March News & Resources for the Adoption Constellation

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Adoption

Welcome! For a few years, I have been sending a monthly email of resources to therapists interested in best supporting their clients who are a part of the adoption constellation. Starting with this blog, I want to publish a similar version for ‘clients’ – those in the adoption constellation who may be looking for groups, conferences, podcasts, books, etc. This will primarily be an edited version of my email to therapists. I hope it is helpful to you!

P.s. The events calendar is at the end of the post


Seeking Research Participants

Racial and Ethnic Identity Development Process in Transracial Adoptees

This is a research study that looks into understanding the racial and ethnic identity development process in transracial adoptees (TRA). This study is being conducted by Banujah Koelmeyer, a second-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Northwest University. To qualify for participation, you must be an adult age 21 or older. Completion of this study typically takes approximately 30-45 minutes and is strictly confidential. I would like to videotape the interviews on a HIPAA-compliant Zoom service. Your responses will be treated confidentially and will not be linked to any identifying information about you. For more information visit: https://northwestupsych.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1Y2c2ijIQhSlppc

Transracial Adoptees needed for study on Racial Identity Development and Mental Health

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the experiences of adult transracial adoptees living in the U.S. In particular, this survey explores if and how transracial adoption impacts racial identity development and mental heath for adult transracial adoptees. You are being asked to participate in this survey because you self-identify as an adult transracial adoptee over the age of 18. This survey includes general demographic questions (age, sexual/gender identity, religion etc.) and questions about mental heath (including past experiences of abuse, self-harm and suicidality). It also includes questions about white adoptive family, and experiences related to racial identity and racism across your lifespan. This survey is 85 questions and will take you about 25 minutes to complete. The survey is voluntary, you can exit the survey at any time, and you will remain anonymous unless you choose to provide identifying information at the end of the survey.

Adoptees of Color raised in Jewish Families

This study is designed to explore the lived experiences of adoptees of color who were raised by white parents (transracial adoptees) in predominantly Jewish families. Here are a few reasons David has created this study:

  • Very little is known about the experiences of adoptees within Judaism
  • Share your voice, create new knowledge, and help build more inclusive Jewish communities!

The survey can be accessed through this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ShadesOfBelonging


In a huge and largely unexpected development, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer charge a filing fee for adult intercountry adoptees who acquired citizenship while under the age of 18 but still need to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600). The fee exemption will save intercountry adoptees thousands of dollars and will remove what is the largest barrier for many adoptees who need to secure proof of US citizenship.

Currently, the filing fee for Form N-600 is $1,170.00, and it will increase to $1,335.00 on April 1, 2024. Under the new rules that also go into effect on that date, however, adult intercountry adoptees who apply for a Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600) will not be charged a fee. They will pay $0.00 to file form N-600, which can also be filed online.

It’s yet to be determined how the process will specifically work for adoptees or their attorneys in applying for a Certificate of Citizenship once the new rule is in place. We will provide a FAQ and other information and as soon as we learn more. At a minimum, any intercountry adoptee who needs to secure a Certificate of Citizenship should wait until the fee exemption becomes effective on April 1, unless other circumstances require filing now.

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More legislation that has been introduced to Congress

The Adoption Counts Act


H.R. 6700: Would require state courts to report the number of private adoptions each year to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Equal Citizenship for Children Act

HR1386: Would amend current law so that those who were or are under 18 years of age and residing in the United States in the legal custody of a US citizen parent (whether adoptive or biological and including naturalized US citizens) would automatically acquire US citizenship, retroactive to those born after 12:00pm EST on January 9, 1941. The person, while under the age of 18, must also have been residing in the United States as a legal permanent resident (i.e., possessed a green card) or had a “pending application to adjust status to lawful permanent resident.”

The ADOPT Act

HR6220: Seeks to reduce unregulated and unethical practices in adoption. The Adoption Deserves Oversight, Protection, and Transparency (ADOPT) Act seeks to crack down on unlicensed for-profit baby brokers and prohibits certain advertising and payments associated with adoptions.


Out of Place: The Lives of Korean Adoptee Immigrants with SunAh Laybourn

Conversation Piece with Patrick Armstrong

On this week’s episode, good friend Dr. SunAh Laybourn joins the show to talk about her new book Out of Place: The Lives of Korean Adoptee Immigrants. Dr. Laybourn shares how the book developed over the past seven years, what it means to challenge our own identities as Korean adoptees and as immigrants, and the importance of building upon the scholarship that has come before.

