Parents of Adopted Children Face More Special Education Challenges

Studies show that adopted children suffer from learning disabilities at more than twice the rate of children born biologically to both parents. The result is that many parents of adopted children find themselves in need of professional special education services.

It brings up a lot of issues, including the possible need to find a special needs private school, or if the child attends a public school, making sure that this public institution has the proper resources to handle disabilities. Some parents resort to home schooling while others hire outside private professional help.

Although it is well known that children of adoptive parents have a significantly higher rate of learning disabilities and other issues, finding reliable data to back it up has been elusive so far. Studies have been done, but statistical results vary widely.

For example, a study conducted at Illinois State University found that fully 40 percent of kids that are adopted are receiving special education services. But another similar study done by the Institute of Family Studies came in with a rate of 24 percent.

Although these results are highly at variance statistically, it is an almost certainty that when looking at all children – both adopted and those belonging to natural parents together – the rate of special needs is 10 percent of all students.

What does it mean? The implications are many. For one, parents who are considering adoption should be aware that the child they plan to adopt is much more likely to require expensive, long-term special education resources.

Other implications from the statistics concern funding decision for various government programs. When lawmakers formulate budgets for special education having reliable data on how much to spend on such resources is critical.

The bottom line, however, is that adopted kids are more likely to require special education resources.

Adoption and Being a Parent to an Adopted Child

Anna Lokey’s husband, Shaun broached the idea of adopting a child, which took her off guard, to the extent that she considered it an understatement. She felt she wasn’t ready to bring up someone else’s child, whereas the husband took it as his duty to adopt a child owing to his childhood experience and upbringing. After a few years, Shaun shared a video with his wife on adoption and beseeched her that it was not about being a perfect parent, but rather being available and participating in their daily lives. It took a long conversation and prayers to have the couple add three more children to their three biological children.

Being a Parent of an Adopted Child

According to Shaun, adoption can be quite exhaustive and expensive. The cost in 2016 stands from $ 20,000 to $ 50,000 per child. The costs are distributed to travel, paperwork and licensing. Prospective parents should look into grant programs. Anna and Shawn adopted Lily in 2010 when she was only two years old, Judah in 2010 at age 6 and Milo in 2014 when he was three years. Each child comes with unique challenges. For instance, Judah had some roots in his language and culture.

Challenges that come along with adoption

The language barrier is also one of the problems faced and the time is taken to adapt. It is also an uphill task trying to connect with your children emotionally since the young adopted children are slow to warm up to their new homes, surroundings, and parents. You have to deal with your fears of rejection and the many ups and downs.

Statistics on adoption and parenting in the U.S Alone

More than 110,000 children were adopted in 2016 according to the National Council for Adoption, a figure down from 2007’s 133,000. The decline is attributed to the drop in foreign adoption and the harsh economic conditions. The State Department reports that in 2016, parents in the United States adopted 5,372 children from other countries, compared to 22,884 children in 2004. The figure has been consistently declining every year since that peak.

The Grueling Process of Adopting a Child

If you are interested in adopting a child, you are probably just getting started with what you need to do. You might be surprised to find out that there is a lot that goes into adopting a child, whether you’re trying to adopt in the country or in a different country altogether. No matter where you’re looking to adopt, it’s vital that you work through a professionally licensed adoption agency. These agencies specifically work with parents who would like to adopt a child and need help with the grueling and often lengthy process.

 

When you meet with the adoption agency, they will run you through a series of tests to ensure that you’re a viable candidate to adopt. Not every parent is a good fit for adoption, and these agencies want to decipher between different folks to find the right one. This might involve health checks, home checks and even a psych evaluation to ensure that you and your partner are stable enough to raise a child. Once you’ve been approved for adoption, you’ll be put onto a waiting list for either a baby, child or teenager depending on who you’d like to be part of your family.

 

The process of adopting is long, grueling and tiresome. In most cases, you should expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars just to adopt one child. This is an incredibly expensive fee that most parents just cannot afford, but it is a necessary evil if you want to add to your family through adoption. If you have any issues with your adoption, it’s important that you talk with the adoption agency to find out more about the problems you’re facing. Adoption isn’t for everyone because of the price and the time involved just to get your new baby home, but it is definitely worth the effort for individuals who either cannot have children naturally or want to help in the fight against kids put into the foster care system.

 

Mother in Open Adoption Describes Process

Amy Seek recently submitted a moving piece to the New York Times where she discussed the realities of open adoption. Seek, a New Jersey architect who lived in New York city during her college years, discussed her experiences with open adoption and, in doing so, revealed her great love for her birth son and his adoptive mother. The piece received a massive response by subscribers to the Times and Amy Seek has also penned a piece thanking readers for their overwhelming show of support and encouragement.

