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Open borders

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Learning about open adoption

When my husband Chris and I decided to walk through the adoption process for the first time, we heard from several social workers and adoptive families about what openness in adoption typically looked like. We were adopting from the United States; in most international adoption situations, openness seemed to mean having occasional contact by letter, email or phone, which usually died out after the first few years.

Shades of meaning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An unexpected question

I thought the most difficult thing my son could ever say to me was “You’re not my real mom,” but the question that really threw me for a loop was something completely different. We were driving to daycare when out of the blue, my brown-skinned, afro-haired, almost five-yearold son said innocently, “Mommy, I was white when I was a baby?”

“Um, what? No! Huh?” Tire screech, deep breath. I figured I had about five seconds to organize my thoughts and say the right thing.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because white skin is beautiful.”

Wow.

Changing your child's birth date

Source: 
West Coast Family Law Centre, reprinted in Focus on Adoption magazine

Do you need to change your child’s birth date? It may seem odd to give a child a new birthday, but it’s a good idea for some internationally adopted children.

In the 10 years I’ve practised adoption law, I’ve been asked by parents of children from Nepal, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for help in correcting their child’s birth date. As an adoptive parent myself, I sympathize with them. For many reasons, it’s important that your child’s legal birth date be similar to their chronological birth date.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #19

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the nineteenth of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn--wonders why so much information about her childrens’ past is still unavailable, and why she’s listed as Mom on their birth certificates.

The other day I started to think about all my kids’ personal information being completely sealed and stored in some undisclosed location in Victoria. I just don’t understand why we can never access it again. 

What my kids really think about adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Maya Benson took her four children to Jane Brown’s Adoption Playshops, she thought it would be the kids that would do all the learning! How wrong she was.

Earlier this year, I decided it would be a great idea to take my kids to one of Jane Brown’s Adoption Playshops when she visited the Lower Mainland. I thought our children could discuss their experiences with other kids who were also adopted.

When emotional development is delayed

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Your adopted child’s early life experiences may have caused a delay in their emotional development. Child and family counsellor and behav­iourist, Carol Olafson, explains how paying attention to emotional development can help you and your child.

Emotional development is thought to be one of the most important factors in individuals being able to function well in the world. In fact, researchers have coined the term “emotional intelligence” to refer to how well a person uses both his or her cognitive and emotional development to succeed as adults.

Finally finding answers

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Leach Buchholz shares her thoughts on her adoption from Korea and her quest to discover answers.

The day I met Leah Buchholz at a Vancouver coffee house it was her birthday—at least she thinks it was—she’s not quite sure. The exact day she was born is one of the many answers that this thought­ful young woman, adopted from Korea almost 20 years ago, is on a quest to discover.

Ask the Expert: Identity matters (part two)

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Lisa Gunderson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who focuses on multicultural issues. She is an award-winning educator and inclusivity consultant for educational and organizational institutions. During her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she specialized in issues for minoritized youth, including ethnic identity. We asked Dr. Gunderson your questions about identity.

I am raising an adopted child of a different race in a community that is not very racially diverse. How do I help my child to be confident and form a strong racial identity?

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