Unfiltering Adoption: What’s Been Filtered From Us Hurts Us

Adoption: The Long View

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Perhaps different this month than others, I want to bring your attention to two video experiences that are not YouTube based. First, my friend Michael gave me permission to share this link with you for a recording of a documentary in which he took part. It may be a part of history of which you were not aware. Second, is a website that shares a variety of stories about people who left Korean orphanages, some to adoption in various countries and some aging out.

White Nanny, Black Child

UK Documentary

Watch here

Side by Side

Watch here


Holidays can be hard on kids with sensory needs. Along with the fun and excitement comes a change of routine, expectations, itchy clothes, and often overwhelming sensations. For kids impacted by adoption and/or foster care there are also the complications of missing biological family, familiar food, and traditions – and perhaps feeling like they don’t quite fit in with their current family. It’s no wonder that dysregulation can occur during or after holidays. While parents work to minimize changes to routine, expectations, and overwhelm, it is important to consider the sensory experience of the holiday whether that is lights or attire or candy. Extra sugar may seem like a way to create dysregulation, but there can be ways to fill an Easter basket with other objects that can aid in sensory regulation… read the full blog (with links) here


Summer Camps

It is hard to believe it is time to be planning for summer already, but some camps are open for registration and some already have waiting lists

Adopteen Camp-Conference

June 24-28, Washington DC​

Adopteen Camp-Conference

July 15-20, Colorado Springs

Transracial Journeys Family Camp

August 1-4, Ohio University

C.O.F.F.E.E.

June 27-30

This family-oriented camp experience is open to all Ethiopians, Ethiopian-Americans, And Ethiopian Adoptive Families and friends, to share a taste of the traditions from the horn of Africa and come together to celebrate families in all shapes and sizes.

African / Caribbean Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, June 6-9, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Chinese Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, August 30- September 2, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Chinese Heritage Camp II

In-Person Camp, July 25-28, 2024
Registration opens January 15 2024!

Domestic Adoption Camp

In-Person Camp, June 27-30, 2024
Registration opens January 15 2024!

Indian/Nepalese Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, July 11-14, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Korean Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, June 13-16, 2024
Registration opens in January 15, 2024!

Latin American Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, June 20-23, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Russian / Eastern European / Central Asian Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, July 18-21, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Southeast Asian Heritage Camp / Pacific Islander Heritage Camp

In-Person Camp, Aug 1-4, 2024
Registration opens January 15, 2024!

Camp To Belong (CTB) reunites brothers and sisters who have become separated by the foster care system through a week of camp in the summer and other events throughout the year. CTB believes that all youth deserve the opportunity to spend meaningful time with their brothers and sisters.

Camp to Belong has camps in various locations, so seek it in in your state or country.

Wisconsin Adoptee Camp

July 22-27, Williams Bay

Oregon Adoptee Camp

July 29-August 3, Cheshire

New Jersey Adoptee Camp

August 5-19, Pittstown


What the Kyte Baby Drama Reveals About Paid Leave For Adoptive Parents

by Jennifer Heimlich

‘I slept with my half-sibling’: Woman’s horror story reflects loosely regulated nature of US fertility industry

CNN

While this is more NPE world than adoption-specific, the same can happen for anyone who does not know biological family


Apply Now to Participate

The More Than Art Group will take place on the following Sundays: April 7th, April 21st, May 5th, and May 19th at 3PM CST (4PM EST, 1PM PST). The group will run for 90 minutes. Before submitting your application, please confirm that you can commit to the session dates. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.

https://onyourfeetfoundation.org/birthparent-services/more-than-art.html



Iselin Huseby-Lie (2023) Children’s perspectives on contact with birth parents: a mixed-methods systematic review, European Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2023.2235090 (full text)

ABSTRACT

This mixed-methods systematic review asks what is known about children’s perspectives on contact with birth parents when in out-of-home care. To address this question 37 studies were coded to identify children’s experiences and thoughts regarding contact with their parents. Data synthesis was performed in three stages. The frequency of the identified factors across all included research was determined and qualitative and quantitative syntheses were performed. The results reveal that children hold thoughts and views on several aspects of contact with their birth parents, and the breadth of variation in their attitudes and wishes regarding contact is great. However, the study’s main findings indicate that children want more contact when their relationship with their parents is positive. Parental behaviour prior to and during contact seems to affect children’s perceptions of contact, and we suggest that contact should be facilitated in a way that contributes to positive relationships and creates good experiences for children.

