the judge approving your petition to disclose your original birth certificate, then work with your attorney to submit a written request to your birth state’s department of vital records. If you were adopted internationally, you’ll submit the request to the state where your adoption was finalized.

Best of luck with your search!

10
Apr

10 Easter Activities for Your Little Ones

Happy Easter from American Adoptions! If you have younger kids, it’s probably fair to say that the chances you’ll be participating in an Easter egg hunt are pretty high. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, there’s only so long you can keep the kiddos entertained by having them search for eggs.

With that in mind, then, we’ve thrown together a few other ideas to captivate your little ones this Easter. From science experiments to sweet treats, there’s sure to be at least a few activities your family will want to add to the list of annual Easter traditions.

1. Time machine – This one is fairly simple. Have your children write letters to themselves to be placed in eggs and opened up next year.

2. Glow-in-the-dark eggs – Okay, we know this is technically just a twist on the classic Easter egg hunt. But come on, putting glow sticks in eggs and making it a nighttime activity? That’s brilliant. Your kids will think so, too.

3. Egg carton lunch – To get your kids excited for Easter, try packing their school lunches in egg cartons. Just make sure you choose finger foods!

4. Easter egg math – Why not put an educational twist on the traditional egg hunt? Try adding pieces of paper with numbers written on them along with candy. Whoever gets the numbers that add up to the highest total wins an additional prize.

5. Easter egg rockets – Fill the bottom half of an Easter egg with water. Add an Alka-Seltzer tablet, pop the top half of the egg on, and step back to watch your little seasonal rocket take off. (This should only go about six inches off the ground, but you may want to try it before your kids just so you know what to expect.)

6. Shaving cream dye – When the time comes to dye your eggs, why not switch it up a little this year? Evenly spread white shaving cream onto a cookie sheet, and swirl different neon shades of food coloring into the cream. The goal here is a tie dye effect. Now all you have to do is roll the egg in the shaving cream, let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse it off. Voila!

7. Canvas egg art – If it’s nice outside, this might be a good time to foster a little creativity. Take empty egg shells, squirt paint into the insides, and let your kids throw them at a blank canvas. They’ll love the combination of throwing and breaking things, and you’ll get a new piece of modern art for their bedrooms.

8. Oreo chicks and bunnies – What’s a holiday without a little sweet treat? These Oreos dipped in candy coating and decorated like chicks and rabbits will be a hit with children and adults alike.

9. Bunny trail – Before the kids get up on Easter morning (or maybe after they go to bed the night before), make a little bunny trail outside your house. All you need for this one is some sidewalk chalk and Easter eggs. This could also be incorporated into your egg hunt.

10. Pom pom bunny – This has to be one of the cutest Easter craft ideas out there. The necessary glue job may mean you end up doing most of the work, but your kids will enjoy playing with these pom pom bunnies even after Easter is over.

What’s your favorite Easter activity with your kids? Share and let us know!

7
Apr

How to Throw an Adoption Shower

Adding a new member to the family is always a reason to celebrate, no matter how you’re going about it. Gaining a new family member though adoption is just as significant as having a child biologically. However, there are obviously going to be some differences in how you prepare for the arrival of that child. One of these differences comes in the form of a baby shower.

When should we have an adoption shower?

When a couple has a child biologically, they may have a better idea of what to expect than parents pursuing an adoption. With this in mind, it may be better to have an adoption shower after a child has been placed with a family. Why? Well, there are actually a few reasons.

  • In many adoption scenarios, the parents don’t know when they’ll receive an adoption opportunity. It could take days, and it could take months. If a couple is already anxiously awaiting an adoption, it could be painful to have an adoption shower and then have to wait six more months for a match.
  • For a traditional baby shower, you can usually bank on the parents needing similar items — diapers, carriers, cribs, etc. In an adoption scenario, though, it’s possible that the child will be older and will require different items.
  • While American Adoptions does everything it can to prevent an adoption disruption, it’s possible that an adoption won’t go through after a couple has been matched with a pregnant woman. If you’ve already had an adoption shower with a specific child in mind, and then that woman decides to parent, this might only serve to make your disappointment even worse.

