Adoption Advocate — Birthfather and Birthmother Discussion

Adoption Advocate

About Adoption: Expectant Mother Perspective

expectant mother perspective

Welcome aboard new adoptive family!

We are happy to have a new waiting family!   We are always ready to welcome families who want to adopt.  Let us know any questions!

Great article…

Children adopted via domestic adoption are healthy and happy

Domestic Adoption Update & Adoption Article

Domestic Adoption UpdateDear All,

We’ve about 12 waiting families now, which is more than usual.  Usual is about 6-8.  But then, we’ve had a lot more birthmoms calling, so we don’t believe this will affect the wait time for matching opportunities.

As you know, we try very hard to screen out birthmothers who are “iffy” due to objections from the birthfather, relatives or other issues.  But no adoption plan is ever guaranteed, no matter how sincere and clear cut an adoption plan may seem.  Occasionally a truly intentional birthmother (or father) will change their mind after the pregnancy progresses or after delivery.  It is natural for a birthmother to have second thoughts, especially later in pregnancy.  It is the maternal instinct;  to protect and care for her baby.  We have to respect that and, at the same time, review the reasons for the placement plan.  It is always a contest between emotion & instinct versus logic.  It truly tears some birthmothers apart, and we give them counseling and support long after the baby is placed.  Birthmothers logically want the best family circumstances for the baby, BUT promises of support and help from birthfathers or family members can sway her around delivery time.  That is when the baby feels “real.”  This is when the birthmother is most vulnerable to being influenced or making an emotional decision.

We really stress for both birthparents and adoptive families that the primary person of concern in any adoption scenario is the child.  What is in the best interests of the child?  Certainly, growing up with an enthusiastic, prepared, stable biological family is ideal.  But birthmothers come to us because they do not feel ready or able to parent, because it is not the right time in their life, because they are involved in a relationship that does not feel safe for the child, because they are recovering from substance abuse, because they are too young or too old to start a family, because they have no income, or because they WANT their baby to grow up with a family who is ready to cherish their child.  So then the best plan is adoption.

Open adoption has created a very different world for adopted children, because they have their Mom and Dad and family plus they have their biological parents, who are willing to continue a relationship or leave the door open down the road for the child to contact them.  This is a bonus for adopted kids, because they ALL have questions about their identity.  It’s not abnormal; all kids do.  “Who am I?” is the grist for teenage years.  When a child is adopted, that question is felt keenly.  They are part of the adoptive family, and they have connections to their biological family, too.  When children are adopted from another country, they have an additional layer of complexity, because they are connected as above plus they are connected to another country and culture.  All of this needs to be addressed sensitively by adoptive parents.

This is one of the reasons why adoption education is important.  Being able to help your child put adoption into perspective is a difficult task.  It’s complicated.  Emotionally and linguistically.  Adoption is very common and accepted nowadays but it still lacks its own language.  Many parents struggle with these discussions, much as they might about having talks about sexuality.  It’s normal, it’s accepted, but it still may not be comfortable.  Why not?  Because we cannot always find the right words.  Finding the right words to explain adoption is really essential because adoptive parents lay the foundation for children to forge a positive identity.  It is definitely worth working on.

This is a good article to get started…

Using Positive Adoption Language

Adoption Education Conference! National Council for Adoption

2014 National Adoption Conference


Charting a New Path: Creativity vs. Reactivity


The 2014 National Adoption Conference is June 19-20 in Orlando, FL

National Council For Adoption (NCFA) is excited to announce its 2014 National Adoption Conference, to be held June 19-20, 2014, at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Florida. The National Adoption Conference will equip you to lead in the field of adoption as you learn about the latest in adoption policies, practices, and procedures.

This year’s conference theme is Charting a New Path: Creativity vs. Reactivity. We hope you’ll join us as we explore together the growing need for adoption professionals to reevaluate their practices to proactively respond to and serve clients. Together, we can transform our workflow routines from reactivity to creativity.

Registration opens next week! Look out for our earlybird rates!

Registration opens next week! Visit our website for details and updates!

225 N. Washington Street | Alexandria, VA 22314 US

Children in Families First Adoption Alert!

In order to keep you aware, we wanted to share the following press release regarding NCFA’s actions with the Children in Families First Working Group. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.





Media Contact:


Chuck Johnson, President and CEO

(703) 299-6633


National Council For Adoption President and CEO Chuck Johnson is a signatory to the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.