Goldberg, A. E., & Gabriele-Black, K. A. (2024). To Tell or Not to Tell: Disclosure Experiences and Perceived Microaggressions Among Adopted Adolescents With Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents. Journal of Adolescent Research0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/07435584241233981

ABSTRACT

There is limited research on stigma experiences and disclosure practices among adolescents who: (a) are adopted, (b) who have LGBTQ+ parents, and (c) who are sexual or gender minorities themselves. At a time when LGBTQ+ identities are both increasingly visible and also publicly debated, we conducted interviews with 50 adolescents (M age = 14.86 years) in 12 two-father, 20 two-mother, and 18 father/mother families. Following protocols approved by Clark University’s Institutional Review Board and through the frameworks of sexual stigma, microaggressions, and communication privacy management, we used thematic analysis to explore themes of disclosure practices, peer responses to disclosure, and parent responses to sexual and gender identity disclosure. Adolescents described various disclosure decisions around their adoptive status, LGBTQ+ parent family structure, and their own sexual and gender identities, ranging from rare to reactive to proactive disclosure. Such decisions were in some cases shaped by the intersections among participants’ race, gender, and family structure. Participants often selectively disclosed because of concerns related to privacy and negative peer reactions. Many adolescents reported instances of microaggressions from peers around their identities. Parent reactions to their children’s sexual and gender identity disclosure were more complex than peers’ reactions. Findings have implications for therapists and other professionals working with adolescents and their families.

Anthony B. Cifre, Christopher J. Budnick, Johanna Bick, Eleanor L. McGlinchey, Carol H. Ripple, Amy R. Wolfson & Candice A. Alfano (2024) Sleep Health among Children Adopted from Foster Care: The Moderating Effect of Parent–Child Sleep Interactions, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, DOI: 10.1080/15402002.2024.2303467

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Sleep disruption is prevalent among children placed in foster care, elevating risk for a range of deleterious outcomes. Theoretically, achieving permanency via adoption may have a positive influence on children’s sleep via the presence of various factors, but little is known about the sleep health of children adopted from foster care, including predictors and moderators of sleep health.

Method: The current study included 226 parents who adopted a child from foster care in the U.S. (aged 4–11 years) within the past two years and a propensity score matched sample of 379 caregivers of children currently in foster care. Both samples completed online questionnaires about their child’s sleep, physical, and mental health.

Results: Comparatively, children in foster care experienced more nightmares, night terrors, moving to someone else’s’ bed during the night, and worse overall sleep quality, whereas adopted children were reported to experience significantly more nighttime awakenings. In the adopted sample, a greater number of prior foster placements unexpectedly predicted lower total sleep disturbance scores, but this relationship was moderated by parent–child interactions around sleep. In general, greater parental involvement in children’s sleep was associated with lower levels of child sleep disturbance.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that while specific sleep problems might remit after children in foster care achieve permanence, nighttime sleep fragmentation often persists. Parent–child interactions surrounding sleep may be pivotal in improving sleep health in this population.​


Events to Note

For Foster/Adoptive Parents

Thursdays in March Hope for Healing by ATTACh

April-June Becoming The Parent You Promised To Be by Cam Lee Smalls

May 9-10 AAFCNY Foster Care & Adoption Conference, Hyde Park, New York with virtual delivery

June 26-28, 2024 NCFA conference, Fort Worth, Texas

July 17-18 Families Rising Adoptions & Foster Care (virtual) Conference

September 12-14 Connect to ATTACh: Healing Through Awareness conference, Denver (proposals accepted through January 26)

Tuesdays in September & October Transracial Parenting by Adoption Mosaic

Wednesday’s 1:30 PST Zoom Support Group from Fostering Unity

Wednesday’s 6:30 EST Weekly Parent Self-Care from AFFCNY

3rd Mondays Adoptive & Foster Parent Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

3rd Friday’s Single Parent Support Circle from AFFCNY

Fourth Wednesday’s Weaving Cultures Transracial Adoptive Parent Support Group by Adoption Network Cleveland

Fourth Wednesday’s Parents of Young (ages 4-7) Adoptees Group online from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Monthly Parents of Kids (ages 8-10) Adoptee Group online from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Monthly Parents of Teen Adoptees Group online from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Monthly Dad Squad online peer support from AFFCNY

Monthly Single Parents of Adoptees Group online from Boston Post Adoption Resources

in person trainings available from Adoption Network Cleveland

Monthly Foster the Family Support Group meetings live in more than 20 cities

For the Constellation

March 11 Coming to Consciousness: An Adoptee’s Journey with Patrick Armstrong by Adoption Network Cleveland