What games should we play at an adoption shower?

Some of the games played at a traditional baby shower probably won’t make sense at an adoption shower. For example, if the baby is already with the family, then any guessing games about birthdays or weights will be off the table. And the new mom will probably not appreciate any games that involve guessing the size of her stomach. This might be a good opportunity to play up the adoption theme, though.

Adoptive Families suggests playing a game of adoption-themed trivia, with tasks like naming famous people who are adoptive parents or more personalized adoption questions specific to the couple. Keep in mind, though, that if the baby has already arrived, people may be more interested in taking turns holding them than playing games!

What should a gift registry for an adoption shower look like?

Quite simply, it should look however you want it to! If you’re an adoptive parent reading this, you should know it’s okay to register both for things you need and things you want, just like any new parent. Sometimes parents prefer to wait a few weeks after their child is placed with them to have a shower, just for the chance to acclimate the baby to his or her new home. If that’s the case, you may already be set for a while on things your baby actually needs.

If this is the case, and you don’t feel like there’s anything you need for your baby at this point, this might be a good chance to embrace the adoption theme. You can register for children’s books about adoption, or informational books about parenting adopted children. If you know of other couples who are beginning the adoption process, this could also be an amazing chance to help them fundraise. Instead of asking for gifts for your family, you could suggest a donation to another family’s adoption fund. This could also be a good chance to help raise money for an organization that benefits children.

The bottom line when planning an adoption shower is that it should be whatever the parents are comfortable with. If you’re hoping to throw a shower for family members or friends, simply ask them what they’d prefer. There are a lot of emotions that go along with adoption, and it’s going to be difficult to predict their preferences in this situation. When it doubt, just ask!

31
Mar

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Do you know how severe the problem of child abuse is in the U.S? Learn about the warning signs of child abuse and what you can do to prevent the abuse of children:

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Understanding the Prevalence of Child Abuse

Abuse isn’t just about physical harm. All types of abuse are damaging. Child abuse can come in many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse

More than five children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect, and up to 15 million children witness domestic violence in their homes each year.

Child protective service agencies report that approximately 702,000 children were substantiated victims of child abuse or neglect in 2014.

1 in 10 children have experienced some kind of child abuse or neglect in the past year, according to self-reported statistics.

In 2014, more than 1,500 children died in the U.S. due to abuse or neglect. Parents acting alone or with another parent were responsible for 79.3 percent of those child abuse or neglect fatalities.

The Effects of Abuse on Children

Whether they are the victims of abuse or a member of their family is being abused, children suffer more than just physical symptoms of abuse. Neglect and abuse can cause stress that disrupts early brain development and growth, as well as damage to the nervous and immune systems.

As an adult, victims of child abuse are at higher risk for physical, mental and emotional health problems, including alcohol and substance abuse and dependency, depression, PTSD, obesity and more.

Children who were victims of abuse or who witnessed abuse within their home are more likely to grow up and abuse family members themselves or once again become victims of abuse.

How to Combat Child Abuse

Prevention is, of course, key. The best ways to combat child abuse are to:

  • Create public service announcements to encourage positive parenting practices
  • Finance and support parent education programs and emotional support groups that discuss child development, age-appropriate expectations for children and the responsibilities of parents
  • Develop family strengthening programs and initiatives that provide families with better access to existing services and resources to help support positive family interactions
  • Create and fund widespread awareness campaigns providing info on how and where to report suspected child abuse and neglect
  • Create, finance and advertise parent education programs directed towards teen parents or those within substance abuse treatment programs, both of whom are at higher risk for child abuse and neglect fatalities
  • Provide in-home visiting support programs that focus on new and expecting mothers, providing education and resources for the prevention of child abuse and neglect as well as positive parenting techniques
  • Provide respite care for families with special needs children
  • Develop and fund family resource centers that offer information and referral services to families in low-income neighborhoods
  • Provide better access to mental health services, health care and child care programs for low-income families and single parent families
  • Provide a support system of role models for new parents

Want to learn more about what you can do to help prevent child abuse and neglect in your own community? National Child Abuse Prevention Month is the perfect opportunity to educate others about child abuse prevention while you’re educating yourself! Click here to learn more.

