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13May

With Help From Our Friends

 

 
 

We were pleased to have been selected as the beneficiary of proceeds realized from the 2nd Annual Charity Softball Tournament sponsored by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies - Philadelphia Branch. The event, held last Thursday at the Camden River Sharks Stadium, also included teams from the following agencies: Conner Strong & Buckelew; ECBM LP; Johnson, Kendall & Johnson; Altus Partners and NSM Insurance Group. CHUBB’s team won the day, congratulations to them!

 
 
We’d also like to thank Chubb for a $10,000 match challenge at our Celebration of Family Gala held in April. "Chubb has been a valued supporter of the Center," says Ken Mullner, the Center's executive director, " and has been a recipient of its Champion of Adoption award for its outstanding benefits program for employees. We especially appreciate the dedication and contributions of Bryce Graham, Chubb's vice president and marketing manager." Graham is a Center board member. Kelly O’Leary, the Pennsylvania Regional Branch Manager was also instrumental in making all of this happen.
 
Bryce Graham (left) and Ken Mullner
 
 
10May

LGBT Adoption

Last week, the United States Supreme Court Supreme Court considered the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s same-sex marriage statute. “If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples,” Justice Anton Scalia said, “you must permit adoption by same-sex couples. There’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.” 

 
Actually, though there are some dissenters who say that research is not definitive — and some states block gay couples form jointly adopting children — there’s a broad consensus among major medical, psychological and child-welfare organizations that children raised by gay and lesbian parents fare just as well as those raised by straight parents. Scalia’s comments angered many gay-rights activists, including attorney Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal, who called them “dishonest and disingenuous” for disregarding the consensus among child-welfare professionals. So exactly where is this so-called research Justice Scalia is referring to?
22Apr

Federal Policy

Voice for Adoption, of which the National Adoption Center is a founding member, is a membership advocacy organization that speaks out for our nation’s 104,000 waiting children in foster care, and the families that adopt children with special needs. VFA is committed to ensuring federal policies and funding match the ongoing needs of these children and their adoptive families. On February 27, VFA provided testimony to the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources and focused on four key areas:

1. The rate of adoption from foster care is increasing, but the adoption of older youth continues to be a struggle for States.

2. Youth who “age-out” are a vulnerable population and more must be done to secure permanency for these youth before exiting foster care.

3. Adoption experts—both professionals and families alike—identify post-adoption services as a critical need to support families, but a lack of resources to support these efforts is still a challenge.

4. State accountability for the use of federal adoption funding should be reviewed to ensure that reinvestment into supporting adopted children and their families’ is happening as required by law.

We will continue to be a vocal proponent to insure that our federal government addresses each of these concerns.

15Mar

Revelations

shared by Michelle, who's last day of interning with us is today...
 

I've known her since nearly the day I was born. She has remained a force in my life the years thereafter. Over the years, we had shared every aspect of our lives with each other. Well that’s what I thought.

I came to town to visit and we were spending a rainy night at the theater, as we have many times before. On the drive there we talked about our lives, as we have many times before. I told her about my experience working at the National Adoption Center and about some children living in foster care that I had the opportunity to meet. At that moment there was a silence in the car. I had no idea that what I said would turn into a conversation that would change the way I perceived her. 

She’s the daughter of a close relative. But when her parents could no longer take care of her, she was put into foster care, moving from house to house for six years. She cried on my shoulder as she was telling me. I wished my embrace could take those years away, take the pain away. She remembered everything like it was yesterday. She knew what it felt like to feel unwanted, craving nothing but stability. This was her life, until other relatives of mine took her in. They adopted her and gave her the home she had always wanted. 

I always thought that she was amazing. But after hearing her story and the triumph that she’s made, she’s so much stronger than she even realizes. I hope she remembers where she came from and looks at where she is now. Adoption changed her story. It makes me even more proud to say that I work for the National Adoption Center. To say that I may have had a hand in helping a child find a forever family. 

11Mar

Businesses in Historic Old City Philadelphia Help Foster Children Looking to be Adopted

For years we have teamed up with KYW Newsradio to air a program called Wednesday’s Child, hosted by broadcast journalist Larry Kane. Larry, who has been a friend to NAC for more than 25 years, asks the children about themselves and why it is important to them to be adopted. These special interviews are featured on the radio every Wednesday, multiple times a day, with the goal of finding permanent loving homes for these children.

The children who now live in foster care, come to Philadelphia to be taped for the interview, many come from significant distances. NAC has been asking for donations from businesses in Old City Philadelphia, where KYW's studio is located, in an effort to make the day memorable for the children.

We met one of our most enthusiastic partners in this effort last month. Evan Sharps, owner of Old City T-Shirts , is a man who knows all about creating an experience to remember. When Evan heard about the different types of children we work with - the importance of finding them a family, and the joy it would bring to give them a day filled with fun memories, he was quick to hop on board.

Evan has graciously committed to offering every child involved in KYW Newsradio’s Wednesday’s Child program an opportunity to make a custom designed t-shirt in his souvenir shop. Evan’s charming shop is unlike any other. Customers get the chance to choose from a colorful selection of shirts, pick out their own design, and watch their t-shirt instantly come together.

