Saturday, March 28, 2009

THE ADOPTIONHOOD by Ellen Kahaner



ADOPTION FILM SERIES CONTINUES THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 29
3PM TO 5PM
South Orange Library
65 Scotland Rd
South Orange, NJ 07079
(973) 762-0230


When: Sunday, March 29 — 3pm to 5pm

What: Two more educational films from the "We Can Do Better" series: "Intentions Behind Adopting" and "The Multiracial Family"

Where: South Orange Library

* FREE and open to the public. Appropriate for teenagers and adults. Discussion and refreshments to be served between films.

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Twenty-five people gathered to watch "Adopted" and "Raising An Adopted Child," the first films of the Adoption Film Series at the South Orange Public Library a few weeks back. The discussion was intense, and a feeling of commonality and support emerged in the meeting.

The next two films will be shown this Sunday, March 29th , beginning at 3 PM at the South Orange Public Library. They are:


"Intentions Behind Adopting"

This 20-minute session includes interviews with adoptive parents and adoption psychologists and social workers about what drives people to adopt. Whether it's due to infertility, a calling from God, a desire to have a particular gender or race of child, or a combination of reasons, parents and experts encourage pre-adoptive individuals or couples to honestly assess their intentions so they can learn how to put the child's needs first.

"The Multiracial Family"

This 25-minute session asks adoptive parents to think about whether they really can, and should be, colorblind when it comes to their non-white, adopted child. Interviews with adoptees, parents and psychologists reveal the importance of addressing both race and culture with the child, acknowledging that racism and stereotypes still exist, believing children when they report instances of racial prejudice, and realizing that children often won't tell their parents about everything that happens at school.

A discussion and refreshments will follow the film showings.

I interviewed Dr. Amanda Baden, Professor at Montclair State Univ., who is a transracial adoptee herself, and often speaks and writes on the subject of transracially adopted children. Here is an excerpt:

ELLEN: How did you get involved with "Adopted", the movie? What was your response to the movie?

PROFESSOR BADEN: Nancy Kim Parsons (the producer) of the film contacted me due to my involvement in the adoption community--my research and practice.

My response to the film is that it is really amazing. I am proud to have been interviewed for it and to have consulted on various aspects of the film. I think the filmmakers showed the complexity associated with transracial and international adoption in new and compelling ways and they have offers an important voice to the adoption community.

ELLEN: When Jen, featured in the movie, was growing up, twenty-five years ago, it was all about assimilation by the adoptee into the culture of the adoptive family. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way, and many international adoptive families strive to incorporate their children's birth cultures into their family life. Is there a potential down side of what we're doing today? What do you think "We Can Do Better" would look like twenty-five years from now?

PROFESSOR BADEN: I don't think there are simple solutions or formulae for "fixing" the dilemmas that are associated with TRA. I think we need to reflect kids birth cultures in their lives in some ways but we have to remember that it's not a simple issue where we can just fix with the right dose of culture. Transracial adoptees are coping with racial issues as well and with internalized racism as well and these issues are often overlooked.



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DON'T MISS THE LAST TWO FILMS IN THE SERIES:
Sunday 4/5/09 IDENTITY FOR THE TRANSRACIAL ADOPTEE and TOUGH QUESTIONS

All screenings take place 3-5pm at the South Orange Library,
65 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ, 00779 (973) 762-0230.

* FREE and open to the public. Appropriate for teenagers and adults. Discussion and refreshments to be served between films.

* * * * * * *

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