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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).

Finding lost family through the Internet

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As I prepared to adopt, I knew there was a “right” answer when it came to openness. Openness was good, and I needed to come across like I believed it. The truth was, openness scared me silly.

What I really hoped was that any child we adopted would have an unfortunate, yet complete, lack of background information, and that openness was something that I could favour without actually experiencing.

Finding families closer to home

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Two innovative AFABC programs prove that, in many cases, there are people in a child’s existing network who are willing to adopt the child. Social worker Anne Melcombe, of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and Kirsty Stormer of Fraser Kids, explain how their programs work.

“You mean I have 50 people who are actually related to me! All these people are my family!” -- Eight-year-old foster child who is shown his family tree after extensive research was done to uncover it.

Today's birth parents: Their needs and rights

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

There are still many myths and much misinformation about birth parents. Though the adoption community may be better educated than the general public, we also still have much to learn.

A year-long project, "Safeguarding the Rights and Well being of Birth Parents," by the US-based Evan B Donaldson Institute for Adoption, has much to teach us about today’s birth parents. Though the study focuses on the United States, many of the findings are relevant to the Canadian adoption community. In this article, we focus on some of the major points in the report.

Better adoption transitions

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

We must never forget that moving a child into a new family is a life-altering event for the child. Focus on Adoption magazine asked social worker Judy Archer for her top three recommendations for transitioning children into a new family.

It is almost impossible to narrow down my recommendations to just three.

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.

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