108 - American Adoption Congress

Report
Created and Presented by
Victoria Ann Baker-Willford
Picket Fence Dreams 2013 ©
Disability &
Adoption
Lifespan
Considerations!
Disability
dis·a·bil·i·ty
noun, plural dis·a·bil·i·ties
• 1. lack of adequate power, strength, or
physical or mental ability; incapacity.
• 2. a physical or mental handicap,
especially one that prevents a person
from living a full, normal life or from
holding a gainful job.
• 3. the state or condition of being
disabled.
Non Adoption Related
PRE EXISTING DISABILITIES
MY EARLIST PHOTO
Daunting Diagnoses
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Bilateral Congenital Cataracts.
Severe Allergies
Asthma
Chronic Bronchitis
Mild Learning Disabilities
Legally Blind
Glaucoma
MTHFR
Anxiety
Epilepsy
STATISTICS
Significant Impact
• In an eight year average (2000-20008)
calculation there were approximately
135,000 adoptions per year in the
United States.
• A rough estimate of children with
disabilities is 11%.
• In the last ten years Approximately
148,000 children in US have a
disability and have been adopted.
SSA
• According to SSA for a person to be
considered disabled he/she is unable
to engage in any substantial gainful
work activity because of a medically
determinable physical or mental
impairment that is expected to last for
12 continuous months or result in
death.
WOW!
• Approximately 17% percent of children
who are currently in foster care qualify
for SSI.
• Compare that to the 2% national
average.
WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHY?
QUESTIONS
Potential Questions
Children May Want to Know!
• Where did my disability come from?
• Was I put up for adoption because of
my disability?
• Will my adoptive parents get tired of
taking care of me too?
• If I was not disabled would I live with
my biological family?
• Will my children have disabilities too?
Should I even have children?
Inquiring minds want to know!
• NAIC (now the Child Welfare Information
Gateway) estimates that there are more than
60,000 Americans searching for birth parents
or children from whom they were separated.
Some may be searching out of curiosity,
emotional reasons, or the need to share
genetic and medical information. In many
states, judges will only accept compelling
medical reasons as sufficient grounds for
issuing a court order to open sealed adoption
records.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/
Each judge determines what is
Sufficient grounds.
HEALTH
What you don’t Know Can Hurt You!
• People with disabilities likely have
more medical appointments than their
peers.
• Lack of Knowledge is frustrating for all
involved.
• Lack of Knowledge can further impair
the health of a person with a disability.
We Don’t Just Look Alike!
Victoria
Marjorie
Other Similarities
• I never met my grandmother. There
was forty five years between us.
• We both have a impish sense of
humor.
• We have identical visual disabilities.
• We have a similar seizure disorder.
• We have anxiety disorders.
Knowledge is Power!
The Best Seizure I Ever Had!
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They came from somewhere.
I was like someone else.
I was not crazy.
I now had something to report.
I was safe.
SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL
IT IS ALL CONNECTED
For a person with pre
existing disabilities the social
and emotional impact of
adoption may lead to
additional disabilities.
Singer, L.M., Brodzinsky, D.M., and Braff, A.M. Children’s
beliefs about adoption: A developmental study. Journal of
Applied Developmental Psychology (1982) 3:285-94.
Which Came First?
For some
adoptees with
disabilities
there is a
question if the
adoption
related issues
led to
debilitating
mental and
physical
conditions.
Something Is Wrong!
• Mental health professionals are surprised at
the alarmingly high number of their patients
who are adopted. Studies show an average of
25 to 35% of the young people in residential
treatment centers are adoptees. This is 17
times the norm. (Lifton, BIRCO--Pannor and
Lawrence)
• Adoptees are more likely to have difficulties
with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as,
eating disorders, attention deficit disorder,
infertility, suicide and untimely pregnancies.
(Young, Bohman, Mitchell, Ostroff, Ansfield,
Lifton and Schecter)
•
Bohman, M and Van Korring, A.. (1979) "Psychiatric illness
among adults adopted as infants". Acta Psychiati Scand.
