Orphanage Care

It is common for children who have been adopted (in particular at an older age and those adopted from institutional care) to display a developmental age different from their chronological age. A child’s chronological age is their age based on their date of birth. A child’s developmental age is the age at which they function emotionally, physically, cognitively and socially. A child may be five years old at the time of adoption, but developmentally they may display behaviors that make them seem much younger. Understanding that there is often a difference between a child’s chronological and developmental age at the time of adoption, and for a period of time after

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Orphanage Care: When Your Child Comes Home

by Megan Montgomery It is impossible to offer a nurturing environment that meets the needs of each individual child within an orphanage. No orphanage is capable of providing the same quality of care as a family. With that said, each orphanage will be different. Orphanages have varying levels of financial support, staff dedication and additional resources. Even the most dedicated staff will struggle without the other two and vice versa, without dedicated staff no amount of money or resources in the world could make up for quality staff. OrphanageCareChild-to-care-giver ratios in orphanages are often seriously disproportioned. Whether there are 9 children or 19 per one caregiver, there will inevitably be

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Becoming a Multicultural Family

by Megan Montgomery Helping your adopted child connect with their birth culture pays dividends. When you choose to adopt internationally the odds are great that you are adding diversity to your family. With this choice you are also making the decision to accept, value and participate in another culture-–your child’s birth culture. A few helpful reminders as you embark on such a task: Your depiction of your child’s birth culture will influence how they view themselves and where they came from. Your knowledge of your child’s birth culture will help you to answer questions your child has as they grow. Your commitment to incorporating your child’s birth culture into your

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Waiting Child Adoption from China

by Megan Montgomery The China adoption program has been placing children with additional needs and older children with interested families for a number of years. This path to adoption from China has often been called Waiting Child adoption or Special Needs adoption. Over the last couple of years, this process has evolved significantly. Today, families considering adopting a waiting child (a child who is older or has known medical needs) from China have multiple options when adopting a waiting child. The more traditional path includes registering with an agency, submitting the dossier, and then being matched through the agency with a child who is waiting. A second option is for

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Thoughts on Re-homing from an Adoption Professional

by Megan Montgomery The media has recently been covering the topic of “re-homing.”  Re-homing occurs when an adoptive family locates someone else to take in and care for their child without checking into the new family’s history, completing background checks, or involving their adoption agency or other legal entities in the change of custody.  Interestingly, the term “re-homing” is not familiar to many within the adoption community. I think most people felt speechless when they first read the articles. How could anyone leave a child with a complete stranger? What would possess someone to think this was the best option? Certainly, desperate people will do desperate things, but this seems

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Become an Advocate for Your Child’s Education

by Megan Montgomery As a new school year approaches many parents are out purchasing school supplies, making sure the perfect backpack is picked out and are reading books about the first day of school to help their child get familiar or reacquainted with this school thing. However, for some parents, back to school time might be filled with anxiety and an overwhelming uncertainty of how their child will perform this year. Post-institutionalized children in particular are at a high risk for school related difficulties.  Developmental delays, language and learning disabilities are common in such children.  Post Adoption research indicates that a developing child’s progress is directly proportional to factors such

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What to Expect #3: Attachment and Bonding

To even begin to understand the reality of attachment and bonding we need to know what these terms mean. Attachment: Attachment is a tie between two people. Healthy attachment is a two-way street, this occurs when a caregiver (parent), provides stable and consistent responses to the child’s distress. Distress occurs when a baby or child experiences hunger, fatigue, illness or any other type of discomfort. Bond: The lasting relationship/the connection, the “emotional glue”. Factors which may impair healthy attachment include: multiple caregivers, invasive or painful medical procedures/hospitalization (in particular hospitalization at critical developmental periods), sudden or traumatic separation from a primary caregiver, neglect, sexual or physical abuse, prenatal alcohol or

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The Changing Face of International Adoption

by Megan Montgomery Every few days or so we notice something in the news about the declining numbers of international adoptions, so we decided to examine it and truly believe the decline can’t be narrowed down to any single factor.  However, over the past few years international adoption agencies have closed their doors or their country programs, or have attempted re-build their programs.  New policies and procedures have been put in place and in some cases fewer children have been made eligible for Inter-country adoption in a greater effort to find families in their country of birth. For years International Adoption statistics were soaring, with the peak being in 2004

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Curious about International Adoption, but not sure where to go for reliable information?

by Megan Montgomery Adoption STAR is full of good resources for you to start your research to determine if International Adoption is a good fit for your family and we are happy to answer questions along the way. At first International Adoption might seem overwhelming, but if you are already considering adoption, you might find that after a little research on the options in International Adoption, that it might not be that far fetched from the vision you have for your family. Is International Adoption expensive?  There is definitely a significant cost to adoption.  When adopting from abroad, there are typically government fees in both countries in addition to possible

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Parenting After Older Child Adoption

by Megan Montgomery Webinars are a great way to fit a little extra learning into your day. I love to sign up for webinars related to adoption to enhance my understanding of adoption related issues and learn more about the critical things families are struggling with. Plus I do not even have to leave the comfort of my office, no one sees me eating lunch when the class falls into my lunch-time, amnd oftentimes they are free. Recently, I participated in a webinar entitled “Parenting After Older Child Adoption” with Regina Kupecky. This webinar reinforced by understanding of the various stages one might see post adoption; in the way a

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