March 21 Book Club: The Branches We Cherish: An Open Adoption Memoir. with Linda Sexton by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

March 27 Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood by On Your Feet Foundation

April 1 “Somebody’s Daughter” Film Screening – Online American Debut with Zara Phillips by Adoption Network Cleveland

April 7-10 Protecting Our Children Conference by National Indiana Child Welfare Association (NICWA)

April 10 To Be Real & You Don’t Look Adopted with Anne Heffron by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

April 13 LGBTQIA+ Adoptees + Reunion, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

April 25-28 Untangling Our Roots summit, Denver

May 11 Alternative Healing Modalities, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

May 18 Adult Children of Adoptees, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

September 14 Adoptees Whose Parents Have Adopted 5+ Children, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

October 12 Adoptees with a BIPOC parent + White Parent, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

November 9 Adoptee Abolitionists, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

November 16 Birth/First Parents + “Open” Adoptions, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

December 14 Adoptees + Infertility, We The Experts: adoptee panel series

Every Tuesday Addiction & Adoption Constellation Support Group by Celia Center​

Every Friday National Association of Adoptees and Parents Happy Hour

First Tuesdays DNA Discovery Support Group by Adoption Network Cleveland

2nd Thursdays DNA Discoveries Peer Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

Third Thursdays online Search and Reunion Group by Boston Post Adoption Resources

For Children & Teens

Mondays March-April Teen Adoptee Support Group by Adoption Wise

June 25-28 Adopteen Camp-Conference, Washington, DC

July 15-20 Adopteen Camp-Conference, Colorado Springs

Every other Thursday Teen Adopt Connect support group with Lesli Johnson and Angela Gee

First Tuesday’s Adoptee Group for Kids Ages 8-10 (online) from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Second Tuesday’s Tween Adoptee Group for Ages 11-12 (online) from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Third Tuesday’s Teen Adoptee Group age 13-15 (online) from Boston Post Adoption Resources

Fourth Tuesday’s Teen Adoptee Group age 16-18 (online) from Bost Post Adoption Resources

Virtual AdopTween meetings

For Adoptees

June 21-23 KAAN conference, Chicago

July 26-28 BIPOC Adoptees Voices Conference

August 9-12 Adult Adoptee Retreat by Adopteen, Nathrop, Colorado

1st Thursday Adoptee Support Group with Marie Dolfi

2nd & 4th Fridays By Us For Us Young Adults Adoptees of Color Community Connections with Angela Gee and Robyn Park

​Every other Tuesday Adoptee Paths to Recovery addiction support group by NAAP

Bimonthly LGBTQ Adult Adoptee Support Group by Boston Post Adoption Resources

Bimonthly People of Color Adult Adoptee Support Group by Boston Post Adoption Resources

First Monday’s Adult Adoptee Group (online) from Boston Post Adoption Resources

First Friday’s Adoptees’ Meetup by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

3rd Wednesdays Men’s Adoptee Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

3rd Wednesdays Adult Adoptee Only Support Group by Celia Center

4th Tuesdays Intersecting Identities: Adopted persons who are (or who identify as) Autistic, ADHD, and/or otherwise neurodivergent by Jenna Cacciola & Jodi Moore

4th Thursdays Multicultural Adoptee Women’s Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

Final Tuesdays Women Adoptee Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

Monthly College/University Adoptee Virtual Group details through DM

Enneagram for Adoptes virtual group for ages 25+ by Adoption Connection​

Adoptees Connect groups can be found globally

For Birth Parents

April 3 Birth Mother Support Group by Adoption Network Cleveland

Sundays April-May More Than Art by On Your Feet Foundation

18th of each month Birth First Parents Only Support Group by Celia Center

1st Tuesdays Birthmoms Connect support call from On Your Feet Foundation

2nd Tuesdays Birth/First Parent Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

2nd Thursdays First Families: Birthparents Journeying Together Support Group from NAAP with Amber Jimerson

2nd Thursdays Birthmoms Connect support call from On Your Feet Foundation

3rd Wednesdays Navigating Closed/Reunion Adoption support call from On Your Feet Foundation

3rd Saturday CUB Support Group via Zoom

3rd Sunday CUB Monthly Writer’s Group

4th Mondays Birth/First Parent Peer Support Group by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates

4th Tuesdays Birthmoms Connect support call from On Your Feet Foundation

On Your Feet Foundation has monthly support calls available

Concerned United Birthparents message boards

Brooke Randolph, LMHC, LPC, LPCC-S

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