- Adoption Institute Issues New Report on Adoption and the Internet: In December, the Donaldson Adoption Institute released Untangling the Web II: A Research-Based Roadmap for Reform, a second report in its study of the Internet’s impact on adoption. The report finds the Internet is being widely used in an array of positive ways, but also warns that it is contributing to the increasing commodification of children and commercialization by for-profit brokers, while enabling greater exploitation of pregnant women considering adoption for their babies and of adults seeking to adopt.
- Voice for Adoption Reminds Parents and Youth to Fill Out Financial Aid Forms Early: As of January 1, students could begin submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms for the 2014-2015 school year. Voice for Adoption worked closely with Congress to pass the Fostering Adoption to Further Student Achievement Act, which became law as an amendment to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (Public Law 110-84).Effective in July 2009, a provision reduced the disincentive for older youth to be adopted by allowing them the same status as youth who age out of foster care. Under the law, youth who are adopted from foster care on or after their 13th birthday are considered “independent students” and do not have to include their parent’s income when completing the FAFSA form. (See question 53 on the FAFSA application.) Find a tip sheet from VFA here.
- Big Lessons That Transcend the Movie: There Are Philomenas All Around Us: As I was leaving the theater over the weekend, after watching the mesmerizing movie “Philomena,” a couple of middle-aged women nearby were talking about how much they had learned from the film. “It’s awful what happened in Ireland back then,” one of them said. “I’d never known about it before.”
What they learned, in a nutshell, was that girls and young women like the real-life Philomena – who got pregnant out of wedlock in that country during the 1950s – were frequently forced to work under brutal conditions in convent laundries as “penance” for their “sins.” And then their sons and daughters were routinely, mercilessly spirited away from them to be adopted by wealthy Americans, most if not all of whom showed their gratitude to the church with generous “donations.” Click here to continue reading this article from Adam Pertman.
- Book Review: Lost Daughters – Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace: Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace gathers the well-articulated stories of around two dozen adult women who have been adopted. The stories shared are powerful and painful, open and honest, and realistically complex. No one is standing on a soapbox; these are real, lived experiences that the Lost Daughters continue to process, understand, and share. The book does not tell adoptees or adoptive parents how to feel, it simply believes that “the voices of adult adoptees make adoption better.” Read more on the Adoption at the Movie blog here.
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