Share this information to help raise awareness of child abuse prevention tactics.

29
Mar

Where to Find Adoption Support Groups

Everyone can benefit from being a part of a community of peers where you can talk about similar experiences, discuss topics you’re all interested in and learn from each other. Adoption support groups can provide you with that community of peers, whether you’re an adoptee, a birth parent or an adoptive parent.

The Benefits of Finding Adoption Support

Even if you’re not the one who needs support right now, maybe you can provide that support for others who do need it.

The adoption process can feel lonely for adoptive parents and birth parents alike. It helps to talk to other people who have experienced similar situations.

Even after the adoption is finalized, it can be nice to connect with people who’ve been in your shoes. It’s good to have a place where you can talk about this part of your life that not everyone is going to fully understand unless they’ve been touched by adoption.

Joining a support group for adoption doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re experiencing a problem of some kind. It just provides you with a friendly adoption community!

How to Find Local Adoption Support Groups

Chances are there’s an adoption support group near you. A quick Google search can narrow it down pretty easily.

For Adoptive Parents

The National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, allows you to search for their support groups by zip code, or you can join in one of their online support groups.

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACA) has a database of almost 900 adoption-related support groups that you can search by state or province, or by the type of group you’re looking for. Some of the types of groups they have in their database include:

  • Pre-Adoption
  • Post-Adoption
  • Foster Care
  • African American/Canadian
  • Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Latino/Hispanic
  • Native American/Canadian
  • Transracial/Transcultural
  • International Adoption
  • Single Parent Adoption
  • Gay/Lesbian Adoption
  • Kinship Care
  • Guardianship
  • Search and Reunion
  • Special Needs
  • Agency
  • Infertility

For Birth Mothers

The On Your Feet Foundation offers retreats, mentoring, counseling and educational grants to birth mothers post-adoption.

BirthMom Buds also offers retreats, forums, a newsletter, a blog and even poetry to connect birth moms to each other. They support pregnant women considering adoption as well as birth mothers post-adoption.

Blessings in a Basket (BIBTM) also offers birth mother support and resources.

If your area doesn’t have an adoption support group, this may be an opportunity for you to start one up to provide and receive support from others in your local community!

Online Support Groups

If you find that the nearest local meetings are a bit too far for you, online adoption support groups and forums can be a good way to discuss adoption with others. Remember that many online forums and discussions aren’t very well monitored, so anyone (even those who aren’t very educated about adoption or who have inaccurate information) can jump in and comment, so be wary.

But the nice thing about adoption forums is that they’re highly specific to groups of people. For example, there are forums for pregnant women considering adoption, forums for parents who’ve adopted internationally, forums for foster care parents, special needs adoption, adult adoptees and more. If you’re looking for a specific type of adoption support group, here are some resources to help you get started:

  • You can find foster care and adoption support forums by state, which could also help you find local, in-person meetings with members in your area.
  • National Adoption Center has online forums for adoptive families of every kind, adult adoptees and birth parents.
  • Adoption Knowledge Affiliates has monthly meetings in Texas, as well as helpful resources for adopteesadoptive parents and birth families.
  • Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption offer resources, forums and support to adoptive families and adoptees of Eastern European adoption.
  • The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E) offers webinars, workshops, publications and free resources for adoptive families, adoptees and foster care families. They can also connect you with local adoption professionals who specialize in therapy and counseling in your area.
  • Families with Children from China (FCC) boast a network of parent support groups through the U.S, Canada and the U.K. for adoptive families who’ve adopted children from China. There are hundreds of local chapters that you can join. You can also learn more about starting your own local chapter.
  • Search adoption support groups by state at American Adoption Congress, where you can narrow results down to your area and learn how to start your own adoption support group.
  • DailyStrength provides online support groups for adoptive families, particularly those in the early adoption process.
  • Gay Parent Magazine has a great resource of parent support groups within the LGBTQ community.
  • The Guatemala Adoptive Families Network offers support to families who’ve adopted their children from Guatemala.
  • National Adoption Center has resources, educational seminars and support specializing in special needs adoptions and the adoption of children from minority cultures.
  • The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information and resources for birth parents, adoptive families and adoptees of all types.
  • 211 is helpful for finding local support groups and adoption-related resources for you to utilize.

