Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friday, November 1, 2013

National Adoption Month

It’s make perfect sense that November will be a special month for the National Adoption Center.

In addition to being National Adoption Month, and following a thorough re-branding exercise, we will be launching our new website. The site will have a much more “national” feel to it, and will be viewable on desktop, tablet and mobile versions. We think you’ll be particularly impressed with the way it lovingly portrays the children and youth on whose behalf we work. November is also special because we will be taking significant steps in our initiative to expand our hugely successful Wednesday’s Child concept across the country. More to come on Wednesday’s Child USA! Lastly, November is special because so many beautiful children will find their forever families, perhaps more than any other month.

We thank you for your generous support and hope you’ll stay connected to the National Adoption Center.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Parental Rights and What's in the Best Interest of the Child

In 2009, a couple from South Carolina sought to adopt a child whose father is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, and whose mother was Hispanic. The girl, Veronica, 4, had been living in the Cherokee Nation with her father since she was 2. Before that, she lived with the adoptive couple. The biological father contested the adoption on the grounds that he was not properly notified. He won his case, and it received extensive coverage in the national media.

In October 2012, the adoptive couple petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the case. SCOTUS issued a 5-4 decision, sending the case back to the state court of South Carolina for further hearings. In July 2013, the South Carolina court finalized the adoption of the child to the adoptive couple, but shortly thereafter the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the girl should not immediately be transferred from the custody of her biological father to the South Carolina couple who adopted her. 

This stay was lifted on September 23, and the child was turned over to her adoptive parents the same day, though further appeals by her biological father are said to be likely.

What do you think of this verdict? Was it in the best interest of the child?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Live in Georgia? Interested in adoption?

We wanted to share this with you from our Georgia partner DHS/DFCS - State permanency unit.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hilton Atlanta Airport
1031 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta, 30354

If you are interested in adopting an older child or a sibling group, please plan to attend the “Make It Happen” Statewide Adoption Match Meeting. Case managers from across the state will be presenting children who are waiting to be adopted through displays and video presentations. During the “Make It Happen” Statewide Adoption Match Meeting you may receive more information about a particular child or children through direct contact with their case manager or representative. An informational meeting will also be held for those families who are interested in beginning the adoption process.

For more information please contact your agency’s resource development case manager or Lisa Lumpe, DHS DFCS contractor, at or toll-free at (855) 289-0349.

This event is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services. To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call (877) 210-KIDS.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

True Permanence

Despite aligned nationwide efforts, some states are still over-relying on the use of APPLA (Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) as a case goal for youth in foster care. The intent was for it be used only when other permanency options such as reunification, adoption, and kinship or guardianship care were ruled out. However, roughly 10 percent of children in care (more than 40,000 youth) are assumed to have this as their case goal. 

The National Adoption Center urges the public sector to restrict the use of APPLA as a permanency goal for youth in care, while at the same time ensure that proper investments are being made to secure other forms of permanency. For many youth with an APPLA goal both adoption and guardianship are achievable, and the reality is that many of these youth, some who are as young as 13, could be moved out of this status. We believe agencies and courts should be restricted in their use of APPLA as a goal. Investments should be made to facilitate the adoption of older youth who cannot return to their biological families. Attitudes must also be changed so that we all believe that older youth deserve and need a home as much as as younger children and that that family is achievable. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Behind-The-Scenes with Wednesday's Child

My name is Jin and I am a Development Associate intern at the National Adoption Center (NAC). This is my 4th month of internship, and I have been learning about NAC’s mission, organizational structure, and functions. Mainly, I have worked in the Development Team by fundraising, creating marketing materials, working on special events, and using a database. But this week I had the opportunity to see what the Program Team does.

One of NAC’s functions is to increase awareness of children in foster care. One way they accomplish this is through the Wednesday’s Child Program on NBC10, where they feature children in foster care with Vai Sikahema, doing what the children like to do. I had the chance to be a part of a Wednesday’s Child taping. In this case Jasper, the child to be featured, enjoyed cooking.

My task for the day was to take pictures of the taping. The Wednesday’s Child Coordinator and I drove to Sur La Table in King of Prussia Mall. The activity for the day was making homemade pasta. We arrived on site and met the staff from NBC 10 and Vai Sikahema.

The kitchen in Sur La Table looked very professional. Stainless steel countertops, cabinets, large sink, large gas stoves, pots hanging from the vent, and tasting tables, it looked like a kitchen that would be on Food Network channel.

Jasper walked in soon after with two social workers. He was a quiet and gentle middle school student. After brief introductions, Angie, Vai, and Jasper crowded around the stainless steel countertop and began cooking.

They started by creating the dough for the noodles by mixing eggs, salt, olive oil, and flour.

Which turned into dough…

Jasper rolled out the dough into noodles.

Jasper added garlic, onions, and basil...

... to a pot, to make his own marinara sauce…

Dishing it all up, he topped the noodles off with cheese…

But he doesn't like marinara sauce, so he chose to have pasta with butter.

The pasta must have been good, because he finished the whole plate. Actually, we all got to taste his pasta and it was delicious. I can’t help but imagine that Jasper was proud of his own cooking. He didn't show it much, but I’m sure he was glad that we all enjoyed the food that he made with his own hands. 

As you can see, we finished the plate!

It was a meaningful time for me, because I was able to meet a child that I was helping. As a Development Associate, most of my time is spent at the office. The work I do indirectly benefits the children by supporting the organization financially. But sometimes that’s hard to remember at the office. So it was good to finally see a child that I have been indirectly serving.

But I imagine the day to be very meaningful to Jasper as well. He was eager to learn about cooking throughout the day. And Angie, the instructor, gave him helpful tips about cooking and let him do most of the work. Sometimes instructors are impatient and end up cooking in place of their students, but Angie stepped back and let Jasper enjoy cooking.

I hope that Jasper continues to explore, experiment, and grow in cooking, that it becomes a hobby, and maybe even a career. But more importantly, I hope that he finds a family that is committed to loving and caring for him, because he’s a great kid. (and look for his taping to air on NBC10 in Philadelphia soon!) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Matching Events

It’s always heartening to hear how many towns, cities and states are using Matching Events to identify adoptive homes for children in the United States foster care system. A core service of the National Adoption Center, we were one of the very first organizations to utilize this unique recruitment opportunity. These “parties” are a proven way to connect children with prospective adoptive parents. Just this morning I read about a daylong recruitment program in South Carolina called "The Voyage for Permanence for Our Waiting Children," where more than seventy-four potential adoptive families and foster parents, along with almost ninety foster children, came together to answer questions and introduce potential family matches.

While kids played games and ate cotton candy and snow cones, adults had the chance to mingle with representatives from the Division of Social Services, therapists, families who have already adopted and other adoption experts. Speakers and panels, made up of both adults and children, answered questions and eased fears over the process, and what potential adoptive families could expect upon bringing a child into their home permanently.

The National Adoption Center is a renown leader in the adoption field, and will continue to spread the word about Matching Events to more communities across the country.