There is an Increased likelihood for
disabilities for children who have been
adopted.
New Jersey study by Brodzinsky and
Steiger looked at the high numbers of
adoptees in special education. Adopted
children made up about 5 to 7 percent of
the children studied with neurological,
perceptual, or emotional problems. Yet,
they represented only 1 to 2 percent of
the general population of children.
GENETICS
DNA Plays a Huge Role
• Approximately 4 million babies are born each
year. About 3 to 4% will be born with a
genetic disease or major birth defect.
• Approximately 1% of all babies will be born
with chromosomal abnormality, which can
cause physical problems and mental
retardation.
• Approximately 10% of all adults and 30% of
children in hospitals are there due to
genetically related problems.
• There are more than 6,000 known genetic
disorders.
Nussbaum, RL, McInnes RR, Willard HF. Thompson &
Thompson's Genetics in Medicine, 7th ed. 2007, WB Saunders
Company, Philadelphia, PA
http://www.netwellness.org/healthtopics/idbd/2.cfm
Sisters
This is Me!
New Options
• There are options for finding out at
least some medical information.
• 23 and Me offers a health report. In
the report genetic predispositions are
given.
• For instance I have twice the likelihood
of developing rheumatoid arthritis. It is
something to share with my doctors.
www.23andme.com
My
Brother
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY CHILD?
FUTURE GENERATIONS
NATHAN
Adoption Effects Cont…
• Are my disabilities hereditary?
• Did I cause my son to have Autism?
• Does anyone in my biological family
have Autism or learning disabilities like
my son?
• Are there other medical issues I should
be concerned about for my son?
You Can Have a Positive Impact!
HOW TO HELP
Be Person centered
I AM A PERSON ABOVE ALL ELSE!
• Person Centered language model is positive
and powerful.
• It is NOT about being politically correct.
• This language style is empowering for the
person.
EXAMPLES
• “I am so excited we are having a family
dinner on Thursday and we are going
to invite Mary and Todd and their new
adopted kids.”
• Being person centered means focusing
on the people not the labels or
conditions.
• “I am so excited we are having a family
dinner on Thursday and we are going
to invite Mary, Todd and their kids
Ashley and Morganne.
You Can ……
• Listen
• Offer Real Solutions
Genetic testing
Help person get non- identifying
information or other information
that is available.
Search for Biological Family
• Eliminate the “Shoulds”
• Offer or get professional help EARLY.
• Never Lie or exaggerate!
• Be honest about unknowns!
MY STORY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Foster care statistics 2011.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Children’s Bureau.
Bohman, M and Van Korring, A.. (1979) "Psychiatric illness among adults
adopted as infants". Acta Psychiati Scand.
Weiss, A. Symptomatology of adopted and nonadopted adolescents in a
psychiatric hospital. Adolescence (1985) 19:77-88
Dalby, J.T., Fox, S., and Haslam, R.H. Adoption and foster care rates in
pediatric disorders.
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (1982) 3:61-64
Brodzinsky, D.M., and Brodzinsky, A.B. The impact of family structure on
the adjustment of adopted children. Child Welfare (1992) 71:69-75
Singer, L.M., Brodzinsky, D.M., and Braff, A.M. Children’s beliefs about
adoption: A developmental study. Journal of Applied Developmental
Psychology (1982) 3:285-94.
•
http://ouradopt.com/adoption-blog/nov-2009/lisas/studies-pointingdisability-levels-among-adopted-children
•
https://www.childwelfare.gov/
Nussbaum, RL, McInnes RR, Willard HF. Thompson & Thompson's
Genetics in Medicine, 7th ed. 2007, WB Saunders Company, Philadelphia,
PA
http://www.netwellness.org/healthtopics/idbd/2.cfm
Picket Fence Dreams
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contact me at 1-740-444-2118.
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