 

In her opinion editorial, Amy Seek describes the emotional process she went through when she decided to give her baby up for adoption, when she opted for an open adoption, and finally had to leave her child behind. Seek became pregnant when she was 23 years old and had already separated from the child’s father. She felt that she was not ready for children because she desired to pursue a career in architecture did not think she could complete this goal with a child. The father of the child was supportive of Seek during her pregnancy, and supported her decision to give the child up for adoption. Both Amy and the father of her child began the process of seeking an adoptive family.

 

Seek describes her meeting with her son’s future birth mother as one where she instantly knew they connected. Seek’s connection to her son’s birth mother extended to the present time. Seek now visits her son routinely as a part of their open adoption process. These visits are both joyous and painful for the architect. She describes her adoption decision as her greatest accomplishment and deepest regret. While she cannot be more pleased with the outcome of her son’s life and deeply respects his mother, she also realizes that she is now ready for children and hurts for her son’s presence in her life. Amy Seek’s story is a hopeful and painful, real life encounter with a courageous decision.

 

Texas Governor Signs Religious Freedom Adoption Bill Into Law

On Thursday, June 15, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbot signed House Bill 3859 into law, protecting religious rights for faith-based adoption groups in state child welfare programs.

 

The new law will allow faith-based groups that work with the Texas child welfare system to deny services, including foster placement and adoption, under any circumstances that “conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

 

Critics of the bill, including Democrats and civil rights groups, claim the bill will allow private, faith-based child welfare groups to discriminate against parents who are of a different religion or who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

 

There are currently more than 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas. Many children in the state age out of the system “more damaged than when they entered,” said one federal judge in a ruling that Texas violated the constitutional rights of foster children. After exiting the system, many former foster children face homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment, and incarceration.

 

Proponents of the new law, including the bill’s sponsor, Representative James Frank, say the law will help children find homes.

 

Frank said the purpose of the Freedom to Serve Children law is to get more people working in child welfare. Rather than exclusion, the law is designed to offer protection to prospective foster and adoptive parents and child welfare workers who have been discriminated against for their religious believes.

 

Frank and other supporters of the bill have said the result should be an increase in foster homes by the end of the year to address the shortage of foster homes as well as adoptive families in Texas.

 

Texas joins several other states that have passed faith-based protective adoption agency laws, including Alabama, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia, and South Dakota, which passed a similar law this year.

 

Adopting White Children as a Person of Color

In a recent article on the Huffington Post, an Indian-American mother shares her story of adopting two white girls. She and her husband decided to adopt the twins after fertility problems, later giving birth to a biological child as well. The author says she loves all her children equally.

 

Though she tries not to make race and culture an everyday serious discussion, the author says it creeps into life often. From sending lunch boxes full of traditional Indian foods to school with her kids to actively seeking out a diverse group of friends, parts of life that other moms barely think about are always on her mind. Though she admits it would make her and her children’s lives easier to just pack a lunch like all the other kids eat, this mother makes an effort to immerse all of her kids in their culture.

 

Despite her efforts, the author always experiences racial awareness whenever she takes her children out in public. Whether they mean to be insensitive or not, people ask her questions that make her heart sink. From “What are they?” to “Are you their nanny?” to “Where are their parents?”, questions from strangers make this mom feel awkward and scared for her twins’ future.

 

Though it comes with daily struggles and hardships, the author says she is happy about her family’s unique traditions. The combination of Indian and American customs are what makes her family one of a kind. She also notes that growing up Indian-American as white girls gives her kids a unique outlook on life. From knowing how to cook traditional dishes and speaking Tamil to forcing people to feel sheepish for making assumptions about them based on their names, these girls have a bright future.

 

How to Be the Right Parent to an Adopted Teen

Adoption is a wonderful process that gives a child in need a loving home and family to call their own. Unfortunately, adopting a teenager can often be a long and difficult road, since you’re taking on the responsibilities of an older child who needs additional care, both physically and mentally. Oftentimes, teens in the foster care system are there because they have problematic histories with crime, drugs and past family calamities. Taking on an adopted teen is difficult work, but it is well worth it considering the fact that you’ll be responsible for turning that child’s life around.

 

If you’ve adopted a teenager recently and are finding that you’re experiencing problems, it might be a good idea to consider seeing a family counselor. Counselors are trained and experienced to handle a wide array of different issues, including those found in adopted families. The adoption agency will probably have a list of approved therapists who are specific to adopted families, so you might want to consider contacting the agency if you’re experiencing problems at home.

 

The key to getting along with your adopted teen is to understand what they’re going through and what their past was like. Keep in mind that you’re bringing a teen into a totally new environment that they might not like, especially if you’re a stricter family with more guidelines and rules than they’re used to following. You need to be as patient as possible with your child because this is the time they need it the most. If they require space away from you, your spouse and your other children, let them have that space and don’t force them to do anything. There is a difference between being a caring, loving and protective parent and being an overbearing one who is making life miserable for their adopted teenager. When it concerns your child, it’s all about giving the situation time in order for you all to get along and consider yourself a family.

