Tuesday, April 3, 2018

PICKING YOUR HOMESTUDY PROVIDER

I've done 1000’s of homestudies and prepared singles and couples adopting domestically and internationally since 1986. Whether choosing me or not, I want people finding the appropriate and best homestudy provider (private social worker or agency) possible.
To assist in that process, I developed 10 THINGS TO ASK THE SOCIAL WORKER OR AGENCY: BEFORE DOING YOUR HOMESTUDY

1.   Have you done homestudies before?
It is very important that the social worker doing your homestudy has experience in adoption and writing of the reports as there are specific state and federal regulations that must be adhered to.

2.   Have you done a homestudy for a domestic adoption or for the country I am adopting from?
Just knowing what goes into a homestudy does not mean the social worker knows the subtleties and wordings that are necessary to meet a specific country, state or agency’s requirements.

3.   When did you last do a domestic/international homestudy for the type of adoption I am doing?
Things change all the time. You want your social worker to do it right the first time. Any unfamiliarity with current standards or requirements will cause delays in your adoption process.

4.   Can you do the necessary clearances for the homestudy?
Different states require state criminal or child abuse clearances. Additional federal clearances may be necessary, as well.

5.   Have you worked with my "placement agency" or “attorney” before? If so, when?
Collaboration between your placement agency, attorney and homestudy provider is critical during your adoption process. Find out early if they have worked together and if they will work together at this time to meet all the requirements for your adoption.

6.   Can you review the report before it goes to the attorney, agency, court or immigration?
While there are some instances in which you cannot see your homestudy prior to submission, you should know the answer before you start the process. If you cannot see it prior to submission, will you know what the recommendation will be? What happens if there is incorrect information?

7.   Who “owns” the homestudy?
If you change your adoption process after the homestudy is complete, can you get additional original documents to work with another agency or attorney? Is there an additional interview or fee?

8.   How long does the homestudy process take and what is going on during that time?
Get a general time line and understanding of the steps of the process. Will you be notified if there are delays?

9.   How much does the homestudy cost?
Get a description of all fees that may apply, even if you are not receiving a specific service at that time. What other services may be available/needed (ex. Post Placement Visits) and what are the fees?

10. Can you call the social worker, if you have questions during the process?
You want to make sure the person doing your homestudy remains available to you during the homestudy process, and even after the adoption. Can you call them from time to time with a question about the process or if you are “having a bad day”? Is there an additional fee?

Be an educated consumer. Seek references from other adoptive parents and local
adoptive parent support groups.

Best of luck throughout your adoption process…..

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and
advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has
prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and
adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the
Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and
is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, Adoption Professional
Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs
and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer
for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on
Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

THE ADOPTION SOCIAL WORKER*

I love being an adoption social worker. I get to  help singles  and  couples  achieve a  dream by  preparing  them for  adoptive  parenting.  I enjoy meeting their children, receiving annual family photos and hearing from them over the years.

Each day is a bit different. Some days I am running from home to home visiting families. Some days, I set aside time for the paperwork and writing of reports. I try to alternate them so that I can write a homestudy or post placement as soon as possible after seeing a family so that there is a real sense of who this particular family is.

A homestudy appointment has me checking through any paperwork or documents I have received to familiarize myself with the situation and the household members. I want to be as supportive as I can to help a potential adoptive parent adopt and be the best parent they can be. I approach each visit with several goals: to gather the specific information I need to meet state or federal regulations, or those of a particular adoption agency (should I be conducting the homestudy under their auspices); assessing strengths and concerns regarding individual household members; and providing adoption education (regarding the process or parenting).

The actual home visit involves interviews with each household member, including children. Depending on the age of a child, they may be observed as they interact with their parent or sibling, they may be asked questions about their likes and dislikes, they may show me their room and favorite toys and books; or they may ask me questions about adding a sibling to the family through adoption. There is also a run-through of the home, including the living space for the new child.

The interview is thorough. There are discussions of family background, household relationships and interactions, children in the home, motivation to adopt and views on parenting, named guardians, finances and the home and community. Along with the paperwork provided all become the foundation for the written report.