You can also subscribe to receive news and information on adoption from Adoptive Family Magazine or the American Adoptions Newsletter.

A Word of Caution About Adoption and Social Media Support Groups

In the age of social media, we’ve all seen the benefits and drawbacks to constant contact and the overwhelming availability of information; not all of it truthful. Online support groups and forums through social media can turn from supportive to hateful quickly for some members. Use caution, and DO NOT go to social media for a primary source of accurate information on adoption.

We hope that you will hear these as strong suggestions and recommendations based on both personal and professional experiences over the years. We feel strongly about the benefit of healthy support and the detriments of unhealthy outlets. This is what we have found to be helpful and unhelpful.

Here are some basic do’s and don’ts of participating in social media adoption support groups:

  • DON’T… try to count how many families are “ahead of you in line” to adopt; that’s not how adoption works— expectant mothers will choose you on their own timeline, not yours.
  • DO… know when to step away from social media if you feel staying involved is causing you more stress rather than relieving your stress.
  • DON’T… compare yourself and your adoption journey to those of others; you’re unaware of all the facts and the full scope of the situation at hand.
  • DO… use common sense and empathy when sharing photos of your successfully adopted children; other members are still waiting or grieving.
  • DON’T… spread gossip, rumors, or unverified facts if you are not an adoption professional.
  • DO… share your experiences AS your experiences, and remind others that every adoption journey will be different; there’s no one “truest” experience when all are valid.
  • DON’T… express negativity towards adoption in a space where others are seeking comfort, refuge and positivity— take argumentative anti-adoption rhetoric elsewhere.
  • DO… trust your adoption professional over someone on Facebook; adoption professionals want to help!

If you feel like you just aren’t able to emotionally connect with anyone through a support group, call your adoption specialist and ask if they can match you with someone who’s gone through a similar experience, or is currently going through something similar. It can help to talk one-on-one with someone who’s been in (or maybe still is) in your shoes to support one another through your adoption experiences! Don’t forget– you don’t have to go through it alone.

27
Mar

How to Talk to Your Family About Your Adoption Decision

When a pregnant woman chooses adoption for her child, it’s never an easy decision. It’s one that she has to come to on her own, but that doesn’t mean she has to go through it on her own. If you’re a pregnant woman who’s chosen adoption for your child, it’s going to be important that you have a support system in place.

The first step in assembling that support system, then, is to choose who to tell about your adoption plan. Some women prefer to tell only a few close friends or family members. Others aren’t as concerned with keeping it a secret. It’s completely up to you who you do or don’t tell about your decision. If you’re having qualms about how to do it, though, that’s where we can help.

If you’ve chosen to pursue adoption for your baby, you’ve probably spoken with an adoption specialist. This can be a great resource when you’re deciding how to tell those close to you about your choice. By talking with you about your specific situation and family dynamic, your adoption specialist can help you come up with a plan for communicating with the people in your life about what’s going on.

Your adoption specialist will probably suggest that you first tell those who you think will be supportive of your decision. It’s entirely possible that not everyone will be, and it’s going to be much easier to handle those discussions when you have someone in your corner already. You may even want someone to accompany you when you go to tell those whom you feel might not understand your choice.

With that in mind, though, know that people might not react in the way that you anticipate. If people still don’t know about your pregnancy, you might consider telling them about that before bringing up adoption. Telling someone that you’re unexpectedly pregnant and have decided on adoption in the same conversation could be a little overwhelming for the recipient, and that may affect the response you receive.

If that response is a negative one, try not to take it personally. First, give them some time to digest the news. It may be that they’ll come around as soon as they’ve had time to process what’s happening. If that’s not the case, it might be necessary to tell them what you know about today’s adoptions. Sometimes people have preconceived notions about adoptions that are based on the way adoptions used to take place. When they understand what today’s adoptions look like, they may be able to better understand and support your adoption plan.

When telling them about your adoption decision and why you made it, make sure you explain that:

  • You are in charge of the entire process.
  • You get to choose the adoptive family.
  • You’ll receive financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses.
  • You’ll be able to achieve goals that you wouldn’t be able to pursue while raising a child at this point.
  • You get to choose the amount of contact you have with your child and their adoptive family.

Even if whoever you’re talking to still can’t get on board with your adoption plan, make sure they know you’re still going through with it. Just as you should never let those close to you talk you into adoption against your wishes, you should also never let them talk you out of it. Adoption is your decision and your decision alone.

If you’re having trouble with unsupportive friends or family members, or if you aren’t sure how to begin the adoption conversation, remember that our adoption specialists are available to you 24/7. To speak with one, call 1-800-ADOPTION.

24
Mar

7 Famous Athletes You Didn’t Know Were Adopted

You might know their stats, but did you also know they were adopted?

 

 

Scott Hamilton – Olympic Figure Skater

Hamilton was adopted as an infant by two professors. He has an older sister and a younger brother, who is also adopted.

Despite a childhood brain tumor that halted his growth, recurring bouts of cancer and financial setbacks that temporarily stopped his Olympic training, Hamilton went on to win four consecutive U.S. championships, four consecutive World Championships, an Olympic gold medal and numerous awards for his philanthropic efforts.

 

 

Daunte Culpepper – Pro Football

Culpepper was placed into foster care with a family of 15 older siblings as an infant. When Culpepper’s birth mother was released from prison, she petitioned to gain custody of the then-five-year-old, but Culpepper asked to remain with his foster mother, Emma.

His birth mother understood, terminated her parental rights and Culpepper’s foster mother adopted him. Of his birth mother, Culpepper is grateful, saying, “She loved me that much, to take me back to Emma.”

In addition to his successful NFL career, Culpepper works closely with the African American Adoption Agency to help foster children of color find permanent adoptive parents as he did.

 

 

Peter & Kitty Carruthers – Olympic Figure Skaters

Olympic pairs figure skating silver medalists, Peter and Kitty Carruthers were both adopted as infants. Peter was adopted in 1960, Kitty two years later. Although not biologically related, the siblings and their parents remained extremely close and that family bond showed on the ice.

Kitty later went on to adopt two boys herself with her husband.

 

 

Babe Ruth – Pro Baseball

When he was seven years old, Babe Ruth was living in St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys’ orphanage. He developed his talent for baseball with his mentor and father-figure, Brother Matthias. When he was 19, Ruth was spotted by a talent scout, who legally adopted him so that he could join the Baltimore Orioles.

Babe Ruth later went on to adopt two children of his own and generously donated to St. Mary’s and Brother Matthias for the rest of his life.

 

 

Greg Louganis – Olympic Diver

At eight months old, Olympic champion, author and LGBT activist Greg Louganis was placed for adoption by his teenaged birth parents. His adoptive parents encouraged Louganis to pursue various athletics throughout his early childhood and adolescence that his young birth parents likely wouldn’t have been able to provide him with, leading to his legendary career as a diver.

 

 

Colin Kaepernick – Pro Football

Born to a single teenage birth mother, Kaepernick was placed in a transracial adoption as an infant. Kaepernick is the youngest of four children. He began playing football at the age of eight and continued his football training throughout his adolescence while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and also excelling in baseball and basketball.

 

 

Simone Biles – Olympic Gymnast

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and her sister were adopted by their maternal grandparents as young children and acknowledge them as their parents, having been raised by them. Biles’ parents have been extremely supportive of her athletic career; seen cheering her on throughout the 2016 Olympics.

