Adoptions From The Heart | New Jersey Adoption Agency …

June 7th, 2019 New Bill Gives Protection To LGBTQ Adopters

A new bill, called the Every Child Deserves A Family Act has been proposed. If passed, the bill will prevent any adoption agency that receives federal funding from discriminating based on sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. The bill would also protect LGBTQ children in the foster system, preventing them from being sent to conversion therapy facilities.

In 2014, Kenya banned international adoption from its local adoption agencies. According to reports at the time, the ban was issued so that an internal audit of the Kenyan adoption process could be performed and changes made. However, many Kenyan adoption agencies are stating that the funding available to help children in the country is too low to stop international adoption and that the public has not been involved in the decision-making process regarding adoption laws.

Members of the LGBTI community in the UK are celebrating Adoption and Foster Week from March 3rd to March 10th. This year, the theme is Seven Days of Love. This festival hopes to help break down stereotypes and show that members of this amazing community can parents just as well as their straight counterparts. Many have suggested that a similar celebration should be held in the US.

In 2018, 21 books were published that may be of interest to adults and children impacted by adoption. These books are written from numerous perspectives, including that of a birth mother, adoptive parent, and adopted child. Check out the full list of 2018 adoption books here.

According to a study performed by Cornell University, children who are raised in same-sex households are just as happy and healthy as those who are raised by heterosexual couples. The study showed that children raised by gay and lesbian parents also performed in school at the same level as children raised by heterosexual couples. Read more about the study.

Each year, National Adoption Month is celebrated in November. This year, the theme is In Their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices. The theme seeks to educate the public about the work that CASA workers do, men and women who advocate for children that are in foster care.

One Missouri couples dream came true when they received a $16,203 gift that allowed them to adopt a 2-year-old boy with special needs into their family. Jason and Melinda Simmons applied to Chip and Joanna Gaines annual program called Chipstarter. The couple made it into the final round of contestants to discover that all of the deserving finalists received money towards their projects and charities. The Simmons family is now able to bring home their son from China with the additional funds they received through the Chipstarter Program.

NJ Representative Chris Smith found himself explaining comments he made regarding gay couples adopting children, which he claimed were misconstrued. During an interview, he said that one objection he has regarding the topic is that religious groups that oppose same-sex marriages will not be allowed to handle adoptions any longer. In a report that was posted on his opponents YouTube account, the Representative appeared to be unsupportive of same-sex adoptions.

A beautiful and happy video of a young girl learning she is going to be adopted has gone viral reminding everyoneof the beauty and joy that adoptions bring to families. The 10-year-old girl featured in the video had been in foster care for 3 years and will be adopted along with her 2 younger siblings. When the family discovered that reunification with her birth mother was not in the childrens best interest the decision was made to adopt the 3 siblings who couldnt be happier. While the family intended to adopt months ago the process took some time and the adoption was finalized on August 23.

In May, the Kansas Governor signed a law that would allow religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse service to LGBT couples based in their religious beliefs. Now the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) may grant contracts to adoption agencies with religious affiliations that are able to decline services to the LGBT couples. The current contracts are with adoption and foster agencies that are not allowed to turn couples away.

A couple in Osceola, Iowa was recently discovered to have been abusing and neglecting their 2 adopted children and have been arrested. Neighbors were unaware of anything occurring and didnt even realize that the couple had adopted two children from Ghana. International adoption can be a long and complicated process and incidents of abuse such as this could jeopardize international adoption from certain countries. International adoptions are already down 88% from 2004 from 5 of the most popular countries that children are adopted from.

The Shawl family of Glendale, AZ began fostering in July 2012 when family members told them of a child who was in need. The family agreed to foster a young girl and eventually adopted her 3 years later in December 2015. A year after that the family began fostering again. They understood the great need for foster families and explained that while there are many challenges involved, fostering is extremely rewarding. The Shawl family adopted their second daughter this past April.