 

Foreign Adoption Rates Decrease, Yet Parents are Still Needed

Most people know that adopting a child is not easy. The cost can be prohibitive, there may be laws that complicate the adoption if the child is coming from out of the country, and there is a risk of complications with a birth parent. Some adopted children come from homes where they’ve been abused which make it difficult for the bonding process with their adoptive family. Adoption inherently carries risk. Yet, parents still seek out a child to add to their family.

 

 

Recently, the number of foreign adoptions has dropped drastically. Some countries like Russia have enacted laws that ban parents from certain countries from adopting children from Russia. Many such policies are politically motivated. Adoption is used as a tool to punish citizens of a particular country. Other countries have laws based on ideology or religion that may ban single parents or gay couples from adopting.

 

 

Another barrier to successful adoptions is the cost. Some countries have begun to see adoption as a business. When that happens, fees can soar up to $30,000 or more, making the cost prohibitive to many potential parents. Many parents are willing to sacrifice their financial stability to bring their child home with them.

 

 

The process of adopting a child is complicated, but many loving families are still willing to go through the heart-wrenching process. Thousands of children are left orphaned each year. At the heart of the adoption process should be what is best for the children involved. Their health and welfare should be what drives the policies not political ideologies or an opportunity to make money. When governments, adoptive workers, and parents act with the best interest of the child in mind, the process can be made more bearable. Perhaps if everyone involved was able to remember that a child lies at the heart of the adoptive process, then more children could be matched with families who want them.

 

Americans Declining In Overseas Adoptions

The rate of overseas adoptions by American families is declining, according to a recent report in the New York Times. Because America has, for the last century, been the number one country for overseas adoptions in the world, this news is not pleasant for the global adoption system. A number of factors have contributed to the sharp decline in American overseas adoptions including strict stipulations put in place by foreign governments that desire to promote domestic adoption over overseas adoption, foreign adoption agencies that have been shut down due to the deceptive actions of a small percentage of agency workers, and widespread corruption in some countries.

 

Stipulations in Foreign Adoptions

Many stipulations in government adoption procedures have procured Americans from finalizing overseas adoptions during the last few years. Countries like Ethiopia are currently from a drastic increase in the legislative measures that have been enforced regarding overseas adoption. These legislative procedures are often put in place to protect the rights of domestic adoptees to the first selection of children, but these measures often serve to place an indefinite halt on the adoption of American overseas families.

 

Adoption Agency Shutdowns

The Ethiopian government is also an example of a government facing severe legislation due to agency shutdowns. The country’s orphans are suffering due to incompetence on behalf of certain agency officials. In one section of the country, agency workers were caught lying to caregivers about the adoption process by saying that children could be placed in the adoption facility for a period of time while they were educated. Violations in adoption agency procedures like this one can cause an entire country to face terrible consequence. Abandoned orphans who need a home suffer worst of all.

 

Corruption in Adoption Procedures

Corruption plagues many countries in almost every area and the adoption agency is, unfortunately, not immune to its negative consequences. Because of the corruption that occurs with money being exchanged for children, many countries have been complete banned from adoption procedures within the United States.

 

Embryo Adoption Gives Hope to Couples Seeking to Adopt Children or Dispose of Their Unused Embryos

When it comes to adoption, most people think of adopting a fully grown child. What about adopting an embryo? Well, two US couples decided to go the embryo adoption way with one as the donor and the other as the recipient of the embryo.

 

Following successful IVF treatment, the Gassmans were left wondering what to do with their leftover embryos now that they were certain they were not going to be able to carry any more children. They looked at all the options they had from destroying the embryos and donating them to scientific research before finally settling down on given them up for adoption. For the Hendersons, having unsuccessfully undergone IVF treatment, they were looking for a way of getting a child without going the traditional adoption route. When their family doctor informed them that they could adopt an embryo, they quickly jumped on the idea and were eventually matched to the Gassmans. Both couples are happy with the decision they made. Both also have the opportunity to enjoy parenthood. They have even decided to remain in touch, and their children know each other.

 

What is Embryo Adoption?

 

Embryo adoption involves implanting a donated embryo into the uterus of a woman in the same way as the implantation process used in fertility treatments for biological parents. The process is much cheaper than in vitro fertilization with a donor egg. Embryo adoption costs nearly half the cost of traditional IVF treatment with a donor egg. However, in embryo adoption, once you donate your embryo for adoption, you cannot change your mind later and insist on keeping such as during traditional adoption. Once embryos are donated, they are viewed as commodities and no longer belong to the biological parents. Consequently, if you’re not sure you want to give away your embryo, you are better off not donating it in the first place.

 

Embryo donation programs report that their process is 10% more successful than traditional in vitro treatment. The variation between the two processes is that in embryo donation, open communication is allowed between the donors and the recipients. Therefore, both parties can get to know each other in advance before making their final decision on whether to go on with the process.