Depending on the time of day, during the home visit, some families provide a beverage or a snack. While always appreciated, it is best to make sure it is food that can be eaten while talking and writing.

After the visit, I spend time again reviewing the paperwork and interview materials and writing the report. I want your personality, lifestyle and hopes for parenting to be reflected and not sound like everyone else. This can take several more hours. If I have additional questions, I email or call the family. Once the draft is ready, it will be reviewed by an agency (if one is involved in the process) or the family. After everyone approves, the final report is produced, notarized and submitted to the proper authorities.

While the homestudy is finished, my role with a family does not stop there. I remain available for questions or concerns throughout the adoption process and will visit again after the child has been placed for the Post Placement Supervision report. These reports detail the adjustment of the child and family and are used to recommend the finalization of the adoption or to report back to those who were involved in the adoption process (attorneys, agencies, courts, state entities or foreign entities).

During any given day, I am on the phone, texting and emailing with clients, potential clients, family members, attorneys, agencies and courts regarding potential or active situations. I am following up on missing documents or adoption paperwork, staying on top of changes in the adoption world and interacting with colleagues to maintain and grow my network of professionals who can be helpful to clients and their children.

It is my honor and privilege to be asked to help a family adopt and to be allowed into their lives. I take my role as an adoption social worker very seriously. I am also a mom through adoption and know the joy of adoption, as well as the challenges of the process and of parenting. I remember my own homestudy and how I worried about what I would be asked. I vowed that as an adoption worker, if I could make the homestudy any less stressful for a potential or current parent, I would. I spend time on the phone before the visit to make sure they know what to expect to alleviate some of the anxiety and to answer any questions. I remain available throughout the process for questions or needed information or referrals. I suggest local support groups or counseling if I feel someone needs more ongoing support. Mostly, I soothe and encourage never losing sight of the goal—to parent or enlarge a family.

There is a child out there for every family. Sometimes the journey to parenting is slower than a person would like and/or takes a different path then they expected. I am there to hold a hand, provide a shoulder to lean on and act as a mentor. Getting through the homestudy is just a part of the process. Adoption works. I see it every day and am grateful for being a part of that journey.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, Adoption Professional Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

*first appeared on Adoption.net

Monday, February 19, 2018

UNAVOIDABLE CONVERSATIONS

As a parent I always thought that no matter what life threw at me I would be there to protect my children - and I try.

My daughters are now 26 and 30 so what we deal with these days is so much more complicated and harder than any adoption discussion.


Another shooting. This time in a high school in Florida. In explaining what happened, the media mentioned the shooter was adopted and went on to say his father died when he was young and his mother last year and implied that the adoption had something to do with his problems. I wish they had just said that he had many losses in his life prior to the incident. They if they wanted to mention adoption, the loss of his parents and being taken in by another family, it would have some context.

I thought the news media had advanced and was viewing adoption more positively these days, but I guess not. Many times, it reinforces the incorrect concept that adopted children are emotionally disturbed. That they snap and do unimaginable things. That adoption somehow makes them unstable. FACT: the overwhelming majority of adopted kids are just fine.

As we as adukts decide what and how we an make the world safer for our kids, I can only imagine the discussions or lack thereof with our kids. My younger daughter and I discussed this event. It came on the heels of the horrific Las Vegas shooting (She lives in Las Vegas). She was overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety and is more vigilant than ever.

Adopted kids have an added layer of identity. They need to know where they came from and how they joined our families. They need to know adoption is one piece of who they are. They need to understand the losses in their lives. They need you to help them with that.

With my daughters – I shared their adoption story and helped them learn what to say and what information to hold close to their hearts. We talked about when to tell their friends or when to reveal at school as part of homework or a classroom assignment. They knew what they would choose to tell others about their own adoption and when it was better to provide generic information.  They understood and later became advocates as they grew older.

