All Articles Tagged "Adoption"
Most mothers would be horrified at the news that their teenage daughter was pregnant. But one London woman encouraged her 14 year old adoptive daughter get pregnant. And not only did she encourage it, she practically forced the young teenager to inseminate herself with sp*erm she’d purchased over the internet several times a day over the course of 2-3 years.
The daughter, who was a virgin, gave birth at 16 years old after having a miscarriage at 14. In a case that was kept secret from the public, the girl, whose identity has been concealed to protect her privacy, testified that because her adoptive mother was so domineering, she was scared to tell her no.
The mother, who adopted children three children from abroad, recruited her daughter, to get pregnant when she was denied the ability to adopt a fourth child. The woman couldn’t get pregnant because of a medical condition and underwent an elective sterilization procedure years ago.
She was married when she adopted her first two children and divorced when she adopted the last. The court claimed that the woman isolated the children by homeschooling them and keeping the oldest two away from their adoptive father, her ex husband, for 10 years.
The daughter told investigators she was pretty shocked when her mother asked her to willingly get pregnant but also thought, “if I do this … maybe she will love me more.” She also said “feelings of gratitude for my adoption influenced how I behaved.”
The mother wanted a girl, so she made her daughter use painful douches containing lemon juice and vinegar and eat certain foods which she believed would affect the baby’s gender.
Over the years there were several instances where the authorities and child welfare services were called out to the house when neighbors complained of the mother’s inappropriate behavior toward the children like cussing them out, isolating them from peers and leaving them in the home alone while she was being treated in the hospital for a month.
Each time, the authorities found that there was no cause for concern. A case review of the authority’s findings are being published next month.
The mother’s evil and selfish plot was only discovered after midwives reported her aggressive and insensitive behavior during her daughter’s labor. The midwives say that mother tried to prevent the daughter from breastfeeding the baby saying, “we don’t want any of that attachment thing.” They also noticed how the daughter hesitated when handing the baby over to her mother. They called child protective services when the mother attempted to remove the baby from the ward.
After reviewing the case, a welfare provisions and family division judge, Mr Justice Jackson included his reaction in his decision saying “…an abiding sense of disbelief that a parent could behave in such a wicked and selfish way towards a vulnerable child.”
The mother is now serving five years in prison for child cruelty.
Obviously, there are a lot of emotional scars this young mother will have to deal with now that her “mother” is gone and she’ll have to raise this child by herself. We’re hoping and praying that she gets the therapy and help she needs; preferably from the state that failed to protect her in the first place.
What do you make of this case? Did the child protective service agencies drop the ball? Do you think this woman should have been sentenced to more time?
Kym Whitley found herself in an unexpected situation when a woman practically left a baby on her doorstep. In our exclusive interview, Kym explains how she petitioned a village of her close friends and family to help raise her son Joshua. This story is beautiful. Check it out.
The Material Girl is taking a serious stand on education in Malawi.
Pop superstar Madonna announced that her charity, Raising Malawi, built 10 schools in the country in 2012 and six of them are already in use. Initially, the schools were supposed to take 18 months to build, with the last one going up in June 2013, according to News24; however, with help from partners at the non-profit buildON, they are six months ahead of schedule. The four schools that aren’t already open will be ready to go by the first day of school in January, Madonna said.
With the opening of the schools, Raising Malawi noted that the schools would help an estimated 4,871 children receive an education. Malawi is listed as one of the world’s least developed countries and only a very small portion of boys and girls are able to go to school so this undoubtedly help in a tremendous way.
This huge project seems to make up for Madonna walking away from the creation of a $15 million girls academy in Malawi back in 2009 after Raising Malawi was accused of financial mismanagement. Madonna dismissed it by saying she decided not to continue with that project because she wanted to be able to reach thousands of children, not hundreds of girls.
If you’re wondering why Madonna seems so closely connected to Malawi, it is because two of her children – David and Mercy – were both adopted from there.
This is a huge undertaking so here’s hoping Raising Malawi and buildON continue to make it successful for the sake of the children.
This has got to be one of the most bizarre things to make media headlines in a long time. According to the Daily Mail, a Texas man by the name of Terry Achane is facing what could be one of the biggest fights of his life after his estranged wife put their infant daughter up for adoption without his consent or knowledge. Now, the child’s adopted family is refusing to give her back, even after a judge has ordered them to.
