A new bill offered in the U.S. House and Senate would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people, according to national LGBT groups. Rep. Michele Bachmann is the sole member of the Minnesota delegation in Congress sponsoring the bill.
Strive for one as we may, there’s really never a finish line in sight when it comes to the search for one’s true self. The same existential questions keep nagging at us for the entire short time we’re here, each adding layer upon layer of doubt that make it hard for any of us to know our innermost core. Who am I? What’s my purpose? Who would I be if things were just a little bit different? For adoptees, especially those who came from an entirely different culture and are given American names like Rachel, those same matters of identity take on an even more insurmountable amount of weight. Continue Reading
African American children are currently overrepresented in the child welfare system. During Black History Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services is encouraging families to adopt children waiting in foster care.
On November 16, the Daily Planet featured a Q and A with Sarah Hamlin, an adoptive parent who volunteers with an organization called Adoption Option, which encourages young women to consider adoption if they find themselves pregnant and unprepared.
Jess and Anna Heitland want to adopt—so much so that they have created a Facebook page entitled “Jess and Anna Want to Adopt,” a gmail account (using the same handle: firstname.lastname@example.org), business cards, window decals, YouTube videos, a craigslist ad and a website, www.JessAnnaAdopt.com. They have also posted their profile on a third-party site called Adoptimist.com.The Heitlands began their journey to adoption in September 2011 with the traditional home studies and interviews for Lutheran Social Services that most adoptive parents have done in the past, plus they created their pages for “the book,” a resource for birth mothers. The book is a scrapbook in which prospective parents are allowed four double-sided pages to attach the two forms everyone fills out, write notes, post pictures and generally state their case for being the best match for a baby.The Heitlands decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest if the adoption were open, meaning the biological and adoptive parents have access to some personal information about each other. Michelle Frazier, senior program manager of infant adoption at Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN), says 95 percent of all adoptions completed through the infant adoption program include some degree of openness; the organization promotes open adoption for all, but honors the wishes of birthparents who choose closed adoption.Lutheran Social Services provides online classes and a day class onsite that give prospective parents the tools they need to be as involved as they wish in the adoption process.“Adoption can include an emotional wait for many families, so for some families, adoption outreach is a good fit because it empowers families to make their own choices and be more proactive with their adoption plan,” says Frazier. “Families range in their comfort level with engaging in adoption outreach. Continue Reading
As I told a coworker, about to enter the same policy degree program I graduated from, policy school is a mind-changing experience. You get the chance to take apart and put together policies, for practice, in a safe, apolitical environment, and see what makes things work. It’s a grind learning it. But there is a point. Ultimately, it can give you a handle on what government does well, and what it does poorly.Policy analysts (not me, but others I admire) are an interesting mix —- some are weird bean counters, and others are big-thinking idealists. Continue Reading
Editor’s note: The name of the 13-year-old source in this story has been changed to protect his privacy.Allen, of Minneapolis, is 13 years old, plays football and likes “old rock and roll.” He has been in the foster care system for about five years, after being removed from the custody of his abusive mother after his father tragically ended his own life. In this article, his name has been changed to protect his privacyAfter living with two different foster families, Allen was placed with a family. They have adopted children before.Allen has lived with his new family for more than four months, and is in a pre-adoptive stage, meaning that the family is planning to adopt him.Unfortunately, most teenagers in foster care aren’t as lucky as Allen. Of the 598 minors adopted in 2010, 88 percent of them were younger than age 12, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services 2010 report to the state legislature.Nate and Jeanne Thompson, who are this reporter’s uncle and aunt, have two years of experience being foster parents. Jeanne said she thinks prospective parents are hesitant to adopt teens because they worry about their ability to influence that child’s values.“To adopt a child, you want to pour (good values) into the child,” said Jeanne. Continue Reading