In an interview for Elle magazine, Charlize Theron described the difficulties she struggled with emotionally when she adopted her children. Theron describes how she has always wanted to adopt and knew so even as a young girl. Despite always wanting to adopt she had a tough time during the process, especially with her first adoption. She learned to ask for help the second time around and keep her support system close by.

A New Jersey couple sat down with TODAY Show anchor Hoda Kotb last week, thinking they were going to be discussing the long process of adoption. They have been together for 10 years and first started trying to get pregnant 5 years ago unsuccessfully. The couple later discovered that childhood cancer treatments had caused complications that would not allow them to get pregnant and they turned to adoption. During the interview they spoke of how waiting for news can be so difficult and it when then that Hoda shared with them that they were matched with a baby girl who would be joining their family soon. The happy family met their new daughter one week later.

Georgias Senate passed SB 375 also known as the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act on Friday, February 23. The bill would allow child placement agencies to make referrals to adoption agencies based on the agencies religious beliefs. The agency can decline the referral or accept it and if they decline it, the referral would be immediately sent to another agency. Many LGBT advocacy groups are concerned that this bill will pass in the House and the national field director for the Human Rights Campaign says that it is discrimination dressed up as a solution to a fake problem.

Sunday night, January 28, was the Grammy Awards show. E!s Giuliana Rancic was interviewing celebrity guests on the red carpet and spoke with Thomas Rhett who was nominated for a Grammy for his album Life Changes, and his wife Lauren Akins. During the interview, Rancic commented on how much she loved following their family and children on Instagram and asked if they had any advice to couples who are trying to adopt, as the couple had adopted their daughter. Akins responded that the process is extremely difficult but worth it. She stated that it needs to be hard and it strengthens the parents as a team to go through the process.

The Vikings Adoption Fun Fest is an annual event held in Winter Park at the field house. The event is hosted by the Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and had more than 500 people in attendance this year. The event offers fun for the whole family with picture opportunities, player meet and greets, food, games and more. There were also people on hand to answer adoption questions and connect families with different services.

National Adoption Day was November 14, and in celebration and observance of the day, New Jersey, and the Middlesex County hosted an adoption ceremony at the Middlesex County Courthouse. This was the 9th ceremony held in the county but many more just like it were held across the country to observe this special holiday. The official adoption ceremony was held in private for 18 adoptees, 1 adult, and 17 children. Following the ceremony family and friends could celebrate together in a nearby conference room with breakfast and childrens activities.

Joel is the youngest of 5 siblings, is 40-years-old, and happily married. At the age of 10 his stepfather, Dave, came into his life and was an excellent role model to him. Dave took on a lot of responsibility when he married Joels mother and although Joel often gave his stepfather a hard time, his love and respect grew for him throughout the years. Dave does not have any biological children of his own, so this month on his 60th birthday, Joel decided to give him a special gift. After learning about the possibility of adult adoptions, Joel gave the paperwork to Dave to officially adopt him as an adult officially making him his father.

The paid family and medical leave program is currently being widely debated among policymakers and the public. Paid family and medical leave is a program that, if it passes, will allow workers to take paid time off for the birth or adoption of a new child or to take care of their own illness or injury. Check out this fact sheet here for details of some the key data of this program which will also affect New Jersey residents.

A Christian author and speaker well known for bringing hope to many women and mothers, felt hopeless when it came to her becoming a mother herself. However, after coming to terms with some issues in her own life she desired to become a mother and considered adoption as an option. It took her seven years to finally get the adoption process started as she feared not being a good mother. At 49, she finally received a voicemail from a friend who had returned from Neply, Haiti where she said a mother in the village had passed away of AIDS and left behind a two-year-old daughter in poor health. It did not take her any time to consider adopting this little girl. Read more about the authors adoption journey here.

