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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

October 2012 Archives

Woman denied right to adopt partner's child

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A same-sex couple in Alabama lost an appeal to allow the non-biological parent to adopt her partner's child last Friday.

The couple, who were married in California in 2008, currently lives in Alabama which does not recognize same-sex marriage and does not allow the adoption because, according to the court, the woman "is not the spouse of the child's mother."

The full story is available here.

The 2012 Centennial Adoption Excellence Awards

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The Children's Bureau just released their 2012 Centennial Adoption Excellence Awards. The report is available <"">here.

Awardees include agencies, organizations and individuals that have contributed to the adoption of children and youth from foster care. The program goes back to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. The awards were presented on october 10 in Washington, DC.

One of the individuals listed this year is Natalie Lyons, who helped coordinate the webinar on adoption competency certificate programs that we at CASCW participated in last December with the National Resource Center on Adoption. A full description of Ms. Lyons' career is included in this pdf.

Past award winners are available on the Children's Bureau site.

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A current University of Minnesota student wrote a first-person account of her experience as a Korean adoptee.

Student Leah Lancaster describes her experience as being in "No man's land" for the Minnesota Daily.

"What is distinctive about being an adoptee is that you are virtually thrown into a cultural No Man's Land," writes Lancaster. "Supposedly, you have no "roots." It becomes difficult to disentangle who you are from who you're supposed to be. You become a blank canvas for other people's expectations. Many adoptees that I know, as well as myself, have felt alienation from white culture and even more from Korean culture. We simultaneously occupy small areas of both these spaces, but find we do not belong in either. The struggle between these cultural realms is quite possibly the defining feature of the Korean adoptee experience."

For the rest of the article, click here for the Minnesota Daily site.

Chinese-adopted children's adoptive parents' narratives

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AsGirl_000004802916Medium.jpgA recently published article in Adoption Quarterly by April Chatham-Carpenter explored the narratives that adoptive parents of internationally adopted Chinese children construct about the circumstances around their child's abandonment or relinquishment.

The study was conducted to explore the story narratives that adoptive parents use, and what is included and left out in these stories.

In Chatham-Carpenter's qualitative study, the author found that adoptive parents tell a "dominant narrative" in their stories to their children, in which they attempt to humanize their child's biological parents decisions,and counternarratives that seem to be an attempt to make the story more palatable for the adoptive parents feelings rather than their child's.

Parents in the study often included details about their reasons for adopting, the "referral" news, and the day the parents met the child along with their guesses about the reasons the child was abandoned or placed.

Birth parents and birth parent decisions/actions were mostly described in positive ways, portraying them as "loving" but "victims of something larger, outside their control."

Practitioners working with adoptive parents may find this article informative and helpful in training pre-adoptive parents about ways to talk about adoption with their child.

The article is available at

Webinar on the Adoption Tax Credit

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This Thursday, October 4, 2012, a webinar will be held to discuss the Adoption Tax Credit. From the webinar description:

In this webinar you will gain an understanding about the goals of our advocacy efforts, as well as the history of this credits existence, an overview of the legislative changes, the difference between a refundable credit vs. a credit applied toward tax liability, definition of special needs adoption and description of the "flat" distinction, understanding of how the credit stands for 2012 and 2013 and, description of the adoption tax credit legislation currently in Congress and what legislators intend to do during the lame duck session upon their return to Washington, D.C. after the elections. Presenters will also provide helpful advocacy tips and strategies for making your voice heard by your members of Congress, and an adoptive parent & advocate will join the presentation to share their personal experiences with webinar participants.

To register, click here.

One of the ways adoptive families are supported are through the adoption tax credit. The adoption tax credit, first enacted in 1997 as a means to help offset the costs incurred to adopt children from foster care, the tax credit has since become available for all types of adoptions. However, the tax credit is soon about to expire.

So far the tax credit has never been successfully legislated to be permanent. The tax credit has been extended several times and along with the extensions or renewals, has included changes over the years.

House Bill H.R. 4373, which has bipartisan support, aims to renew the adoption tax credit, and even more significantly make the tax credit permanent, a flat rate for special needs adoption and inclusive for all types of adoption; however with the upcoming elections it is unlikely that Congress will review it until after the elections. The Senate version is S. 3616 and like the House bill, has bipartisan support. If the propsed bills do not pass, then the credit will be reduced to $6,000 for a limited number of special needs adoptions.

For more information about the Adoption Tax credit, see the following resources:

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
Save the Adoption Tax Credit (NACAC)
IRS Adoption Benefits FAQ
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute