Too close to home

This is particularly sad for me, as I used to live close to the suburb where this tragedy occurred.

Troubled Roseville mom suspect in girls’ stabbing

A single mother who apparently stabbed her two young daughters and
herself Thursday afternoon in their well-kept Roseville townhouse may
have been overwhelmed by stress and financial problems, a close friend

Neighbors said Sieferman is a single mother who adopted the girls
from China. Her online blog identifies the girls as Hannah, adopted in
1999, and Linnea, adopted in 2003.

The blog contains Sieferman’s account of her longheld desire to
adopt daughters from overseas and her joy upon meeting them and
watching them grow.

Asian adoptees as fashion accessories in the movies

From Red Orbit. Thanks to Andrew for the tip.

Adopting Asian Kids Becoming Latest Fad

By Mike Seate

Call me cynical, but since when did Asian children become "must have" fashion accessories for upper middle-class Americans?

Along with Calloway golf clubs and season tickets to football games,
paying $30,000 to $40,000 to adopt an exotic baby is suddenly viewed as
the most chic purchase this side of a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Never mind that thousands of babies of other races — most of them
black — go without foster homes and adoptions here and elsewhere in
this country every year. It doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars
to adopt a black, Latino or mixed-race child.

But for some reason, even Hollywood is marketing Asian babies as somehow superior and more desirable.

Read the whole article here.

This was in my in-box yesterday

I received this notice yesterday. It’s a solicitation for pregnant women who would like to have MTV’s "True Life" follow your story as you decide to place your child for adoption. The flyer says:

Are you pregnant and planning to make your child available for adoption? Then MTV would like to hear from you.

MTV’s award-winning documentary series, "True Life," is producing a new episode about young women who are making adoption plans for their soon-to-be-born children. We’re looking for expectant mothers who would like to share their stories with young people across the country.

Our goal — as with all episodes of "True Life" — is to help MTV’s young audience understand why so many young women make the choice to place their babies for adoption, and to help de-stigmatize this choice. We will treat the young women who participate in this documentary with respect, dignity and empathy.

I wonder if they’ve done a show about the various experiences of adoptees who may or may not have searched for their birth parents, or to show the range of experiences from the adoptee’s POV.

Article in the NYT

I’m quoted in the NYT article, "De-emphasis on Race in Adoption is Critical."

Doing this article was another example in which I feel we adult adoptees always have to be vigilant in the way we are represented. I have a good working relationship with the reporter of this piece (about two years ago he had interviewed myself and several other adult transracial adoptees but unfortunately the piece did not make it to print).

However, on Saturday, I received a call from a photographer who wanted a photo to accompany the article. The photographer asked if my parents were in the city. Baffled, I asked why he wanted to know this. The photographer then said that he wanted my parents in the photo with me, and asked if I had a photo of them that could be run in this article since they don’t live close to me. I told the photographer that in principle, I objected to having a photograph with my parents because I didn’t see what my parents had to do with this article.

I was interviewed as a social worker who also happens to be a transracial adoptee. But, at almost 40 years old, I am frustrated that an article – that is NOT about ME (that is, it is not my personal story), has to include a photo of my parents. Would the photographer have asked Dorothy Roberts, a black child welfare legal scholar, to include her parents in an article in which she talks about racial disparities in child welfare? I mean, that would be relevant right? She’s black, so is her parents, and she talks about child welfare issues in the black community.

When will I be able to be seen as a separate entity apart from my parents? Yes, I was adopted. But why do I need to be seen in the context of my parent’s child at my age?

When will adoptees be able to have their professional and personal views accepted as the individuals we are?

*more articles about the Evan B. Donaldson report:

Washington Post

Chicago Tribune

Associated Press



Continue reading

The Adoption Show – Sunday May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

9:00 PM (EST)


Kali talks with Kevin Minh Allen about current and past adoption
practices in Vietnam. Few know or understand what’s going on in
Vietnam, such as its 42 operating adoption agencies. What’s disturbing,
but not surprising, is that no one is consulting the daughters and sons
adopted out of this country: the true voice and perspective of
international adoption.

About Kevin: Born Nguyên Ðúc Mînh in Gia Ðịnh district of Sài Gòn on
December 5, 1973, Kevin Minh Allen was adopted at 9 months and flown to
the U.S. in August 1974. He grew up in a suburb of Rochester, NY, until
at 27 years of age, he moved to Seattle, where he is currently enjoying
the view. He has written and published poetry, book reviews, news
articles and information panels for a museum exhibit.  His work can be
found online in Tiếng Magazine, Asian American Movement Magazine, The
Fighting 44s and the Poetry Superhighway, and in print as well, such as
The Northwest Asian Weekly, The International Examiner and HazMat

Check out the blog Misplaced Baggage: run by Vietnamese adoptees: Kevin Minh Allen, Sumeia Williams and Anh Dao Kolbe


My TRA-dar* is beeping

Does anyone know if this family is an adoptive family? For once, it’s NOT mentioned (can that be?!?)

‘Meanest Mom’ Sells Son’s Car, Family Gets Quite a Ride

Jane Hambleton, with son Steven, appear on

Jane Hambleton, with son Steven, appear on "Good Morning America,"
where she talked about selling his car after finding booze under the
front seat.

(Good Morning America — Abc)

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, January 11, 2008;
Page C01


Yesterday she was the meanest mom on the planet. Today: the coolest.

Jane Hambleton, 48, gained a worshipful parental following when news of a classified ad she’d placed in the Des Moines Register was picked up by the Associated Press. The text of the ad:

"OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love
teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy
mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer.
Call meanest mom on the planet."

If you’re interested in the rest of the story, click here.

* p.s. TRA-dar is when you recognize another transracial adoptee. Similar to KAD-ar or Gay-dar.

Mother Jones: “International Adoption, It’s a One-Way Dialogue”

A new Op/Ed Piece in Mother Jones about the New York Time’s "Relative Choices" blog by Elizabeth Larson is now on their web site.

In "International Adoption, It’s a One-Way Dialogue" Elizabeth writes,

I think when it comes to adoption, American adoptive parents (myself
included) steer the discourse. We direct adoption agencies and think
tanks. We write the home studies of prospective adoptive parents. We
are policy experts and doctors and academics and journalists. We are
passionate about adoption—an institution that has given us so much—and
therein lies the problem: In our passion, we sometimes shield ourselves
from larger discussions about the toll that adoption can take, a
discussion that is in fact gaining traction across the globe. And in
doing so, we are preventing adoption from evolving.

Read the rest of Elizabeth’s article here.