I wanted to provide some links to some of my journal articles that were recently published. The first is available online from Adoption Quarterly and was written by Dr. Bibiana Koh, Dr. Ruth McRoy and myself.
The article is titled: Exploring Adoption-Specific Curricula in Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs.
Abstract: The systemic impact of adoption suggests the need to explore adoption-specific curricula in baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Using a convenience sample, the present exploratory study collected data in two phases. Phase one included email requests for adoption syllabi to professional listservs and to identified faculty with adoption research and practice expertise. In phase two, 22 faculty who responded by emailing syllabi, were invited to participate in an online survey. Results only begin to unveil what we know about adoption-specific curricula in higher education. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
The second article was published in the journal Families in Society. This article summarizes my study of adoptive parents who placed in intercountry adopted child in out-of-home care due to the child’s disability. You can see the article here.
Abstract: Increasingly, intercountry adopted children have special needs similar to children adopted from foster care in the United States. Out-of-home placement may be necessary when less restrictive services have not adequately addressed an adopted child’s needs. The experiences of 19 adoptive parents who chose to place their intercountry adopted child in out-of-home care due to their child’s disability were explored through qualitative interviews and family ecomaps. Themes emerging from interviews relate to adoptive parent definitions of adoption and disability, challenges identifying and accessing services, and the effects of placement on their family, within an ecological systems perspective. Findings show the need for service providers to better understand the impact of an intercountry adopted child’s disability and preadoption history on family adjustment, as well as to support parents through the out-of-home placement process.
This past week I spoke to a producer at AJ+ about a series they are hosting called #ImAdopted. I thought the producer had done a lot of thoughtful research and understood the complexity of adoption and recognized the need for adoptee voices to be centered. I’m encouraging adoptees of all types – domestic, foster care, intercountry – to add your story.
To contribute, you can go to this link and complete a form. Not all of the questions are required, and although it asks for a name and contact information (i.e. email address) you can use a pseudonym if you’d prefer to be anonymous.
I’m looking forward to the series. Please pass this on to your communities!
AJ+ is already garnering lots of comments on their Facebook post – however, they are hoping that people will fill out the form.
…for naming Harlow’s Monkey one of the best blogs of 2017!
It’s also an honor to be named alongside some of my favorite adoptee peeps!
I appreciate that Healthline recognizes the importance of adoptee voices. Check out the Healthline list of The Best Adoptee Blogs 2017.
I am starting a new research study that looks at the experiences of intercountry adoptees (18 years or older) in the U.S. that have had an adoption disruption or displacement (the term used to describe an out-of-home placement that happened after an adoption was finalized).
Types of placements include:
- Homelessness due to the adoptive parent’s refusal to house the participant or as a result of abuse/neglect by adoptive parents (e.g. couch-surfing with friends, living on the street)
- long-term shelter for youth
- group home
- juvenile detention
- residential treatment center
- in-patient hospitalization program
- formal foster care
- wilderness treatment program or ranch-based treatment program
- an informal, non-relative family placement with a non-related and/or unfamiliar family (i.e. a “re-home” family)
- another adoptive family
I have more information here at my research page. You can also contact me at email@example.com for any questions or for more information. This study has been approved by the University of Washington’s Human Subjects Review board (IRB). Please feel free to pass on this information to your adoption communities and thank you for your assistance and support!
It’s been a while, but as National Adoption Month comes to a close today, I wanted to pass on a couple of items that you might be interested in.
The Indiana Adoption Network is hosting a conference this coming April, so save the dates! You can learn more about the organization through their newsletter, and the website. The conference, to be held April 21-22 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana, has the theme, “Building Bridges.” For more information about the conference and to register, click here.
Another conference to keep in mind is the California Adoption Conference hosted by Pact, An Adoption Alliance. This conference will be held March 24-25 2017 in Oakland, CA, includes a Professional Training Day (March 24th) and an all-audience day (March 25th). For more information about the conference and to register (opens January, 2017), click here.
Finally, I want to thank Healthline for naming Harlow’s Monkey one of the best adoptee blogs of 2016! I am very honored and appreciate the recognition – especially since I am in some great company! Please visit Healthline and see their full list of top adoptee blogs.
I’m looking forward to being at the Korean Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) conference coming up this weekend in Pittsburgh. KAAN was founded in 1999, and serves Korean-born adoptees of all ages,their families through birth, adoption or marriage, other Koreans and Korean-Americans, social workers, adoptees from other backgrounds, community leaders, and more. Each year the conference is located in a different place so that local Korean adoptee-affiliated community members can participate.
The sessions I’ll be participating in include:
Luncheon and Midday Keynote: Legacies of Korean Adoption on Global Child Welfare with Oh Myo Kim PhD.
- By 2004, it is estimated that the number of intercountry adoptions had reached almost 45,000 adoptions per year (an increase of 42 percent from 1980). While the establishment of a global adoption network has no doubt reshaped the demographics of receiving countries, it has also had often overlooked implications for sending communities. Through three case studies (South Korea, Guatemala, and Uganda), this presentation will explore the following questions:
1) What cultural, social, and economic factors allowed for the movement of children across national borders?