The Children in Families First Working Group Claims U.S. Department of State Arbitrarily Limits International Adoptions


Request Secretary Kerry to personally intervene


WASHINGTON, D.C.  – December 19, 2013 – The “Children in Families Working Group,” a coalition of nonprofit advocacy organizations seeking change in global policies for children living outside of family care, asked Secretary of State John Kerry to conduct a thorough internal review of U.S. Department of State policies that prohibit orphaned children from certain countries from benefitting from international adoption.


According to a letter sent to the Secretary and signed by nine organizations, the group has concerns with recent actions taken by Office of Children’s Issues to block other countries from re-opening their international adoption programs, stating that as a whole, these decisions appear arbitrary and inconsistent. Since U.S. implementation of The Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption in 2008, no U.S. adoptions have occurred from the 13 countries that have become Hague Convention partners.  By contrast, in 2004 alone, more than 4,100 children were adopted into US families from these same countries.


Cambodia was cited as a specific example of the types of harms that occur because of these policies, noting that since international adoptions ceased in 2001, tens of thousands of Cambodian children have languished in orphanages, with many of those who “age out” ending up dead, on the streets or trafficked into the sex trade.  The Department of State has recently indicated that it will oppose the re-opening of adoptions to the United States until Cambodia has an effective domestic adoption system in place.


Elizabeth Bartholet, Professor of Law and Director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School, commented, “It’s vitally important that the Department of State shift gears. It needs to honor rather than trample child human rights, it needs to help kids get the loving homes they need, rather than lock kids into life-destroying institutions.”


Craig Juntunen, founder of Both Ends Burning stated “Despite the fact that families all over this country are hoping to adopt children, International adoption to the U.S. has declined dramatically, from nearly 23,000 children in 2004 to less than 9,000 in 2012.  Unless action is taken that decline will continue.  More than 60,000 children would be growing up in the love and care of a family today if adoptions had remained stable at the rate it was in 2004.  Instead these children are living compromised lives in orphanages.  Scientific research has documented the harm that occurs to children in these circumstances.  Their mental and physical development is permanently impacted. We are hopeful that Secretary Kerry will take action to re-establish connections with countries whose children are in dire need.”


Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, who took part in a Congressional delegation visit to Cambodia this past February, commented “What is the most frustrating about decisions like the one recently made in Cambodia is that the Government of Cambodia has made significant progress in preventing the abandonment of children and promoting domestic adoption but these advancements don’t ever seem to be enough.”



The full text of the letter to Secretary Kerry is available at:


Signing organizations include:


American Academy of Adoption Attorneys

Both Ends Burning

Center for Adoption Policy

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute

Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program

Joint Council for International Children’s Services


National Council For Adoption

Saddleback Church Orphan Care Initiative


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Passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a nurturing, permanent family, NCFA’s mission is to meet the diverse needs of children, birthparents, adopted individuals, adoptive families, and all those touched by adoption through global advocacy, education, research, legislative action, and collaboration.


More information is available on our website,

National Council for Adoption Conference 2013

2013 National Adoption Conference


Every year at our annual conference, leaders in the field of adoption learn what is happening at the forefront of adoption policy and practice and how they can play an active role in improving and safe-guarding adoption.   In recent years, we added a day for prospective adoptive parents.  That is, anyone interested in learning more about the positive option of adoption, considering pursuing adoption, or in the beginning stages of the adoption process.  Sessions on this day cover the adoption process, adoption options, and resources available both pre- and post-adoption.

2013 National Adoption Conference June 13 – 14 | Professional Conference June 15 | Prospective Adoptive Parents Day

Hotel & Accomodations

Buena Vista Palace On the edge of Downtown Disney World Orlando, Florida Room rate is $109/night plus tax* Click here to make your hotel reservation >>
*Space is limited and attendees are encouraged to reserve a room early to guarantee the group rate.

Domestic Adoption Welcome Home!

Welcome to the world Mr Z!  Such a beautiful baby boy, now home with his family.  Congratulations!

Beautiful, chubby baby boy!

Birthmothers & Pregnancy Counseling

We have had the pleasure of much positive feedback regarding Tracy’s gentle and informative style with our birthmothers, as well as with our adoptive families.  Thank you!

We invite birthmothers who need “no-pressure” information about their options to contact us at or call Phoenix 480 751-1015 0r Tucson 520 531-9931 or Toll Free 877-542-8813.  Tracy also has a direct line which and we will put you right in touch with her.  We are happy to explain the process and the difference between open, closed and semi-open adoption, as well as connect you with other resources.

We can also provide free pregnancy test kits by mail.

Baby Lead Weaning & Leaner Kids

New article in Scientific American re: “Baby Led Weaning”