Your thoughts needed: Post-Adoption Support
Just a few days to go to the Adoption Ethics and Accountability Conference.
I’ve been living and breathing this conference for the past three months. When I saw the first announcement, I knew I’d be attending, but I didn’t think I’d be as deeply involved as I am. In July I was asked to help coordinate the speaker logistics, which has been a huge undertaking given the number of speakers that are participating. I then got involved with the Meet the Bloggers session. And finally, I was asked to join the panel Supporting Adoptive Families for the Long Haul: Post-adoption Services. I’m B-string, replacing Beth Hall, who had to drop out, but am excited all the same. I’ll be coming to this panel not as a blogger, but as an adoptive mother and co-founder of a grassroots organization for adoptive families with Korean children – Korean Focus.
A group of close friends and I started Korean Focus in 1996, in response to our adoption agency’s unwillingness to allow us to conduct certain programs and bring in certain speakers under their auspices. The journey from that tiny group to Korean Focus as it exists today – chapters in Northern Maryland, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Indianapolis – and hundreds of member families across the country – hasn’t been an easy one. Tiny volunteer-driven groups like KF tend to be ignored and discounted as amateurs; and agencies are sometimes unwilling to let their families know we exist. And so we struggle to find members and volunteers, who are our lifeblood.
Yet when I look at what groups like Korean Focus have accomplished, I have to be impressed. Yes, I take a lot of personal pride in what KF has done over the past eleven years – our DC Metro chapter has a large array of programs behind us, including one of the DC area’s largest Lunar New Year celebrations, an annual event. And I see our chapters doing the same kinds of activities in their communities, too.
Plus look at what the Korean adoptee organizations have accomplished. Local groups across the country have raised awareness about the Korean adoptee experience, and have created programs and services that serve the adoptee population and adoptive families alike. They've taken their commitment to Korea, too, and have led the fight for fairness for Korean mothers. It’s nothing short of incredible.
All of which gives you an idea of what I’ll be talking about in this session on October 16.
But I’m interesting in hearing what YOU would want to discuss if you were there. Here’s the session overview – take a look. And if you can’t be there, let me know in a comment what YOU would ask if you were there.
Supporting Adoptive Families for the Long Haul: Post-adoption Services
- What are the principal needs of adoptive families after adoption?
- What are professionals’ obligations for the provision of post-adoption services?
- What are professionals’ obligations when adoptions disrupt or children need mental health, residential or other services outside their adoptive homes?
Dr. Jeanne Howard
Ellen Singer, LCSW-C