When a gymnastic commentator referred to Biles’ biological grandparents, saying they “are NOT her parents,” Biles replied, “My parents are my parents and that’s it.”

23
Mar

For 10th anniversary, “Juno” returns for an L.A. live reading

One of the most popular portrayals of adoption in recent pop culture came in 2007 with the film “Juno.” Now, ten years later, the two lead actresses will reprise their roles with an all-female cast.

Ellen Page, who played quirky teenager Juno, and Jennifer Garner, who played adoptive mother Vanessa, will lead the live reading of the movie on April 8 in Los Angeles. Writer and director Jason Reitman is producing the event as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood as part of his “Live Read” series.

“Juno” follows a 16-year-old girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and decides to place her child for adoption with couple Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa (Garner). It’s a mostly realistic representation of the adoption process, portraying Juno’s bond with the adoptive parents, her complicated relationship with the baby’s birth father (Michael Cera) and the support she receives from her family and friends.

It’s unclear what (if anything) the live reading will change about the plot, given that it’s an all-female cast. However, it’s probably safe to assume that the reading will retain the comedic but honest portrayal of adoption that made so many fall in love with the movie in the first place.

Follow Reitman on Twitter to find out who else will be in the show’s cast, as he’ll announce the other actresses in the days leading up to the show.

20
Mar

12 Adoption Myths Everyone Is Sick Of

You see it on TV, in books and movies and all over people’s faces when they don’t know anything about adoption.

Here’s the truth behind twelve common adoption myths:

1. “I can’t adopt because…”

  • “We’re not married.”
  • “I’m/we’re gay.”
  • “I’m too old.”
  • “I don’t own my home.”

The purpose of adoption is to provide children with safe and loving homes, so the approval process for prospective adoptive parents is a rigorous one. We consider adoption-ready families to be:

  • 100 percent committed to adoption
  • Able to financially, emotionally and physically provide for the needs of their child
  • Safe and stable people who can raise a child in a safe and stable environment
  • Ready and excited to love and care for a child

That’s what really determines whether or not you can adopt and that’s what all the paperwork and background checks exist to find out. Renting your home, your spouse being the same sex as you, or your age has nothing to do with your ability to be a good parent!

2. “Adopting an infant takes away from needy international/foster care children.”

Absolutely not. The goal is to create families through adoption — how you do that is entirely up to you.

Private domestic adoption agencies like American Adoptions are thrilled to promote adoption of all kinds. We just happen to specialize in the process of one type of adoption.

There are many ways to become a family. International adoption and foster care adoptions are fantastic ways to achieve that dream. There’s no wrong way to become a parent through adoption; there’s only the path that’s right for you.

3. “Adopting transracially is too socially complicated.”

Race is a socially complex issue and transracial adoptions do pose unique challenges. But being a family feels simple.

If you adopt a child of a race other than your own, your family will be asked questions and may occasionally receive ignorant comments. This is an opportunity to educate others about racial sensitivity and adoption.

You may have to learn about caring for different types of hair and skin and provide your child with positive roles models of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. This is an opportunity to learn more about your child’s heritage and include that heritage in your family life.

Adoption and multi-racial, multi-ethnic families are becoming increasingly common in America, bringing a greater awareness and appreciation of cultural and racial diversity within our families. The physical differences between you and your child are small compared to the overwhelming love that a parent has for their child.

4. “Adoptions occur locally.”

Adopting within your community or state is one way to adopt. But working with a national adoption agency tends to have lower wait times and is more regulated than local adoption agencies.

National adoption agencies work with more potential birth mothers and more adoptive families across the U.S. This means more adoptions are completed in less time, and more families are created regardless of state lines.

5. “Most birth mothers are teenagers.”

While some prospective birth mothers are teenagers, the majority of pregnant women considering adoption are actually about 25–35 years old, and many are raising older children. There are a number of reasons why these women choose adoption for their babies:

  • Some are single mothers who want their child to grow up in a two-parent home.
  • They can’t afford another child at this point in their lives without sacrificing the well-being of the children they’re currently raising.
  • They simply may not be ready to be a parent right now, and they want their baby to be raised by someone who is ready for this step.

