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Catwalk Kids Documentary – Is the marketing of children in foster care a good thing or a bad thing? Spanning several countries this film focuses on the new trend of holding fashion shows, adoption event, Wednesday’s Child video segments and Heart Gallery’s to showcase children in Foster care in the hope of getting them permanent homes.
Adam Pertman from the Evan B. Donaldson Institutes reminds people that informed people make better decisions so these expo’s and adoption events actually help families who don’t know their options to get better acquainted with the adoption process and the children that are available.
These strategies in America have worked and many children are finding permanent homes. The video’s and photos bring the children to light, bringing them out of the dark, secrecy of foster care and into the light so that people can see them. When people see these children and hear their stories they are more likely to want to help. Will these same campaigns work in other countries? Maybe not but if they use strategies that would work in their culture, strategies that help the children in care find homes isn’t that a good thing? Foster children are often out of sight, so people don’t see them, therefore they don’t exist in many people’s minds, when the issues are raised and the children are showcased people find compassion for them and want to help. I don’t agree with all of the strategies employed in this video but there is no doubt that marketing is helping children find permanent homes. Free on amazon.com with Prime membership
Adoption Beyond Borders: How International Adoption Benefits Children by Rebecca Compton – Rebecca Compton is a mother and psychologist who on her journey to adopt from Kazakhstan wound up staying in-country for almost a year and got to see firsthand the effects of institutionalization on children. I appreciated the way Compton wove together her adoption story with the studies and observations she made as well as the research she has done. It was a nice balance of personal and educational. While you may find this book to be more like a dissertation the information is worth your time and her writing style makes it interesting and enjoyable.
International adoptions have dropped significantly since 2008 when the Hague Convention was implemented in the United States. The Hague looks great on paper and has very altruistic goals but the reality is that many of the organizations that had their hands in creating it were either anti-adoption or had a political agenda. This has left thousands of children waiting in orphanages for families that may never come. The wait time of international adoption has increased as well leaving these children vulnerable. Research proves that the earlier a child is placed with a family the better the long term results.
Compton looks at the cognitive abilities, socio-economic functioning, attachment and identity issues facing parentless children and the results are staggering. The policies in place today are not in the best interest of children and are in fact doing more harm. Having children languish in orphan homes waiting for in-country placements when families are lining up from outside their borders to adopt is a travesty. I highly recommend reading this book and writing your congressmen to try to change the international adoption policies. amazon.com price $27.95 (HC)
Dear Adoptive Parents: Things You Need to Know Right Now – from an Adoptee by Madeleine Melcher – Written as a series of letter to parents who have adopted Madeleine Melcher offers positive encouragement and advice. There are several important take aways I received from this book. 1. Don’t live your child’s adoption. It does not have to be the most important thing in the room. They are a child, you are their parent. I’m not saying ignore that they came to your family through adoption but by living and breathing adoption is not allowing the child to live and grow as anything else but adopted. 2. Your tone regarding adoption sets the tone that they will carry with them about adoption, how they will view it how they perceive it. If you have complaints or negative things to say about adoption they will know and they will internalize it. 3. Listen to your child. You are the parent of a very special person that has a very special bond with you. Make sure you are listening to them and their needs and not just what you perceive their needs to be. 4 Listen to yourself. Don’t focus on how that child came to be in your life remember that you are their mother and/or father. How they became yours doesn’t matter when you are sitting by their bedside while they are sick or taking them to their first day of school. Its all the little moments that add up to you being there for them and doing what is in their best interest.
Very positive book that is empowering to parents who have formed their families through adoption. I would definitely recommend it. amazon.com price $12.06 (pb)