Adoption News Round-up 2

news-1729539_1920Here is a selection of adoption news stories from around the world in the past few months.

In the United States, the rights of same-sex couples to adopt is a hotly contested issue. In Michigan, Catholic adoption agencies have filed a lawsuit to prevent them from being forced by the state to accept same-sex adoption. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/catholic-group-sues-over-michigan-policy-adoption-181946059.html

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Tennessee have dropped legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same sex adopters.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tennessee-spikes-bill-allowing-lgbt-adoption-refusals-231107240.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20vbmV3cy9zZWFyY2g_cT1hZG9wdGlvbiZxZnQ9aW50ZXJ2YWwlM2QlMjI5JTIyJmZvcm09UFRGVE5S&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJP5GI2gsqomD3n9l7wn0Ns3neCyWFhjYfvDCem2vdAAqvoqphziiCL9-FmfP2oK39RMwslnABmO9THk795cyoW8zykRDQuFgabJlBrp1WNlv8HNPOEp6vcoQE4_jFGeSkklOfKxFK1on1VUvKyKJ0lpjxiet2dYYZG4cDAf0VE9

The negative attitudes around same-sex adopters are not confined to the United States. Fortunately, it seems that in the UK, sense prevails and discrimination of this sort is not tolerated: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-48694066

Also in the United States there have been a couple of stories that expose the difficulties surrounding adoption and US citizenship. In this case citizenship was refused despite a retroactive adoption order: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900067448/citizenship-in-limbo-for-utah-man-after-feds-refuse-to-recognize-adoption.html

The person in the following story has lived almost his entire life in the US, yet has been deported to Brazil. He cannot even speak Portuguese: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/im-an-american-man-adopted-by-u-s-parents-deported-to-brazil/

Adoption often raises issues about cultural identity. There is the argument that it is in the best interests of the child to remain with the parents that s/he has known almost his or her entire life. The flip side of this is the concern that children adopted outside of their own cultures will lose a vital connection to their roots. These arguments are made in the following two stories:

https://buffalonews.com/2019/04/29/adoption-case-pits-girls-foster-parents-from-birth-against-an-aunt-shes-never-met/

https://www.theroot.com/battle-pits-native-american-tribes-against-white-couple-1835288327

This is an adoptee’s take on the issue:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/transracial-adoption-listen-understand

Another adoption issue that has been endlessly debated is that of openness. Attitudes in Europe, the US and Australia seem to have moved towards an acknowledgement of the importance for an adopted person of knowing who they are and where they come from. But in other parts of the world, attitudes can be quite different as evidenced in this article from India: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/42-parents-keep-adoption-a-secret/articleshow/69301056.cms

Perhaps the tragic stories of the consequences of secret adoptions that have emerged from Ireland recently have helped to change attitudes in Europe: https://inews.co.uk/news/real-life/adoption-scandal-tusla-patrick-fitzsymons-st-patricks-guild-birth-mother/

The problem has not gone away completely, of course. These children’s adoptions will be kept a secret because they are illegal. I wonder how they will feel if one day they discover they were bought and sold? https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/05/11/police-dismantle-illegal-infant-adoption-ring/

An interesting article from the UK reveals the benefits of openness and positive managed direct contact with birth families: https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2019/05/07/hello-think-youre-sister-can-manage-post-adoption-contact-social-media-age/

You are never going to please all the people all of the time, and changing legislation to try to get the right balance between privacy and openness in adoption remains fraught with problems: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/zappone-rejects-claim-that-adoption-bill-errs-on-side-of-secrecy-1.3923060

This recent ruling by a UK court is pertinent: https://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed200419

Here is a story about how adoption works in Australia: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6942273/Deborra-Lee-Furness-speaks-husband-Hugh-Jackman-adoption-journey.html

In the case above, the adopting couple is famous. They have not courted publicity around the adoption of their children, and for this I applaud them. I have very real concerns about the media attention paid to adoptions by some celebrities. I fear they give quite a skewed perception of the adoption process and what life with an adopted child or children can be like. I wonder how the single adopters mentioned in this article will cope with the challenges adoption can present? Unlike celebrities they are not likely to have a substantial team of administrative and domestic staff to provide practical support and help: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/27/single-parent-adoptions-reach-record-high-uk-family-lawyers/

Similarly, the findings in the following article surprise me. I wonder if these adopters are being given accurate information before they make their decision and if they are properly prepared and supported to parent children who will inevitably have very complex needs: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/28/rising-number-parents-adopt-help-children-had-tough-start-rather/

When looking through media reports concerning adoption one can find many thoughtful and sensitive articles on the subject. Inevitably, one also comes across a bunch of sensationalist articles which are hugely unhelpful. I was about to include the links to some that I have found, but they do not need any wider dissemination in my opinion. Instead, I will end with this link to an article that describes the impact that a negative perception of adoption can have on an individual’s experience: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Tackling-peoples-perception-of-adoption/47534

photomontage-Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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