Adoption News & Events
A Russian rights ombudsman has said, on Thursday, June 18, that Russian and U.S. negotiators have agreed to set up licensed adoption agencies and allow monitors to visit the homes of adopted children as part of a new accord. But the U.S. State Department has said that no deal has yet been reached. Adoptions in Russia became a highly emotional issue in April when a Tennessee adoptive mother put her 7-year-old boy on a plane back to Russia unaccompanied by an adult. International outrage followed, and new adoptions by U.S. parents of Russian children virtually stopped. U.S. citizens have adopted nearly 50,000 Russian children since the early 1990ís, a ministry official said last month.
Finally, just before his 18th birthday, Sheldon got the gift he had dreamed about for twelve years. He walked into Philadelphia Family Court with the two people who would that day become his official, legal parents.
"We were just slightly nervous," remembers his dad. "In the back of your mind is always the thought that maybe they'll figure out some reason we can't do this." But all went smoothly, and there was a party afterward for friends. Two months later, members of both parents' extended families were invited to a "Covenanting" ceremony where Doug Brunk and Lloyd Bowman wrote the words that were in their hearts and committed to being Sheldon's parents forever.
Brunk and Bowman are two of an increasing number of gay men and women who are adopting children who now live in foster care. Their son, Sheldon, now 19, was 17 when he came to live with them. They plan to adopt again.
The National Adoption Center, based in Philadelphia, has been a new initiative for members of the gay community to advise and support them as they consider adoption and begin their adoption search. In May 2010 The Center collaboration with Delaware Valley lagacy fund and the Sapphire Foundation.
While the Center has always welcomed gay men and women as candidates for adoption, it please to be proactive, encouraging those who may be considering adoption, but don't know how to begin, which adoption agency to approach and who need support during the adoption process.
There are 125,000 children throughout the country living in foster care who wait to be adopted; 1,600 are living in the Delaware Valley. Most children are school age and many, like Sheldon, are teenagers who still hope for a permanent family. Since 1972, the Center has helped find families for more than 23,000 children.
Sheldon's parents spoke at the March 25 event along with Ken Mullner, the Center's executive director, and Perry Monastero, executive director of DVLF.
For additional information, contact Ken Mullner at 215-875-0323.