Child welfare

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Family matters: Reunion, family, and openness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My partner and I adopted a child two years ago. We are Caucasian and our daughter is African-American. I want to adopt again so she has a sibling. My partner refuses. What should I do?

This is a conversation that should have taken place before you adopted a child. However, there are a couple of things you could do. First, try to clearly understand why your partner doesn’t want to add to your family. Once you discover the reason, there may be room for compromise.

Tending troubled transplants

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

How to handle the tough job of parenting a child who has never experienced proper parenting.

When Ethan’s foster mom, Julie, found a knife under his pillow she was extremely alarmed and immediately put in an urgent call to his caseworker

The reason 10-year-old Ethan went to bed accompanied by a knife, rather than a teddy bear, was because he’d lived in a birth family where drug deals, violence, and abuse were the order of the day. Ethan hadn’t been able to rely on his parents to protect him, so he had learned to protect himself.

Race: Social fact, biological fiction

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Andrew Martindale, an adoptive parent, and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, explains that the concept of race is man-made and, though it holds enormous power, has no biological basis.

The history of race relations makes transracial adoptions deeply personal, and, at times, very public statements of reconciliation. What do we say to our children, ourselves and others about the nature and significance of racial difference within our families?

Give your child school intelligence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Dr Richard Lavoie, renowned expert on learning disabilities, recalls numerous occasions when parents have cried in despair in his office. These are not tears about their child’s school work—they are about how he or she is managing with the social side of school.

Lavoie gives two examples of social skills that most of us take for granted but that many learning disabled children find difficult.

How one adoptive family handles racism

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Loving our children has been easy. As transracial adoptive parents, however, it has been much more difficult to develop strategies for dealing with individual and institutional racism.

In our experience, the best lessons we can offer are those that teach our children to externalize racism and assure them we will always be there for them.

Neurofeedback helped my internationally adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.

When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.    

Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom #5

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the fifth, and last of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, adjusting to finally having their little daughter in their charge.

Day 6, continued

I had asked Mrs. Kang if the children have a tough time adjusting. She told me it was true sometimes, but she thought that Hee Young would be okay and that if we had any problems we could call her day or night. I sensed she might be wrong on her assessment, having witnessed a bond so strong between this foster mother and child.

Family matters: Race and beauty

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am the mom of a 13-year-old girl adopted from the US. She is African-American, we are Caucasian. Some of her friends (it’s a predominantly “white” school) are attracting the interest of boys. My daughter says nobody seems interested in her, and she thinks it’s because of her colour. How do we respond to this in a way that helps?

Surely you will want her to feel valuable, attractive, and wanted. It may be more difficult for your daughter as peer-relationships, womanhood, racial identity, and self-esteem are likely involved in this for her.

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

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