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Enough is enough.

 

This missive is about the difficulty of selling my story to the publishing industry that makes millions from books about motherhood—but insists that Black mom narratives are too marginal to sell.

Source: Mutha Magazine » Nefertiti Austin on Adoption’s #PARENTINGSOWHITE Problem

Action is needed!!!!

While I am obviously pro-adoption, I 100% believe that children should be with their families. When that arrangement stops working and all efforts to reunify families fail, then foster care/adoption should be the next step to give children a chance to thrive in the world.

In that vein, I think it’s important to reduce the numbers of children entering foster care, because No One Wants To Lose Their Kids.

The website listed at the bottom of this post contains detailed information about this very important bill and a letter you can forward to your representative.

Dear Representative:

I strongly encourage you to support the Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R.5456) as it comes up for consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation aims to keep kids safe and supported with their families to keep them from entering foster care and makes reforms to reduce the number of children in foster care who are placed in group homes rather than in a family-based setting.

Importantly, this bill addresses the root causes that put kids in danger and sometimes removal. The bill allows for new federal dollars to be used to provide mental health services, substance abuse treatment and in-home parenting skills for families. Additionally, too many children are placed in restrictive group homes rather than with foster families. According to First Focus Campaign for Children, these placements deprive children of the familial connections that can ensure they thrive in foster care and succeed after leaving the system. The Family First Prevention Services Act addresses this by reducing the incentive for states to unnecessarily place children in group care, and supporting family-like placements for foster children.

Overall, I believe that this legislation is a critical step towards improving the child welfare system. I urge you to support this H.R. 5456.

Source: Ask Your Member to Support the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 | Campaign For Children

Father’s Day and adoption are not typically used in the same sentence and yet thousands of men step up to raise, love and guide children they did not create. On Sunday, let’s celebrate these brave souls who are shaping the current and future generations.

I love this article and hope that you will too.

Birthfathers may not have a special day devoted to them, but that didn’t stop them — or adoptive fathers, hopeful fathers or even hopeful mothers — from weighing in with their insights and observations about fatherhood and the effect that adoption has had on it.

Source: Adoption, Father’s Day and Fatherhood: What I Learned In June

This is a follow-up article to a NPR article “Black Children Cost Less To Adopt”. Though categorically not true, the headline did get people talking. Unfortunately, the hoopla died down and Black children continue to languish in foster care behind other groups, even though only 15% of children in foster care are Black. (nbcsl.org)

While the number of African-American children in the foster care system has decreased between 2001 and 2011, the rate at which they exit the system has not.

Source: Reclaiming Our Children: Addressing Adoption Rates For Blacks

Local children need more people like the Tinkers.

Source: Event Shines Light On National Foster Care Month | Ocean City Maryland News | OC MD Newspapers | Maryland Coast Dispatch

This essay picks up a conversation I had with myself about when to tell my daugther that she is adopted. One year later, she is the one asking the questions.

My mini-me came to live with me when she was 10 months old. Having adopted her brother years before, I was ready for another baby. Adoption is a topic that comes up regularly in our home—I shouldn’t have been surprised when my toddler asked “Are you my mother?” when she was 3 years old.

Source: “Are You My Mother?” How I Handled My Daughter’s Scariest Adoption Question — mater mea

Local DJ adopted her six nieces and nephews when she was 25 years old. Not only did Yesi step up when her sister was on drugs and unable to take care of her children, she went to court to legally adopt them.

Listen to her empowering story of triumph over anger, resentment and being overwhelmed by so much responsibility at such a young age.

What a blessing she has been to her family!

On weekdays between 10 and 3, Yesi Ortiz is the warm, flirty host for the popular Los Angeles hip-hop station Power 106. But off the air, she’s a dedicated single mother of six adopted kids.

Source: The Power of Yesi Ortiz – Death, Sex & Money – WNYC

Nikkya Hargrove is…amazing! She adopted her younger brother when she was 25 years old. I can’t remember what I was doing at 25 but know it was as far away from adopting, raising or even wanting to be a mother as possible.

Talk about having to grow up. Wow. Ms. Hargrove, I bow down.

 

She died four months later, and I adopted her fourth child as my son. At the age of 25, I buried my mother and became one myself.

Source: Adoption Essay – I Adopted My Brother Because My Mother Couldn’t Take Care of Him

I love, love, love this article because Maralee expresses what families of Black boys, adopted or not, feel about their children’s white friends. It’s so tricky coaching one’s Black son through waters were only a handful of kids look like them. And as she points out, it’s the responsibility of white parents to teach their white children how to support their Black friends.

 

But my son is getting older and as he transitions from an adorable black boy to a strong black man, I know the assumptions about him will change.

Source: To the White Parents of my Black Son’s Friends |

It’s tax time and if you finalized the adoption of a child(ren) last year, you are entitled to a one-time tax credit. Families who adopted special needs kids (as in a U.S. foster child who receives adoption subsidy or adoption assistance program benefits (which can include a monthly payment, Medicaid, or reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses) can receive the full adoption credit of $13,400 per child.

For more details, see below:

For adoptions finalized in 2015, there is a federal adoption tax credit of up to $13,400 per child.

Source: NACAC | Adoption Tax Credit

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