The first thing that would come to the minds of many when hearing a story of this nature is how does something like this even happen? Well, it seems in 2010, Achane, 31, and his then-wife, Tira Bland, were going through a few martial problems, as most married couples do at some point or another in their relationship. Unfortunately, these problems came around the time that the couple learned they would be expecting their first child. According to Achane, Tira suggested aborting the child or putting her up for adoption because she feared that she would become a single mother; however, Terry encouraged her to keep the baby. A few months later, in February 2011, Terry had to take a job out of state, but anticipated returning to Texas as a new father.
A mere ten days after his departure, his wife gave birth prematurely and placed the newborn with an adoptive family with the assistance of the Adoptive Center of Choice. The child, whom Terry wished to name Teleah, was adopted by Jarred and Kristi Frei, a White Utah family with six children, desperately seeking to expand to seven in an effort to give their youngest child a closer sibling.
Of course when he learned of Tira’s actions, Terry was outraged and sought custody of his daughter.
“I was like, “Utah? Where is Utah?” I’d never been to Utah. She’s never been to Utah,” Achane shared with the Salt Lake City Tribune.
The Freis’ named the child Leah, but were made aware by the Adoptive Center of Choice that the child’s father was unaware of the adoption and would most likely contest it if he found out. Although, a judge has ruled that the Freis return the child to her biological father within 60 days, they are seeking an appeal claiming that they have spent a lot of money for adopting the child, around $25,000.
“This is a case of human trafficking.’Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child,” Mr. Achane’s attorney told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “
Terry, who certainly does not wish to be involved in an extended legal battle, discussed how important it is that he be united with child immediately.
“If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get back. … It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter.”
The Freis are prepared for a fight, however.
“Since that eventful day, we have, as a family, come to know that this dream was a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God, and that Leah would be that child – and yet, little did we know the challenges and trials that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl,” the family shared on their blog, which they have been utilizing to raise money for their court battle.
This is wrong on so many levels. I’m not sure if God would “give” them a baby at the expense of a grieving father who wants his child. Hopefully Terry will be united with his daughter soon.
What do you think of this? Are the Freis’ justified in their fight for Leah?
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Oh, Tyra…we love you, girl!
Supermodel legend and business mogul Tyra Banks visited the Wendy Williams show on Friday and as per usual, Wendy got all in her business. They discussed her breakup with Wall Street business man John Utendahl (she says they’re still very close friends who speak but he has no “benefits” with her) and the conversation led to Tyra’s desire to have children. The 38 year old spoke on her fertility when Wendy said to her she still has eggs left:
“I think they’re kind of like poached. They’re a little crispy. Like a burger with that fried egg that’s in there? That’s kind of what I’m feeling.”
On whether or not she’d freeze her eggs:
“I keep saying that I’m going to do that. But don’t you have to give yourself a shot in the butt? Ohhhhhh.”
Tyra also says she would absolutely consider adopting a child. She admitted that she’s wanted to be a mother since she was a child and with or without a marriage – and with or without a man – she will become a mother. While she is still on the dating scene hoping to find the right guy for her, Tyra is definitely keeping her options open (and with all that money, it seems she has a few of them).
Side note: She also denied rumors that she’s dating her fellow America’s Next Top Model judge Rob Evans and considers him her younger brother (now we all know that a “play” brother can turn into something else).
Most people associate a biological drive to have children with women. After all, we are the creators of life and natural-born nurturers, so it goes without saying that most women are designed to want kids, right? While this instinct isn’t present in ALL women, it can be argued that because of gender roles, most women feel the need to have a child simply because society says that’s what they’re supposed to do.
But men also have an internal, subconscious drive to procreate. However, while most women want to have children with a man who can provide for her and their family, a lot of men nowadays don’t feel they have to be part of a unit in order to make a baby. Not many women are programmed to WANT to be single mothers, yet the desire to be a father can be strong enough to override any sense of logic or commitment. Simply put, most men can see themselves as fathers, but not as husbands. While having a child with someone would seem to be a WAY bigger commitment than marriage is, some men feel they can be great fathers, but would make terrible husbands. Does this sound like broken logic, immaturity or honest truth? Look at these reasons a man may want to be a dad without being a husband…and YOU decide.
Queen Latifah may be secretive about her sexual orientation but one thing she has never shied away from is her desire to be a mother. The hype started last year when the Queen covered MORE magazine in November and revealed she wanted to adopt. Then she went on Wendy Williams and said she’d been “practicing” to become a mother and everyone wondered what that meant considering her assumed orientation, but now she’s confirmed to “The View” that adoption is the route she absolutely intends to go.
