Friday, March 27, 2009

A Special Visit With Mayor Nutter.

Last week, for our Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday’s Child Program, Philadelphia, we had visit with Mayor Nutter. The taping was conducted with a Philadelphia child, Niesha. She wrote a school paper on Mayor Michael Nutter and her research sparked an interest in meeting him.

Their visit started out in the Mayor’s office where he asked Niesha questions about school, sports, family and inquired about her future goals. Niesha happily answered, but she also had the opportunity to ask several questions of her own. She asked about his education, the amount of work he did for the city and she also shared a secret she knew about him that most people don’t. She told him that she knew he used to be a DJ in his younger years. Well, Mayor Nutter was very shocked she had found this out and confessed he was indeed a DJ as a youngster! Wednesday’s Child host Vai Sikahema, Mayor Nutter, and Niesha all laughed.
The visit ended with Mayor Nutter allowing Niesha to sit in his official chair where he presented her with a new, old-school-style Phillies hat. For everyone, the day was a huge success!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

LGBT Cultural Competency for Foster Care and Adoption Agencies

For the past two days our entire staff, including volunteers and interns, along with members of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services have been involved in All Children, All Families training. This training was run by Ann McCabe, a consultant to the All Children, All Families Campaign and a licensed Family and Marriage Therapist and Ellen Kahn, Family Project Director at the Human Rights Campaign. The training provided us with training on LGBT Cultural Competency for Foster Care and Adoption Agencies. Modules included Foundations of Effective Practice with LGBT Parents, Putting Out the Welcome Mat: Establishing Agency Communications, Spaces and Recruitment Practices that Embrace LGBT Families.

Over the course of over 10 hours we were exposed to and got to explore the issues which face the LGBT community in general and specifically when going through the adoption process. We discussed the potential barriers to adoption, like the explicit prohibition in 9 states, and ways we could address the concerns of those facing these challenges.

On the positive side, we also looked at the strengths that LGBT individuals bring to the table when choosing to adopt. Many of those in the community have had to overcome obstacles, grief and loss like so many of the children and youths we see. This compassion and understanding can create a strong bond.

We will be using the training we went through to implement strategies to plan outreach to prospective adoptive/foster parents from the LGBT community. Center staff will also review all agencies materials to assess if the Center materials convey the message that the Center is a welcoming environment for LGBT prospective adoptive parents.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Gottahava Wawa"

In these times of great economic distress, we would like to salute one of our more generous corporate partners. Wawa, a terrific chain of mid-Atlantic convenience stores, recently contributed $110,000 to the Adoption Center. These funds represented the total dollars contributed by its New Jersey Customers via in-store collections in the 3rd Quarter of 2008.

Many of Wawa’s core values are universal:
Value People
Delight Customers
Embrace Change
Do the Right Thing
Do Things Right
Passion for Winning

In the US at this time, we all need to follow their path and value people, embrace change, do the right thing and do things right. Our country and her people would be so much better for it.

The Adoption Center recognizes Wawa for their generous support and would love to hear more stories of extraordinary giving in these extraordinary times.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Opportunities for former foster youth or adopted youth from foster care

From our friends at Voice for Adoption

Opportunities for former foster youth or adopted youth from foster care:

Orphan Foundation of America is accepting scholarship applications for the 2009-2010 school year. Youth in foster care or adopted after their 16th birthday are eligible for college scholarships; the deadline is March 31, 2009. Visit for more information.

FosterClub is accepting applications for its 2009 All-Star internship. Eligible applicants are between the ages of 18-24 and have spent time in foster care, including young people that have been adopted from foster care. Interns will travel and mentor their peers in the system. Applications are due March 1st, please visit:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Economy's Impact on Adoption

Many people are wondering how our tanking economy is affecting adoption. Are fewer people inclined to adopt in these troubled times? Does the availability of adoption subsidies for children in the foster care system make this kind of adoption more affordable? What about those who have spent big bucks to adopt a child from another country?

The answer is that it is too soon to tell. Certainly, many of those who have been able to bear the cost of international adoption, which can be considerable, and of adoption of infants in this country, which is often costly, may not be able to do it now. However, the need for a child is so strong for most people thinking about adoption that they may cut down on other expenses before postponing the addition of a child to their families.

On the other hand, there is little cost to adopting a child from this country’s foster care system. These children who are mainly of school age through teenagers need permanent families; many have been waiting for a long time for parents to give them the security and stability that all children need and deserve. The current economic climate may work in their favor.

Let us know what you think.