Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Adoption Congress Conference

Yippee!!! I'm going to attend the American Adoption Congress national conference in April in exciting Cleveland - I'm so excited! If you don't know much about the American Adoption Conference, here's a snippet from its mission statement:
The AAC believes that all children have the same core of basic needs, and that these needs can be met most easily when children can grow up in the family into which they were born. Every effort should be made to preserve the integrity of this family. When birth families are unable to meet the ongoing needs of children born to them, however, we believe that adoption provides the best alternative—provided the adoptions are humane, honest, and rooted in the understanding that adoption does not erase a child's connections to the family into which they were born. We believe that those who have lived the adoption experience are in the best position to articulate the importance of these conditions and to bring about an adoption system that is based on them.
This fits perfectly into my current research project on openness in international adoption, so this is a work-sponsored trip (double yippee!!!)!

For more about the conference, click here. Anyone else attending?

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Hey, you will be a bit over an hour from me! You MUST come by or meet up somewhere!!! Okay...I haven't clicked on the link to see if it is a possibility for me to attend. I am going now.

Lisa said...

Fantastic! I hope you come back with lots of good info to post. :)

Mei-Ling said...

"...rooted in the understanding that adoption does not erase a child's connections to the family into which they were born"

It still does. For overseas adoptions? Yes.

My mother is listed on my birth certificate as my natural mother. But in the eyes of the law, she is not my mother.

So yes, adoption does ignore the child's roots and seeks to "erase" them.

malinda said...

What I'd say, Mei-Ling, is that adoption as currently practiced TRIES to erase a child's connection to the family into which they were born, but it doesn't succeed. You, and adoptees like you, still feel that connection no matter how often you're told not to, birth mothers still feel that connection no matter how often they are told they'll forget and to move on, and many adoptive parents are bucking the norm and trying to maintain connections with first families, either through continuing contact or, in cases like mine where contact isn't possible, by making birth family a part of our daily lives through talking about them, reading stories about them, explicitly and implicitly granting permission for happy and sad emotions about them to be expressed.

I'd say that breaking connections is something that adoption tries by FAILS to do. And I appreciate AAC's mission to make it easier to maintain tangible connections.

Mei-Ling said...

"What I'd say, Mei-Ling, is that adoption as currently practiced TRIES to erase a child's connection to the family into which they were born, but it doesn't succeed."

Good point.

Third Mom said...

Excellent - I'll be there, and look forward to meeting you!

malinda said...

Wendy,

I'm excited that we might be able to get together!!!! I've "known" you since blogging from China two years ago, and it would be fun to talk in person rather than in the virtual world!

malinda said...

Third Mom,

I was considering going when you posted about it on your blog, and I took a look at the program again and decided I HAD to go! I look forward to attending your presentation AND meeting you in the "real" world!