Whatever a birth mother’s background, she chose adoption for her child because she felt this was the best thing she could do for her baby.

6. “Most adoptions are closed, and adoptees don’t know their birth parents.”

Most adoptions are open or semi-open adoptions. In fact, 90 percent of birth mothers want some level of open adoption with the adoptive family. Research on closed adoptions revealed them to often be detrimental to the well-being of both the adoptee and the birth parents, while open adoptions provided a positive experience for everyone involved.

This allows for lines of communication to remain open through letters, photos, phone calls, or even arranged visits. Open adoptions are not synonymous with co-parenting. They simply mean that you’ll continue to maintain a connection between each other’s lives through adoption. Open adoptions exist on a scale, and the level of openness is determined by what each adoption triad feels best with.

Adoptees who grow up feeling satisfied with the level of contact they have with their birth family throughout their lives are reportedly more happy overall.

7. “It takes years to adopt.”

70 percent of parents who adopt a child through American Adoptions are able to do so within 1–12 months after becoming active.

There may be stages of the adoption process that can feel endless (the home study, for example), but generally the adoption process is usually complete within a year at American Adoptions.

8. “The birth mother will want her baby back.”

The myth that a birth mother will dramatically show up at your house someday to “take back her baby” is one that is horrifyingly persistent. No — the birth family can’t just “take the baby back” after adoption. Nor would they really want to.

Placing a child for adoption is an intense source of grief and loss for a birth mother. But those who choose adoption do so because they feel it’s what’s best for their baby in their situation, no matter how much it pains them.

Additionally, the legal reality is that after the birth parents have signed their consent forms following the state-mandated waiting period, they’ve terminated their parental rights. Once the final adoption decree has been issued about six months later, the adoptive parents are officially granted parental rights and the adoption decision is permanent.

9. “Most people don’t know they’re adopted.”

Again, most adoptions are open adoptions, and so most adoptees these days know their birth parents.

Most children grow up always knowing that they’re adopted. They don’t remember the first time they were told about their adoption because that part of their family’s story has always been celebrated since the day they arrived home.

Dramatic adoption reveals and secrecy are best reserved for the entertainment industry. And there’s a good reason why, which leads us to…

10. “I should wait to tell them about their adoption until they’re older.”

No way.

Although you should discuss adoption in age-appropriate terms, the recommended course of action is to begin telling your child their adoption story from the day you bring them into your home. Even “uncomfortable” details about their adoption should be disclosed to them. Adoptees at any age have a right to their own story; even the complicated parts.

Will they fully understand? Not necessarily. But they will understand that adoption is a positive part of who they are, not something that they should hide away because their parents never talk about it. They will understand that it’s ok to have feelings and questions about their adoption, and they will understand that they can come to you about it if you continue to introduce the discussion when an opportunity arises.

As an adoptee ages, they’ll continue to understand their adoption in new ways. By making their adoption a safe and cherished topic from day one, they won’t harbor any unspoken feelings or thoughts about their adoption. They’ll understand that adoption is a normal part of their life and that they have a right to their own thoughts and feelings about it.

11. “Open adoptions confuse the child about who their real parents are.”

Once again; no way.

Someday your child will be able to tell you him or herself that he or she was never confused about who their “real” parents are. A child’s parents are the people who help them with their homework, take time to listen to them and love them above all else. “Real parents” are just parents, so ditch the term altogether.

Open adoption allows the child to have a special relationship with their birth family and to stay connected to their biological heritage. But while the relationship between a birth parent and an adoptee is a unique and valuable one, it’s not comparable to the parent-child relationship they share with the parents who adopted and raised them.

12. “There are no healthy babies available for adoption in the U.S.”

Of course there are!

But international adoptions, domestic special needs adoptions and the adoptions of older children or sibling groups are always needed to ensure that wonderful homes are available to all children, including healthy newborns.

Share this to educate others and help dispel the adoption myths!

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