Monday, December 22, 2008

Playing Santa

We would like to thank two organizations whose employees have done so much to help children living in foster care this holiday season. Marriott & Renaissance held their Annual Philadelphia Holiday Open House and asked those coming to donate gifts. Marriott employees added many extra gifts and did a flurry of wrapping, bringing in over 200 presents for NAC to distribute.

Wendy's restaurants in the region again collaborated to bring together gifts for the 31 children and teens on their lists. They did a marvelous job getting most, if not all, of the gifts on each child's list.

Our offices have really looked like the North Pole lately. We are grateful for all of the work our friends have done to help brighten the holidays for these children. The best gift of course is a permanent home, we'll continue to work on that and hope you help us in that goal too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home for the Holidays

We wanted to highlight the efforts of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, an organization that supports foster children year-round. The organization’s namesake founder was an adoptee himself who, though his success with the Wendy’s corporation, built the foundation upon the principle of “Do what's best for the child.” The foundation has accomplished this goal repeatedly with the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, which finds permanent homes for foster children through fundraising and advocacy, with the goal of finding adoptive families for 8,000 - 10,000 children by 2010. Thus far, 2,600 children in the U.S. foster care system have been matched with families who can provide a permanent home.

The holiday season is often the hardest time of year for children who have either lost or never had a loving family. To celebrate those children who have found adoptive families, while at the same time drawing attention to those who remain in foster care, the Dave Thomas Foundation is once again airing A Home for the Holidays on December 23. This program, which can be seen on CBS, features celebrities such as this year’s Faith Hill, who draw attention to the needs of children in foster care. The program also highlights children and their adoptive families, allowing them to share their success stories with viewers.

The media’s portrayal of adoption too often reflects high-profile celebrity adoptions of international children. This program provides a stage for the thousands of overlooked foster children in this country to be seen. Tune in on Tuesday, December 23 8:00 - 9:00 EST/PST to celebrate these children and find out how you can help.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holidays and the Blues

Holidays can be a difficult time for adopted children and their families. This time of year can remind a child of difficult holidays in the past or, on the other hand, make them long to be around people that are no longer in their lives. It is important to respect the unique difficulties that your child will face, but not to allow them to dwell upon the negative aspects of the holiday season. The best thing to alleviate a child’s holiday blues is to provide as many shared experiences as possible, especially if it’s your family’s first Christmas together. By creating new traditions, you will ensure that subsequent holidays are easier and more enjoyable for the whole family.

There are many ways for your family to bond over the holidays. Holiday pictures are a great way to make your child feel that they truly are a part of the family. Help your child to create hand-made gifts for friends and loved ones. This is a great opportunity for your child to open up to those around them and also provides a creative outlet that will distract them from feelings of loss or loneliness. The best gifts are not necessarily store-bought. If your child is old enough, try to get them involved with a charitable cause this holiday season. For example, animal shelters are always in need of supplies, so getting your child involved in making a donation can help them feel good about themselves. Come up with some other ideas to make sure that this is you child’s best holiday ever.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Single Parents, Gay Parents

A recent survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Action for Children found that over a third of respondents oppose adoption by single and gay parents (thirty-seven and thirty-eight percent, respectively.) Public opinion has changed very little recently on same-sex adoption and these figures are consistent with the recent Pew Center survey which also indicated that a large minority of the population still disapproves of adoption by members of the LGBT community.

The more surprising finding is that there is an equally large group of people who believe that single parents should not adopt, regardless of sexual orientation. More than 80% of respondents cited the need for both “male and female role models” as the reasoning behind their opposition. The fact that many social workers have been found to have similarly conservative views does not give much hope to single and gay adoptive parents.

It is the policy of the National Adoption Center that no person should be denied consideration in the adoption process solely based on marital status, sexual orientation, lifestyle, disability, physical appearance, race, gender, age, religion and/or size of family. The support group that single parents surround themselves with will ensure that their adoptive child has the all of the “role models” that they need whether it be the parents themselves or an entire community.

There are challenges to be overcome, but none of them are insurmountable with the right information. The requirements of the thousands of foster children in this country can be met by many different families, including those that do not fit the traditional structure. Share your opinions on same-sex and single adoption with others and hopefully public opinion will change, shifting the focus to what is truly important: a child’s best interests.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Florida Ban Repealed

You may have missed this in the run-up to Thanksgiving, but last week a Miami judge approved the adoption of two children by the parent who has been fostering them, who happens to be gay.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederm ruled the ban on adoptions by gay people unconstitutional. Thus bringing down a 31-year old law.

While this matter may still go to the Florida Supreme Court, we applaud this first step.
To read more, click here.