A bill is on its way to the governor of New Jersey that will expand the states family leave policy. This policy will extend to employers for the birth or adoptions of a child or any other serious medical conditions. A similar bill is said to start at the beginning of 2020 in the state of Washington, where employees will receive 3-4 months paid leave. Other states that are going to be following suit are New York, California and Rhode Island. Although the changes are welcome, small businesses are likely going to be the ones that will bear the costs. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association has responded to this recent legislation stating that the small businesses will be the ones paying overtime to other workers or they would have to hire replacement employees for longer periods of time once this legislation becomes law.

A couple that had had two miscarriages in the last two years including, one where the baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 in the womb, recently adopted a special needs baby. The couple had already prepared themselves to take care of a special needs child that when they were considering adoption, they wanted to adopt a special needs child. When they saw a blog post for a baby called Baby Z needs a family the couple knew they wanted him to be a part of their family. Read more about how this family came together here.

A San Antonio mom is forever grateful and thankful for the gift of motherhood and she writes Mothers Day cards every year to the two birth mothers of her adopted children. Despite not knowing the names and locations of the birth mothers who are from China, she still writes the cards. She stated that she writes little snippets of what the boys have done and accomplished every year, their challenges as well as their accomplishments. She stated that if she had one wish, shed wish she could tell her childrens birth parents that their sons are safe and are thriving.

Two major incidences in 2003 led to the overhaul of the New Jersey child-welfare system under federal supervision. The discovery of the mummified remains of a 7-year-old boy in 2003, in the basement of a Newark apartment, and later in the same year, finding four boys starving in Collingswood due to their adoptive mother withholding food, prompted the changes. A federal monitor recently reported that the states child welfare system has improved across six vital areas. These improvements are moving the Department of Children and Families closer to ending years of federal oversight. The DCF Commissioner attributes the positive changes to dedicated intake workers, adoption staff, and permanency caseworkers who are effectively serving the states vulnerable children and families.

On Valentines Day Hoda Kotb, the Today Show presenter and celebrity became a mother. The 52-year-old began the process of applying for domestic adoption after she had talked about it with her longtime boyfriend. She filed the documents alone but her boyfriend will be hands on in raising their baby. Within months, Kotb received a phone call that changed her life forever. She flew to an unspecified city where she was there for the birth of her daughter Haley Joy, born on February 14, 2017.

The new New Jersey state law that was recently passed to unseal adoption records has already resulted in a Long Beach Township Police Officer meeting her birth mother. The officer was adopted at birth after her biological mother had her at 18-years-old. With the new law, the officer was one of over 1,000 adopted adults who received a copy of their birth record after the state started accepting applications. Her paperwork revealed who her mother was and the officer found her mother on Facebook. Within weeks the two were able to meet.

The law that was recently passed in New Jersey allowing adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates, information about their parents, their medical history, and their identity, will take effect in January 2017. A reminder was issued out by the State Health Commissioner, reminding birth parents who do not want to have these documents redacted of their name to make that request no later than December 31, 2016. So far the department has received 476 applications from adoptees seeking their birth certificates. Read more here about the progress of this new law that passed after 34 years of lobbying.

This month Hudson County courts, participated in National Adoption Day which led to the adoption of thirteen children finding new homes. The Director of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency stated that 200 adoptions are anticipated in New Jersey during National Adoption Month and more than 60 had already been scheduled. People who are able to adopt large sibling groups and older adolescents are highly desired as well.

A new law will go into effect in the State of New Jersey that will allow adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates. These birth certificates had been sealed under New Jersey law for over 75 years. Having the certificates unsealed will allow adoptees to have access to information about their birth parents names, their social and medical history, among other things. The new law will come into effect on January 1, 2017.

After careful consideration, the New Jersey Supreme Court has determined that biological parents who are disputing an adoption have a right to counsel. Judges must inform birth parents that if they cannot afford an attorney, they may request a court-appointed lawyer. For more information on this check out Chronicles Of Social Change.

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