All Articles Tagged "Adoption"
Yesterday, we told you about Davion Navar Henry Only’s quest to be adopted. He was the 15 year old boy who petitioned a Florida Baptist church to “love me until I die” and adopt him. When we reported the story yesterday, we had only heard that two couples had expressed interest in him but no one had actually adopted him yet. But it looks like things may be looking up for Davion. The adoption agency who has been handled his case has had to open a call center to handle all the calls they’ve been inundated with.
Eckerd, the foster home where Davion lives, has had to open up a separate call center to field and respond to each and every call. On their Facebook page, Eckerd wrote:
“We ask that folks be patient, we are incredibly grateful for the outcry of interest in Davion and we will get back to everyone as soon as we can,” they wrote. “We are nearing 1,000 inquiries already! #secondchances”
This is such a good sign and we’re hopeful that Davion will eventually find a good home. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Watch the video of Davion’s story below.
Just the other day, I was talking to a man who described himself as “as white as he could be.” We were discussing the Kieran Romney adoption. I was explaining that although I have my concerns, I’m generally happy about the Romney family adopting little Kieran because far too often black children are the last children to be adopted. The likelihood of them finding a permanent family becomes even more slim as they get older.
This was news to the white guy.
And though, it’s something I’ve known for quite some time, associating a human face to what often comes off as just a numbers and percentage issue, makes it all the more real and all the more heartbreaking.
In a beautifully written story published on NaplesNews.com, we learn about 15 year old Davion Navar Henry Only, an orphan who’s looking for a home.
The reporter, Lane Degregory of the Tampa Bay Times writes that Davion’s names mean “beloved, brown, ruler of the home and the one and only. He’s memorized all of them. Though one of his names means ruler of the home, Davion told a St. Petersburg church on a Sunday morning in September that he’s never had a home of his own.
“My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born… I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”
This was the beginning part of the speech Davion delivered to the members of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, in which he petitioned the congregation to adopt him.
Davion, who was born while his mother was in jail, says he can’t count all the places he’s lived in; but right now, he resides in the Eckerd Carlton Manor, a residential group home for teenage boys.
While Davion has a place to stay, he wants privileges and even standard allowances other children take for granted.
From Naples News:
“Davion wants to play football, but there’s no one to drive him to practice. He wants to use the bathroom without having to ask someone to unlock the door. More than anything, he wants someone to tell him he matters. To understand when he begs to leave the light on.”
In the past, Davion has had issues with anger management. He had thrown chairs, earned poor grades and pushed people away. But all of that changed when he searched and found his birth mother, this past June. Davion went to the library and found a mug shot for La-Dwina Ilene “Big Dust” McCloud, age 55. Shortly after that, he found her obituary. The article on Naples News explains that Davion learning of his mother’s passing and that she wasn’t coming back to get him, made him change his behavior. Davion’s caseworker said after he let go of hope of his mother’s return, he wanted to show everyone who he could be so someone would want him.
Throughout the summer he worked on his temper and dropping his defenses. He lost 40 pounds and as a current 10th grader, he’s earned all A’s except in geometry.
As he was speaking to the congregation, he said, “I’ll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
After hearing that God helps those who help themselves, it was Davion’s idea to appeal to the members of St. Mark. Before he spoke, he told his caseworker, Connie Going: “I know they’re out there. Maybe if someone hears my story…”
At the time the article was published on Naples News, on October 15, there had been two couples who asked about Davion. But no one has come forward to adopt him yet. If you want more information about Davion, or other foster children in the Florida area who are awaiting families, you can call Eckerd at 866-233-0790. If you’re unable to adopt but want to donate time or money, you can call Eckerd at 727-456-0600.
Janet Jackson is going to be a mama! Well, maybe. According to US Weekly, the singer and her new husband, Wissam Al Mana, are reportedly ready to start a family and they’re thinking about adopting to do it.
A source told the tabloid that Janet, who is now 47, is “quietly” looking into the process of adopting a child from a third-world country, saying:
“She now pretty much knows pregnancy is not in the cards, so she’s been looking into adopting. She’s been very moved by the events in Jordan and Syria now that she’s been living overseas. Not sure how soon it will happen, but there’s been movement on this.”
Page Six has a bit of a different take on the rumor, reporting that a family member told them “it’s going to happen and real soon,” with an additional source weighing in with:
“Janet has always been concerned about the welfare of the world’s children and it’s important to her that she affords a baby the opportunities that have been afforded her.”
Their sources also say the pop star, who has remained in remarkable shape over the years, hasn’t totally ruled out pregnancy just yet, which isn’t totally surprising considering her Hollywood cohorts are popping out babies at around the same age. Still, it’s worth questioning the legitimacy of these reports, as there isn’t exactly a strong track record of accuracy when it comes to reporting on Janet and Wissam. Remember all the hoopla earlier this year about the couple planning an extravagant wedding, only to find out they had secretly wed last year? Janet’s own family didn’t even know about the wedding so it would be surprising for news as big as this to fall through the cracks. But, if the Al Manas are indeed thinking about adopting, good luck to them on starting a family!
What do you think?