We cannot thank business owners like Evan enough for helping us create a fun and exciting experience for the children who count on us to help find them families.

Spread the support and drop into Old City T-Shirts to see what the hype’s all about!

If you are interested in donating to the National Adoption Center’s Philly Fun Package, contact Beth at: bvogel@adopt.org 

8Mar

Foster Parenting: a Job or a Calling?

Foster parents would be considered public employees allowed to form, join and participate in unions under a bill introduced in Oregon. State Senator Chip Shields introduced a similar bill in 2009 that failed to make it out of committee. According to Shields, “The impetus is How do we help foster parents to be seen as a vital part of the social services safety net?”. More than 8,000 Oregon children are in foster care. This begs the question: Is foster parenting a job, or a calling? 

14Feb

A Love Letter To Our Supporters...

 

On this day, dedicated to love, we want to thank you!

  • Thank you to the families who open up their loving homes to children living in foster care 
  • Thank you to the children who keep faith and hope alive that they will find a family to call their own 
  • Thank you to our donors for your vital financial support so we may continue expanding adoption opportunities for the more than 104,000 children who need to be adopted 

Thanks to all of you who inspire us to continue our work of finding forever families for children who only desire to be loved.

Happy Valentines day!

8Feb

All Children - All Families

 
On Tuesday, February 5, NAC teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children - All Families (ACAF) division to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals through a 5-hour training workshop. HRC’s Ellen Kahn made for a lively, open ended, day of training as the group learned new things about LGBT adoption from the workshop as well as each other.

Many who entered the workshop, including myself, felt as though they were already very knowledgeable in the field and had more to offer than to learn. We participated in many interactive activities, watched a few shorts, and discussed many different topics of interest that were presented by Ellen as well as the group. By the end of the day, everyone left on the same note feeling much more confident in the information they gathered and much more prepared to apply the practices in their field. 

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to sit in on such an event and thoroughly encourage all organizations to work towards receiving the HRC’s All Children All Families Seal of Approval. HRC continues to support equality for LGBT Americans by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.

NAC’s LGBT Initiative strives to expand adoption opportunities for children living in foster care by targeting prospective adoptive parents who identify as LGBT.

Adoption is for all. 

7Feb

Wednesday's Child - Wafiq

 

Meet Wafiq, featured last week on Wednesday’s Child. Like music? This guy knows all about it. Wafiq taught himself to play the drums and blew the minds of everyone at Elm Studio when he hopped on the set. Wafiq had a blast showing off his skills and spending some time with host Vai Sikahema and Dave Uosikkinen, the well known drummer and founder of The Hooters. Wafiq knows the importance of practice and can’t wait to start learning different instruments as well.

 

Aside from his love for music, this 7th grader is doing well in school, expresses an interest in his science classes, and is looking forward to possibly joining the school football team. Wafiq is an extremely friendly kid who does best with one on one interaction. When he’s not behind the drums, you can find Waqif rocking out on his Xbox, tossing around the football, or watching some laugh-out-loud comedies.

 
 

Like all other middle schoolers, Waqif knows the importance of having fun and being a kid. Waqif also knows the importance of family and talks a bit about what family means to him. Waqif says his dream is to be adopted. The most ideal family will be able to provide Waqif with the love, structure, and stability that every growing teen deserves. All families will be considered.

Watch Wafiq’s Wednesday’s Child feature.

28Jan

Kahlisha and Felicia - Wednesday's Child

 

Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child Philadelphia, is a weekly television feature on NBC10 that helps children living in foster care find permanent, loving, adoptive families. Last week 16-year-old twins, Kahlisha and Felicia, had a special visit to Power 99 FM studios to learn the ins and outs of the studio business and meet radio show personality Cappuchino. These two siblings were a joy to be around. Beginning with a tour of the studio, the teens were already excited. Meeting Cappuchino and learning how she runs the midday show was very cool -Kahlisha and Felicia even got some air time and were able to record a few speaking and even singing notes.

 

Their positive energy was irresistibly contagious - Kahlisha enjoys reading, listening to music, watching TV, and cooking. In school, she participates in cheerleading and track. Kahlisha hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting or become a couples therapist. Felicia has an amazing sense of humor and enjoys activities such as reading, blogging, watching movies, and attending sporting events. In school, she is a member of the lacrosse team. Artistic and creative, she dreams of becoming an actress or artist when she grows up.

 

Although the teens have different goals for the future, they share a common goal for the present. Kahlisha and Felicia yearn to be adopted and have definite ideas about what they want in an adoptive family. Kahlisha’s ideal family would be caring, understanding of teens, and non-judgmental. Felicia hopes a family would be supportive and helpful. Most of all, the siblings would like to be adopted together or at least be able to maintain contact with each other. All families will be considered. 

To see the twins on Wednesdays Child, click to see the video

To inquire about Kahlisha and Felicia, please contact Sheina atsmartinez@adopt.org 

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