2) What has been the impact of international adoption on local sending communities?
3) Lastly, what support can Korean adoptees offer as members of a larger international adoptee community?
- Beginning the search for your birth family is a big step. How can you tell if you are ready for the range of emotions and answers you might find? Join in this frank conversation with other adoptees. Leaders will share some of their experiences and give advice on how to prepare.
Re-centering Our Conversations About Race with Erica Gehringer, Katie Bozek Ph.D., LMFT, and Susan Harris O’Connor MSW
Many mainstream conceptions and narratives of race focus on white peopleâs feelings and experiences. Intended for more intermediate and advanced audiences, this session aims to challenge these narratives by recentering our conversations around people of color, the people most negatively and directly affected by race-relations in the United States. Comprised of adoptees from different professional angles, we will discuss behavioral, educational, and media techniques that can be used to “retrain” ourselves to not allow the conversation to derail back to a white audience.
Photo: Benson Kua. Image used through Wikimedia Commons
Some ways you can help the victims of the Pulse shooting and their families.
One of my mini-goals has been to get back into blogging, both here and at my other blog. But after such a long absence, it’s kind of like facing a blank page with no idea where to begin. Where does a person even begin to try to recap?!? I have been procrastinating until I had coffee with a colleague I admire who mentioned my blog, and that has inspired me to start up again. It’s not that I have nothing to say, anyone who knows me knows I can’t stop talking about child welfare and adoption. Maybe it’s that I have SO much to say, I just don’t even know where to begin.
I thought maybe what might help me get back into the groove would be to create a list of topics that I want to write about now that the hectic academic year is winding down, so here it is – my list of topics that I’ll hopefully be writing about over the next couple of months while on my summer schedule.
- What I’ve been researching and writing about
- Adoption and child welfare related books and articles that have inspired or interested me
- News stories related to adoption I have some opinions about
- My virtual Adoption and Permanency syllabus (based on a course I developed for MSW students with some additional thoughts and resources)
- Updating my resource page
So for the few folks still checking back, “hello!” I hope all has been well in your worlds!
I have exciting news to share, and a call for your support.
On Tuesday the bipartisan bill S. 2275 Adoptee Citizenship Act was formally introduced in the Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and co-authors Senator Dan Coates (R-IN) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR). This is legislation that many of us in the adoptee community have been seeking. Back in 2012, this was one of our main talking points that we brought to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Initiative (CCAI) meeting of adoptees and legislative staff.
The Adoptee Citizenship Act:
- Gives retroactive citizenship to all international adoptees regardless of when they were adopted, ensuring that all intercountry adoptees are citizens of the U.S. – even those adopted prior to the 2000 Child Citizenship Act
- Gives a clear pathway for deported adoptees, who’ve served their time/resolved their criminal histories, to come back to the US.
In essence, the bill fixes the loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 which only granted citizenship for children brought to the U.S. for adoption who were under 18 years old at the time, creating a situation where those adopted at a time when our adoptive parents had to naturalize us to become a citizen fell through the cracks.
We know there are thousands of adoptees whose adoptive parents did not follow through with their naturalization and thus, risk deportation. This bill is significant for the thousands of adoptees who, through no fault of their own, were not given their citizenship promised to them by the US government, their adoptive parents, and adoption agencies. The bill also provides a pathway for deported adoptees who have already been deported or who are currently detained because they lack citizenship.
But there is still work to be done and legislators need to hear from you about why this needs to pass. What we need from you:
- Call your lawmakers. Go to this website created by 18 Million Rising.
- When contacting your legislators, we are asking that you don’t discuss this in terms of adoptee rights or immigration rights. We are asking that you frame it as “righting a wrong, and remedying a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.” Please tell your legislators that you support the bill as it corrects the CCA 2000.
- Spread the word. Although we believe the bill has a strong chance of passing, it still needs to go through committee before it’s sent to the floor for a vote. The more Senators hear from you, their constituents, the better. Please tell everyone who is an ally to call.
This bill is a significant accomplishment for the adoptee community. It is the first legislation pertaining to adoptees that was crafted by and significantly informed by adoptees. We are so thankful that Senators Klobuchar, Coates and Merkley responded to our call for action and understood that this has been an injustice for thousands of intercountry adoptees. I am also beyond grateful for the adoptees and adoptive parents that have put in countless hours of work into working with the legislators who authored this bill.
Please spread the word and tell your friends and family to call your legislators to support S.2275!
I just wrapped up several days of working at Pact camp in California where I presented three times. My keynote on Saturday was on adoptee activism and interrupting white supremacy.
One of my main messages is that adoptees should be the ones controlling the discourse about adoption and that adoption professionals and non-adopted persons should be supporting adoptees rather than attempting to silence us.
Additionally, transracial adoptees in particular need for adoptive parents, adoption professionals and non-adopted persons to stand up against the individual and systemic racism and oppression of our communities. I challenged the adoptive parents at Pact camp to go beyond the complacency of being an “ally” and instead become interruptors of white supremacy.
For the families who wanted the slides, I am posting them here for you to download. Please contact me if you need clarification on any of the slides.
Pact slides Adoptee activism 2015