Barbara Walters asked the woman of many talents if all of the reports were true and she said:
“I’m actually kind of working on that. I think I saw one of those specials,” Queen said, “you know those movies of the week, and it was like – I just always wanted to bring a child home.”
Aww. Queen Latifah added a little joke about her anticipation of becoming a mother next when she said:
“I’m totally serous, so if you got a kid that you don’t [want], just give me a year – let me set up camp and send me the kid! But no, no totally.”
Sounds like she has baby fever! I wonder if she’s hoping to have her own adopted bundle of joy in a year’s time. Most people who adopt say the process is a long and exhausting one, but since Queen Latifah has been talking about this for some time, she might be well on her way. It will be interesting to see if she follows the white Hollywood actress trend of adopting ethnic babies from abroad or if she’ll give a black child in America a home. Maybe we’ll see in the next year.
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Instead of viewing a Facebook feed full of proud fathers satisfied with ugly ties and breakfasts courtesy of Denny’s or some other family-themed diner, all this past Father’s Day had to offer were the rants of single mothers who felt like this holiday should be owed to them. After all, they are their child’s mother and “father.” I won’t get into how flawed this thinking is because no matter how much credit a woman feels she’s owed, you will never be your child’s father. Positive male role models offer a mindset that nurtures a child’s upbringing in a completely different way than a woman’s can.
I won’t exactly blame these women for feeling slighted, though. In the U.S., 72% of all African-American children are being raised by a single parent, namely the mother. In a country where fathers are often absent from the picture you think we’d applaud when not only one, but two fathers are willing to accept the responsibilities of parenthood. Sounds ideal, until those men reveal they want to do so while in a romantic relationship…with each other. Suddenly the idea of having not one, but two fathers in a child’s life becomes something many folks are actively against.
While most states are busy debating whether gay men and lesbians should be legally allowed to marry, there’s no legal barrier that stops gay couples from raising children. But are these children placed in harm’s way when their parents choose a relationship that doesn’t meet stagnant societal norms? Findings from the “New Family Structures Study” say that’s indeed a possibility. The study reported in Social Science Research journal last week reveals inferior economic, educational, social and psychological outcomes among children of gay parents. Only this study doesn’t offer evidence from research conducted among failed same-sex marriages. It intensely looks at unstable households of closeted men and woman involved in heterosexual relationships that ultimately failed.
What the study does prove is that ALL children from broken homes are at greater risk to meet negative circumstances in the future, not just the children with 2 mommies or 2 daddies. Children are more likely to meet the challenges of unemployment, involvement in criminal activity and unhealthy sexual behavior when there is no healthy structure or stability within the home, whether that home is a product of a gay or straight relationship.
The study also sheds light on the dangerous consequences sham heterosexual marriages have. In an effort to meet society’s rigid sexual standards, many gay men and women find themselves entering into heterosexual marriages to keep up a façade that is comfortable for others, even though it’s agonizing for themselves. Coming out of the closet in this situation can be a traumatizing experience that isn’t only difficult for that person claiming their preference, but for their partner as well: “Did I turn him/her gay?” “Has my whole marriage been a lie?” As painful as the process can be for those in the relationship, think of how confused and conflicted the children may be.
So does this mean that gay couples should only adopt or seek surrogacy to avoid interrupting their children’s upbringing by suddenly “switching” their sexual preference? Not necessarily; gay or straight, people fall out of love every day and not always before they’ve had the opportunity to start families. And let’s be honest, people make babies all the time while not necessarily being in love. What the study does emphasize is a need for more honesty and truth in today’s relationships. It’s important for people to be true to their feelings and feel safe expressing those feelings. One of the reasons that homosexual people attempt being in straight relationships is that the alternative is still not fully accepted in much of society. Unfortunately, this leads to a lifestyle of secrecy, dishonesty and shame that harms the whole family.
We also have to take a little more consideration about the relationships we are bringing these children into. No extra-marital affairs that result in violent outbursts of betrayal and scorn for your children to witness. No households rocking dangerously on resentment and contempt because suddenly you realized you really can’t stand the person you made kids with. No dramatic disintegration of a relationship that was forced from the beginning. When you put yourself in a position to be a mother or father, you have to change your approach to how you relate to your partner; that relationship should always be built on respect and courtesy, for each other and for your children.
