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By Adoptions Together on 7/5/2012 7:46 AM
When adopting internationally, many parents worry about the potential for a language barrier with their newly adopted child.  They may wonder how they will communicate and meet their child’s needs without the benefit of a common language.  The truth is that while language delays and communication challenges are common among internationally adopted children, most are able to learn a second language with relative ease.  Between birth and the age of seven is the optimum age range for children to learn a new language, and children who learn English before puberty (around age 10) do not typically retain a noticeable accent from their native language.  Even older children can readily learn English with time, patience and the appropriate opportunities and supports.  Besides age, additional factors that correlate with the ability of children to learn English include cognitive functioning, personality, and the proficiency with which they are already speaking in their native language.  If they are delayed in their native language, it is highly likely that they will also experience challenges and delays with learning English. (Read More)
By Adoptions Together on 6/12/2012 7:22 AM
Over the past few years, China has developed procedures to encourage the adoption of children who have been identified as having special needs. These children, also often referred to as “waiting children”, are being placed with families from the U.S. and other foreign countries in record numbers.  This has been a very exciting and positive development for the children, as well as for the families.

How did this come about?

China developed a “one child policy” years ago due to overpopulation pressures.  This resulted in the abandonment of many children, especially baby girls and children with medical issues. For years China’s government-run adoption system placed abandoned healthy baby girls with adoptive families. However the children with medical needs typically entered the orphanage system indefinitely. In time it became clear that these children’s needs would be better met by families. China instituted an efficient and smooth process for information about these children to be available to accredited agencies, so that the agencies can seek appropriate families who are able to meet the children’s needs. (Read More)
By Adoptions Together on 2/28/2012 4:06 PM
Living in a diverse society, families come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and experiences.  Being an adoptee can bring up identity issues for children and teens. Transracial adoption is when an adoptee is of a different cultural and/or racial heritage from their adoptive parents.  With transracial adoption, an adoptee’s identity formation can become more complex.  With that in mind, how can parents honor, support and connect with cultural and ethnic experiences for their child and family?  This may seem like a challenge so let’s explore some ideas and strategies.
By Adoptions Together on 2/21/2012 1:47 PM
Some of the common mistakes made while treating ethnic hair range from over shampooing, under conditioning and using the wrong products to combing and detangling.   Here are five tips to help you out:

1)    Shampooing more than 1x a week is not recommended.
On "shampoo-less" days, simply do a conditioning rinse, doing so will pump much needed moisture back into her hair without stripping away essential nutrients, rinse away unnecessary dirt and oil, and give her a fresh, clean start.  Condition once a month with heat, especially in the winter. Proper conditioning is one of the most important steps for healthy hair. Unfortunately, most do not take the time to adequately do so.
By Adoptions Together on 2/7/2012 9:30 AM
Dramatic changes have unfolded over the past few years in the area of international adoption. Adoptions of children from some countries have been put on hold. The number of adoptions of children from other countries has decreased significantly.  There has been greater emphasis on the adoptions of older children and children with special needs from overseas. New procedures and safeguards have been developed to prevent unethical practices in the international adoption process. What’s going on?
By Adoptions Together on 10/4/2011 1:45 PM
I recently got a call from a frantic adoptive parent: “I took my son to the MVA to apply for a learner’s permit. They said he has to have proof of U.S. citizenship. They told me that his Maryland birth certificate is not proof of citizenship, since he was born overseas.  I’m not even sure if my son is a U.S. citizen!  Help! What do I do?”

Such calls are not unusual.  Whether or not your internationally-adopted child is a U.S. citizen depends on a number of factors.  Even if your child is a U.S. citizen, you may not yet have proof of citizenship.  It is crucial to ensure both that your child has U.S. citizenship, and also that he/she has proof of that citizenship.