Rather than come down either in support of or opposition to Torry Hansen and her response to her would-be-adopted son Artyom Savelyev, I think we all need to heed this case as an example of something wrong in the field of adoption. Artyom isn't the first child to show signs of abuse, inferior health, problems with bonding, and adjustment difficulties. Nor are the Hansens the first adoptive parents to feel misled, misinformed, unprepared, and abandoned post-placement.
This coming Monday, April 19th at 9:00 AM, I'll be a guest on Mary Beth Wells' radio program Journey to Motherhood. I plan to leverage the Savelyev/Hansen case to raise awareness of the actual scope of the problem, what is and isn't being done to improve the process, and give some direction on how we (collectively) can work for positive change in the adoption process.
Some of the issues I hope to cover (time permitting) are:
1. Inadequate preparation of adoptive parents regarding what to expect from the child and what to anticipate in themselves.
2. Insufficient post-adoption support for adoptive families. Especially once an adoption has been finalized and the child and parents are legally a family, they are technically no longer on anyone's radar. Some adoptive families need more support than they find available to them.
3. The widely accepted expectation that children adopted internationally may/will be malnourished, have suffered physical and emotional abuse, developmentally delayed (due to environment and nutrition, not congenital delays), etc.
4. Sadly, none of the above is specific to international adoption.
5. What is at the root, and what can we do?
The interview will air Monday, April 19 from 9:00 to 10:00 AM EDT on the TogiNet Radio network. Visit the Adoption - Journey to Motherhood website to listen or call in live to participate in the discussion at 877-864-4869.
Click here to purchase Sally's adoption book, What I Want My Adopted Child to Know: An Adoptive Parent's Perspective.
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