With this troubling story in the news and the adoption being repeated in the media coverage again and again, take this opportunity to discuss adoption with your child. To explain that the media often uses words without always being aware of the impact it may have on others. That adoption is not a precursor to violence. Tell them to talk to you if they have any questions. And, take what they say seriously. Seek professional guidance, if they are struggling with adoption or any other issues in which you don’t feel you are prepared to help. Asking for guidance is not a sign of weakness in you or your child. It is a sign of strength.

This week as we try to rationalize and comprehend what has happened once again, hold your children near and let them know you are always there for them.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, Adoption Professional Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

Thursday, February 1, 2018

MEMORIES & CONVERSATIONS

I still get pictures of the many families I have helped over the years. With Facebook, email and texts, I can expect a few a week but even more arrive during the holiday season.

I love keeping track of how everyone is doing and how big the kids have grown. I love hearing about accomplishments and being asked if I can help direct a family for assistance when they have challenges. I am asked frequently about the "talking to kids" piece of any adoption story. More often during the young years, when first telling a child about their early life, as well as years later when more details of histories are being revealed or when kids start talking about searching or contemplating reunion.

Each child is unique and will ask for and process information differently. Every family has its own way of sharing and dealing with tougher information (not just adoption related). Some families tell everything; others hold on to secrets. Most adoptive families I know fall somewhere in the middle.

Parents usually share information with their sons and daughters  but wait until they feel their child is ready. Parents themselves may not be ready to reveal information, feeling it will cause their child to become upset or raise even more questions.

The reality is that as we figure this out for ourselves and our children, we must never forget that the information - your child's early history, heritage and culture - are things they should know. Because only then will they be able to integrate their identity while being raised by you. 

If you as a parent are hesitant, there are several things to consider:
 
  • ·       Are you frightened information will challenge your role as the parent?
  • ·       Are you questioning how much information to reveal?
  • ·       Are you unsure how to say "it"?
  • ·       Are you worried your child may react badly to what they are told?
  • ·       Are you concerned your child will "tell others"?
  • ·       Are you worried your child may want additional information you are not ready to share or do not have?

These are all normal questions and concerns. In fact, they are all important to consider in any interaction about adoption with your child.

I always recommend parents start talking to their child about adoption even before the child understands what they are saying. This gives parents a chance to rehearse what they will say. In addition, by doing so, they will become more comfortable with the words and their body language will be more relaxed. This, in turn, will avoid a child picking up that talking about adoption makes a parent nervous.

This doesn’t mean a parent still won’t have apprehensions and worry how a child will react to the information, but if they have started to talk about the adoption since the child was young, and added details as they grew and could comprehend that information, the result should be emotionally smoother conversations.

In addition to talking to your child about the details, a parent needs to help a child understand how others may interpret their being an adopted child. There are several ways to do this:
 
  • ·       Model how to share information (Your child is always watching and listening).
  • ·       Share generic details of adoption (not the specific details of your child birth family and reason for adoption) with others.
  • ·       Provide information on how adoption works (the process) - again not your child's process.
  • ·       Get comfortable in saying "I don't feel comfortable sharing that information." or "Those details remain private in our family." or try "I am surprised you would ask such personal questions."
  • ·       There is always the fall back - "I have been advised by professionals not to share that information until (the child's name) is ready to do so."

I remember sharing my daughters' stories with them. I remember fielding questions from those around them when they were young and teaching them to handle the conversations as they grew older. I recall discussing situations with them after they happened (i.e. how adoption was portrayed (good or bad, accurate or imaginary) in movies, on television and in the media. I remember interactions with  teachers and administrators as classroom assignments and assigned reading materials raised issues.

Each child is different and will require unique interventions and conversations from you. My daughters, raised in the same home, had different questions and different needs for information. I took my lead from them - still do.

Looking at pictures of my daughters at various stages (which are in my office) and receiving those from families I helped over the years, makes me relive those conversations. I learned from my own experiences, as well as those of others, and still enjoy passing along what I have learned and what worked.


Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, Adoption Professional Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

REFLECTIONS

Usually at this time of the year I have the typical resolutions of losing weight, seeing friends more often and watching my health. This year, I decided to go with something less specific - I will be good to myself. 

