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Ask the Expert: Adoptees on identity

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A new report reminds us of the challenges some adoptees have in forming their identity, and what could make it easier.

A major new study finds adoption has a profound and enduring impact on the identity of adoptees. Based on input from the experts on the subject - adults who were adopted as children, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a major study on identity formation for adopted persons: Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption (2009).

Family matters: Stereotypes

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am the white parent of a 12-year-old boy who is African-Canadian. How do I support him in dealing with stereotypes about Black men and youth?

The best way to deal with stereotypes is to understand them, provide counter-examples, talk about it openly, understand that not everything that may look or sound like a stereotype, actually is one, and to become a social activist.

Explaining slavery to kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am the Caucasian mother of a six-year-old African-American child. I am worried about explaining slavery to my daughter. Do you have any advice?

Be the first person to explain slavery to her—before the subject is covered at school and before her classmates bring the topic up. Use books to help tell the story. Before you tackle the topic, talk about the many achievements and contributions to the world by African-Americans (or African-Canadians). Then pick a time to talk about slavery when she isn’t tired or distracted. Cuddle up while you talk.

Openness, family, and heritage

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

From their own experiences, Sandee and Aaron Mitchell knew that openness was vitally important for all their family, especially their son.

Being an adoptive mom isn’t the only adoption connection in Sandee Mitchell’s life. In fact, adoption weaves itself right through her past and present.

The gift of identity

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A unique travel company asks, "Do kids need to know the past?"

Perhaps the most significant thing about homeland travel is what kids are doing with the experience related to identity building. It is so interesting to see kids, country after country, doing the same kinds of things as they work toward understanding of self.

Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom #1

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the first of a series, we present the diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only days away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Leelee. The couple are missing their son Willem (at home in Canada) and desperate to meet their little girl. At least the agonizing wait means that they can become acquainted with their daughter’s fascinating homeland.

Finding First Nations roots

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As adoptive parents who began our journey with our application to adopt almost 25 years ago, we’ve seen some changes along the way. One of those changes has been regarding the adoption of children of First Nations ancestry into non- First Nations homes.

Our first adoption was a child of First Nations ancestry, and we were given very little information about his birth mother’s community, or even about how to support his culture. Fast forward a few years and his half brother joined us.

Hair and skin care for kids: A guide for parents of black and bi-racial children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Kelly Martin brought home her 21-month-old daughter, Kendall, there were all the common new-parent concerns: “How will I ever cut such tiny nails?” laughs Kelly. But Kendall is Haitian, and caring for black skin and hair was to be an additional learning experience for Kelly. Undaunted, she says, “I knew it was something I would have to learn.”

My Concept of Self: Growing up in a Multiracial Family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Having grown up in a multiracial family, multiculturalism has always been a part of my life— and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. My parents have always encouraged us to develop individual identities and to stand tall and proud of who we are. It is true that every member of my family has a different self-identity; however, that is something that contributes to our family interactions and understandings. My family deeply loves one another and our differences have made us more accepting and liberal people.

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