I’m willing to bet that most kids don’t care who their parents are sleeping with and would in fact prefer not to think of their parents in that way at all. For me at least when I think of the person I am today, I can appreciate that my stability and success is due to the fact that I never had to witness my parents violently argue and dramatically disappear from the household. I never felt that any personal issues they struggled with were somehow my fault. What I did witness were two people who compromised, were secure within themselves and placed the happiness of myself and my sibling as their top priority. That’s really all most kids want and need, regardless if they have 1 mommy or 2 daddies.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
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By Rachel Garlinghouse
I’m an adoptive parent. I’m white. My two daughters, ages three and one, are both black. It’s glaringly obvious that my kids and I don’t “match” and that they are adopted.
We have been asked a slew of questions. “Are you girls REAL sisters?” “Did you hear that Katherine Heigl adopted another baby?” “Are your kids full or mixed?” “Why didn’t their birth parents keep them?” “Why couldn’t you have your own kids?”
One question that I found incredibly interesting, and one that the media is asking more than ever is, “Why didn’t you adopt one of your own kind?” (Yes, this is exactly how the question was asked.) It has been implied that there are plenty of white babies who need good homes, so why would we, as whites, pluck a black child out of the mix of available kids? (This is actually not true. Many adoption agencies have a tremendous need for families to be open to adopting black children, including sibling groups and kids with special needs, as many white parents only want to adopt healthy white infants.)
The media and the public are asking these questions of transracial adoptive parents: Are you trying to capitalize on some sort of trend? Why are you stealing a black baby away from her racial culture? Are you trying to make your child white? How in the world can a white family raise a black child properly?
The increase in media attention on celebrity adoptive parents, particularly transracial adoptive celebrity families like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Katherine Heigl, has brought transracial adoption to the forefront of pop culture. I have read, much to my dismay, article after article that begins by prompting the public to question the integrity and intent of such parents.
I have to admit, I don’t necessarily blame people for their assumptions and skepticism regarding transracial adoption, particularly white parents who are raising black kids. Whites have a long history of treating blacks and other races in degrading, dehumanizing manners. There is a seemingly natural and underlying distrust between whites and all other races. Despite people claiming to be “colorblind” and spouting that “the world is a melting pot” which is magically full of harmony and unity, I know otherwise.
You might question if parents are adopting minority children because it’s the trendy thing to do. Here are some truths, from my experience, regarding transracial adoption:
1. Transracial adoptive families are double-minorities, facing endless discrimination.
Until we adopted our first daughter, I was, unknowingly, enjoying white Privilege. No one ever looked twice at me in a shopping mall or restaurant, no one questioned my motives, no one asked how authentic my family was, if we were a “real” family or not.
But when my husband and I brought our first daughter home, we were quickly inducted into the life of a minority. We have been asked by an airline to provide our youngest child’s birth certificate to prove that she is actually our daughter prior to us boarding a plane. When we went to obtain a social security card for her, the attendant gave us several glares, making it clear she didn’t approve of our transracial adoption. She then asked, quite judgmentally, a question that had nothing to do with the application for the social security card: “Do they [our daughters] have the same parents?” I’ve been asked about the girls’ “real” mom, as if I am the fake mom. A cashier at a local store asked why the hell my girls’ birth parents would “give them away” because after all, the girls were “so pretty.” My family deals with, on a daily basis, discrimination related to adoption and race.
2. Transracial adoption is a path to parenthood.
Individuals and couples adopt because they want to be parents. Maybe they couldn’t have biological kids, couldn’t have more biological kids, had always wanted to adopt, didn’t want to wait for a partner to have children, or chose to adopt to avoid passing a genetic condition on to any biological children. The reasons are many.
When I was twenty-four years old, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease: type I diabetes. I am dependent on insulin for life; without it, I will die. Type I diabetes can be accompanied by a slew of dangerous side effects, all of which can impact the life of the diabetic’s unborn baby. My husband and I chose not to have biological children because we felt the risks outweighed the benefits. So we filled out paperwork to adopt, marked “open to a child of any race,” and waited. We were chosen, twice, to adopt black children. Without adoption, we wouldn’t be parents. We wanted to be parents. So we adopted. It’s really that simple.
Hey loves! The weekend is just about over and I’ve got a few more tidbits to share. There’s music news, wedding news, movie news, baby news and more! Check it out…