It has been freezing in the Northeast for over a week. Temperatures have plummeted and wind chills like this have never been seen in this part of the United States. Even weather forecasters seem to be amazed at what we are experiencing.

And so, with the cold days (and remembering how I slipped on the ice two years ago and broke a wrist), I will be staying home on icy and snowy days. I will do more over-the-phone consultations and short-term counseling. This does not mean I won’t do homestudy and post placement visits. I just will be careful scheduling them. I absolutely love meeting the families in person and later, their children.

I am taking advantage of being home more. I have been cooking, baking and snuggling on the couch with the dog (even more important these days as he has extra body heat). I normally bake cookies at this time of year. But with all this extra time, I have added and perfected making bread and fudge.

Baking and snuggling have me reminiscing about days gone by. Thirty years ago, I was getting used to being a mom, making formula, changing diapers and catching up on sleep when I could. Twenty-five years ago, I was juggling 2 daughters under the age of 5. I had begun to work part-time and, while forever tired, was in heaven. 

I always tried to put a home cooked meal on the table, but admit that after a while, Chinese food and pizza deliveries slipped into our routine. I needed to do something better.... I began to experiment with 15-30 minute meals. I would prepare ingredients over the weekends and sneaked lots of vegetable purees into foods such as smoothies, meatloaf, chili and more. I even learned to make a few Chinese dishes and pizza (crust included), so that I knew what ingredients we were eating. Over the years, I got better and better at it. I shared recipes with other new moms and those with little extra time who were learning to cook.

My daughters didn't get the cooking bug until they were older. I didn't get the baking bug until they were teens. I began to bake bread, bagels, bialys and cookies. These days, with my daughters living on their own, I baked and shipped them a selection of cookies, brownies, fudge, rugelach and crispy treats. 

My resolution was to be good to myself. I enjoy working in the kitchen (as well as with clients).  All this baking is my winter routine.  I will stop baking and creating sweet treats but I will continue baking breads and I will snuggle with the dog as often as possible. He is a warm and calming influence in my daily life.

I always think about the days long ago, the adoption of my daughters (1987 and 1991), watching them grow and seeing them become independent young women. One of the many things I take pride in is their ability to cook a delicious meal. While I shall never know if it's nature or nurture, I do know it's like mother - like daughter.

And now, I’m off to send some fudge to that friend "in need" of a sweet....

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

Thursday, December 14, 2017

GETTING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

The holidays are upon us. You most likely will spend more time with family and friends, catching up on the year gone by and looking forward to the one to come. Children will be part of many celebrations and ever present on television shows and commercials. If you are trying to conceive or adopt - any of these situations may impact on your emotions. If you are in your own home, you can change the channel or mute unwanted messages. But, if you are out and about or with family and friends, someone will most likely bring up the subject of children or family building.

Preparing for this scenario may make things easier.  You can shop on line to avoid seeing children in the mall or go there late at night when most children should be home and in bed.  You do not have to go to any events or celebrations that make you uncomfortable.  You can carefully choose the ones to attend. However, you should have a plan. Decide ahead of time, what questions you will answer, what information you will reveal and what is off limits. You have the right to share only what you want to share.

Make sure someone else at the party "has your back". They should be aware of your plan and know when to distract others with varying topics of conversation or suggesting you come try a food or are needed somewhere else. Agree on how you will let them know you need their assistance (i.e. a tug on an ear, use of a specific word, twirling a ring or other signal.) 

It's also okay to spend some alone time. Create new holiday traditions. Do something with friends or family who get “it". Schedule a pampering session. Vacation in an adult only resort. 

You can also prepare and get through the holidays (and other events throughout the year) with the help of a support system (in-person or online group) or by seeking out professional counseling (short or long term).

I never forgot how it felt to attend events where I knew my emotions would be raw. I admit I avoided some. Even after having my daughters, I learned to stay away from gatherings where new mothers talked about pregnancy and childbirth. Over the years, it was much easier as conversations turned to day-to-day parenting. Then I was one of the group. 

