The average age for the children in foster care was 9.7 years. Average length of stay in foster care was 27.2 months. The largest percentage of children (47 percent) were in a nonrelative foster family home. Forty-nine percent had a case goal of reunification. 123,000 were awaiting adoption, down from 132,000 in FY 2007. (Children's Bureau AFCARS report, Fiscal Year 2008)
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All parents want their children to grow up with a healthy sense of self. Yet for transracially formed adoptive families, the notion that this will naturally develop cannot be taken for granted. For these families, adoption is an obvious component of who they are. They may face questions from perfect strangers about being adopted, whether they invite the discussion or not. Society's persistent race-based stereotypes will likely impact these adopted persons in ways that their parents may not have personally experienced or even anticipated.
In a first of its kind study, Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption, more than 450 adult adoptees were surveyed to better understand the complex and inter-related impacts of being adopted and being raised by parents of a different ethnicity. Respondents reflected back on their childhood, adolescence and adulthood, giving powerful insights as to what helped them gain a positive sense of self and what hindered that development.
The webinar features Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, reviewing key findings from the study, ending with practical recommendations for adoptive parents on how to promote a healthy sense of self in their transracially placed children. Following this review, transracially placed adult adoptees Tara Leaman and Aaron Stigger give their personal perspectives on the topic as well as address common questions.