White House Down actress and mommy of three, Garcelle Beauvias, is currently gearing up for the launch of her new I Am book series, which is geared towards children and speaks on subjects like adoption, divorce and being bi-racial. The first release from the series titled, I Am Mixed, encourages children to embrace diversity.
“I Am Mixed is an invaluable teaching tool that all children from all races can learn from,” said fellow Hollywood actress, Halle Berry, who wrote the book’s foreword.
According to Beauvais, the book was inspired by her two younger sons.
“It was an opportunity to help my children understand what makes them special, to know their heritage and learn self-acceptance. I really hope it will start conversations for other families as well,” the 46-year-old Haitian beauty told parenting site Elizabeth Street.
“I want my children to have compassion for all human beings regardless of race, age, or any other differences. Having respect is a big part of what I want to instill in them. And most importantly, I want them to be proud of what makes them who they are!,” she continued.
She went on to say that when she moved from Haiti to Massachusetts, she was the only Black child in school and it was the first time she she was “different.”
“When I came here, we moved to Massachusetts and I didn’t speak English. When I went to school, I was the only black child, and the kids would touch my skin and feel my hair because they hadn’t seen someone like me. I never thought of myself as different until then. I learned to be more accepting of others because of my experience.”
A brief description of I Am Mixed found on Amazon.com reads:
“Jay and Nia are the children of two worlds, and as they will discover, they can enjoy the best of both. From Mommy’s jazz beats to Daddy’s classical piano, we will dance with the twins through a book that explores what it is to be of mixed ancestry, proving that a child is more than the sum of their parents.”
Even when it comes to adopting a child, the capitalistic notion of “supply and demand” is applicable. And a child’s price tag in the adoption market indicates which ethnicity is more desirable. White children are more expensive with a $30,000 price tag, while biracial and Black children cost about $25,000 and $20,000 respectively, reports Jezebel.
A study that surveyed adoptive parents between 2004 and 2009 found that there were stronger preferences for girls and children who are not African American. Despite the fact that Americans generally prefers boys, prospective parents favor girls because they believe female adopted children are more socially tame than males.
The same study shows that an African-American baby is seven times less likely to attract the attention of a prospective parent compared to a non-Black baby. Although the cost discrepancy based on a child’s race seems discriminatory, research shows that the differences stem from who’s adopting.
According to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, 63 percent of the children in foster care were adopted by White parents while only 27 percent were adopted by Black parents. As Whites are the parents that are primarily interested in adopting, their main preference for their prospective children is making sure there’s a resemblance. They want children who “can potentially pass as their biological children,” the study added.
Caryn Lantz, who has adopted a child, noted that during the process, she remembered a social worker telling her that the process would move more rapidly if she was open to “adopting an African-American child.” NPR adds, “adopting biracial, Latino, Asian or Caucasian children could be a slower process… because there were more parents waiting for them.”
Lantz was upset to hear this because she felt as if these adoption agencies were segregating children and pricing them based on race. Despite being a Caucasian woman, Lantz agreed to adopt two African-American boys.
The decreased price is one of the strategies being used to increase the appeal of Black children. Also, in 2009, the federal government funded an ad campaign to “encourage black families to adopt, in hopes that they’d be more likely to take home children who looked like them,” Jezebel added.
One woman, according to Jezebel, made the decision to adopt an African-American son. She understands the different price tags on children based on race, but she stated, “My son was cheaper than if he’d been white. How will he feel, if he even finds out about that?
When we first toured my daughter’s private school, I saw a little African-American girl toddling around, grinning happily and looking adorable in her matching jumper and sandals. I looked around for the girl’s mother, happy to know that there were at least a few black parents there.
But then the girl’s mother, a slim white woman with short blonde hair, came and swooped her up, nuzzling against her smooth skin. Oh, I thought to myself. Why did I just assume that a black child would have to have a black parent?
I probably made that assumption because, despite what you may see coming out of Hollywood, black children tend to get adopted at lower rates than do white or Asian children. Here’s a number that may surprise you: More than 30 percent of the American population has, at one point or another, considered adopting a child. But how many have actually taken steps to do so? Only two percent.
That type of numbers game may be one explanation for why so many black children are waiting to be adopted. As of 2010, more than 115,000 children were in the foster care system on adoption lists; these children are disproportionately older children of color. However, most adoptive parents request the children be younger than two years old, have no disabilities or significant trauma and, oh yes, be white. While the number of transracial adoption has grown over the years (some estimate the number to be 40% of all U.S. adoptions), white parents adopting black children is still rare.
Rachel Garlinghouse, a white woman and author of Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide To Adopting and Raising Black Children, has adopted two black children and shares her story at WhiteSugarBrownSugar.com.
“Transracial adoptive parents have a unique responsibility to foster racial pride and identity within their children,” she writes on her blog. “I do not believe in entering into transracial adoption lightly. However, I’m heartbroken at the lack of families willing to parent children of color.”
Read more on MommyNoire.com.
Are you a new African American adoptive mother? We are casting new adoptive mothers that are willing to let us shadow them for a FULL day for an episode of Mommy in Chief. You must live in the NYC metro area and be willing to accept our crew into your home for a full interview about the adoption process and your experience.
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.