Remember - it is up to you what to share and with whom, now and in the future. It is your story now. As your child grows, it will become their story, too. You can share specific or generic information or no information at all. You will teach your child how to field questions, to answer or not.

Adoption will always be a part of how you became a family. Some days, it will fade into the background. Holidays tend to bring it to the forefront.

Wishing you a happy holiday season.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL

Friday, December 8, 2017

A CHILD'S UNDERSTANDING OF ADOPTION

What we tell a child and how they interpret and restate what they are told may differ.

While you should have been having this conversation from the time you gained custody of your child, it is not until the age of 2 or 3, as their language and cognitive abilities develop, that a child begins to restate what they have been told. Children in this age range will repeat what they have heard. "You were adopted" may be restated as "I am a doctor", since they only understand and know the word "doctor". Some parents smile and leave this alone. Others, correct the child by saying something calmly and supportively, "It's not doctor, it's 

“adopted”. It means you were born in another woman's tummy and then came to live with me." By repeating what your child has been told before, you are reinforcing the fact and helping them learn the words and the concept. By practicing this from the time your child is placed with you, your voice tone and body language will become relaxed and you will feel comfortable speaking about it with your child.

If you are adopting again, you can use the new process to help explain to your child how they joined your family. You should talk about the process, but not the details of the new child's background or birth family, even if your child meets the birth family. All details should be given to the specific child, when the time is right. Again, be aware of your use of language and responses throughout the process, as they will be sensed by the child that is currently living with you. And as your child gains more of an understanding, you can answer any additional questions your child may have.
  
In the elementary school years, your child begins to understand that for them to be part of your family, they had to lose their first family. And, while their conceptual framework for adoption will improve as they mature, their emotional understanding may take many more years to develop. Regardless of what you say, your child will develop his or her own adoption narrative. It may include what you have told them, as well as what they think or wish happened. It is important to let your child process the information in their own time and in their own language. 

While you may want to protect your child from sad feelings, they have the right and need to feel them.  No parent wants their child to be uncomfortable. Physical discomfort is easier to resolve. Emotional discomfort, such as sadness, anger or anxiety are more difficult to sooth. Do not erase your child's feelings or reactions. Do not tell them not to feel an emotion. Do not provide words for them. Do try to elicit more about how they are feeling. Do try to help them express their reactions in their own words. If they are having trouble expressing themselves, try drawing a picture or acting it out. 

While you may feel bad that you don't have all the answers, maintaining a relationship with birth parents or creating a way for birth and adoptive families to reach one another may make obtaining information possible. However, even with these in place, there still may be unanswerable questions.

It is important to know what you are feeling as your child grapples with the reasons for their adoption. It is important to not let your feelings get in the way. If your child is talking more about adoption, you may need to alert family members, teachers and even the parents of your child's closest friends. You do not have to give any information. Just state that your child may talk about the adoption and if they do, to alert you and send them back to you if they have any questions. Again, remember that any specific information belongs to your child and should be presented to them prior to any family members, etc. Also think through why you are giving out the information. If you need someone to process things with, you should seek out another adoptive parent or counselor (perhaps the social worker who did your homestudy or post placement) or a local adoption specialist.

Over the years, I have counseled thousands of adoptive parents. Talking about adoption is the primary reason they call me after placement. It may be immediately or in the years to come. It may be as their child first begins to understand the words, when a school assignment arises, when peers start asking questions or at the commencement of a second adoption process. It may be an issue for the child or the parents, or both. I am happy to catch up on the weeks, months or years gone by since I have seen a family or to get to know new parents and children grappling with the day-to-day complexities of being an adoptive family and to help a child or family process the information they have, to provide avenues to them to seek or obtain more details or to develop better language for their experiences.

What and how a child understands their adoption is not a one-time event, but takes place over a lifetime. It is a slow discovery and processing, of learning about biological nature, history and heritage and merging it with the family who provided daily care and nurtured them. It is always a unique and individual process. The best a parent can do is to provide information, answer questions, allow a child to feel and process details at their own pace and keep the conversation going.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL