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John DeGarmo's picture

Successfully age out of foster care and begin life on your own

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

Be a foster parent and have a great marriage

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

Don’t let being a foster parent strain or ruin your marriage

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

Create a great relationship with your foster child’s caseworker

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

How can foster parents and birth parents successfully co-parent?

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

Achieving a healthy transition from foster custody to legal adoption

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

Foster parents must be involved in school to help kids succeed

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
John DeGarmo's picture

How to protect foster children from the dangers of cyberbullying

Dr. John DeGarmo
Leading expert in the foster care system
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Adoption and Foster Care

The adoption and foster care experience are made up of many psychological, social, economic, legal and political issues. Because these experiences tend to feel quite overwhelming for families, our experts can help you navigate the ins and outs of adoption and foster care.ExpertBeacon’s social workers, psychologists, doctors and adoption/foster care experts will assist you in managing the unique stressors facing families and grasping the differences between domestic, international, open and closed adoptions. Additionally, we shed light on the issues of attachment and trauma, and its impact on adoption and foster care; the effects of the foster care system on children and families; how to support siblings affected by adoption and foster care; adopting or fostering a child with special needs and searching for and reuniting families.

Successfully age out of foster care and begin life on your own

Each year, between 20,000 to 25,000 foster children age out of the system and attempt to begin life on their own. For many foster children, foster care is a temporary service before returning home to a parent, moving in with a biological family member, or even beginning a new life in an adopted home. Yet, for thousands who do not find reunification with family in their lives, reaching 18-21 years of age (depending on their state) and finding themselves no longer part of the foster care system, can be a tremendously frightening experience. 

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Don’t let being a foster parent strain or ruin your marriage

 Marriage can be tough. Every marriage is going to experience challenges from time to time. It is only normal. Foster parenting can be difficult, as well, as there are unique challenges that foster parents face as they care for children in need. Tragically, many marriages will suffer while taking care of children in foster care. When you are putting much of your energies and time into your foster child, you may be so drained and exhausted that you soon neglect your spouse.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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How can foster parents and birth parents successfully co-parent?

It can be quite difficult having a foster child in your home. He or she may have been placed in your home because of abuse or neglect from his family. Perhaps he was in danger from parents who were abusing themselves. Whatever the reason for his placement into the child welfare’s custody, your foster child has most likely come to you with some emotional problems and is struggling with the loss of his family.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Foster parents must be involved in school to help kids succeed

For children in foster care to succeed in school, foster parents must lead the charge and blaze a path as an advocate, fighting for a child’s every chance. In truth, it is likely that foster students will have no other person fighting for them, since a caseworker’s workload is overwhelming, and teachers may be too busy to reach out with information or may not have the necessary information about a child’s needs.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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How can you transition a home from chaos to calm for adopted kids?

Juli Alvarado Sr. Clinical Consultant Alvarado Consulting and Treatment Group

Do you ever feel like you are losing control with your kids? Do you constantly search for ways to create calm at home? Do you wish you could create more loving, easy, joy-filled moments?

Juli AlvaradoSr. Clinical Consultant

Juli Alvarado is a mother of 4 and foster mother to more than 75 children. She has trained in trauma recovery internationally and consults for organizations that support wounded children and families in the US and Canada. As a licensed therapist...

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Strengthen the health and behavior of adopted children via feeding

Brooke Randolph, LMHC Private Practice Therapist and VP of PR, Outreach, and Communication KidsFirst Adoption Services

How we eat becomes so ingrained in our daily lives that we often forget to analyze what we are eating, how it impacts us, and the lessons we learned about food from our parents. Most of us learned some less than ideal habits and attitudes about food--even if these do not interfere with our daily lives.

Brooke Randolph, LMHCPrivate Practice Therapist and VP of PR, Outreach, and Communication

Brooke Randolph, LMHC, is a parent, therapist, and adoption professional with more than 20 years of experience working with children and families. She is a private practice counselor in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Vice President of PR, Outreach, ...

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Hire an attorney when adopting to protect you and the child

Adopting a child is one of the most personal and important decisions you will make in your life. It’s often not a decision that someone comes to easily. As a result, emotions often can get in the way. While you may think you can go through the process without professional advice, it’s always best to consider bringing in an attorney to help you through the process.

Lori BarkusFamily Law Attorney

South Florida Family Law Attorney Lori Barkus has 15 years of legal experience. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Family Law mediator, guardian ad litem and is trained in Collaborative Family Law. She handles matters ...

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Keep foster children safe from the dangers of sexting

Sexting is the act of sending sexual messages or nude/semi-nude photos to another person over an online device. For today’s foster youth, this is considered a normal part of everyday life. Indeed, it is the 21st century form of flirting--and a large percentage of today’s youth either have received a sext message or have sent one.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Expert advice for making first contact with birth family members

Once your post-adoption search is complete, you are now ready for a reunion. If you have a mailing address, telephone number or email information about a birth family member, you are ready to make first contact.

Which method best accomplishes a positive result? Some people are more comfortable with written word, while others prefer spoken communication. Because there are pros and cons to each method, a combination of these methods is preferable.

Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh, MACo-owner and Founder

Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh, MA, is a reunited birth mother, Director of Adoption Concerns Triangle of Topeka, a search and support group serving those in Northeastern Kansas, past president of the American Adoption Congress and currently the AAC s...

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Building healthy attachment with adopted children is crucial

Julie Beem Executive Director Therapeutic Parent Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. (ATN)

Healthy attachment is a crucial component in children’s emotional development. Attaching to a primary caregiver, such as a parent, sets the stage for healthy relationships, including their own self-image and how safe children feel in the world. No wonder adoptive parents are often filled with anxiety about whether or not their child is forming healthy attachment. Infants and young children who have experienced the loss of their original parents--and often other maltreatments--are at risk for struggles with attaching in their forever families.

Julie BeemExecutive Director Therapeutic Parent

Julie Beem is a mom of four and a parent three ways - biological, step and adoptive. She began her journey of learning to therapeutically parent traumatized children after adopting her youngest from China in 1998. Since 2004, Julie has been an...

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What adoptive parents need to know about financing your adoption

Kelly Ellison Adoptive Parent/Founder and CEO/National Radio Host Your Adoption Finance Coach

Most people don’t make the decision to adopt because they have $40,000 in the bank. While building your family through adoption is a decision of the heart, ignoring the money required to complete an international or domestic adoption can put a family into a cycle of debt and stress.

Kelly EllisonAdoptive Parent/Founder and CEO/National Radio Host

Kelly Ellison, is an adoptive parent and fund-raising professional for over 25 years working with national nonprofits such as CampFire USA, Points of Light Foundation and Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City. She has raised literally millio...

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Adoptive parenting: Building bonds of strong, healthy attachment

Adoptive parenting is a rewarding and challenging experience that asks a great deal of everyone’s hearts. You are all falling in love with each other in real time. As a result, it is important to be fluent in the dynamics of attachment. What does it look like? What are the markers of disconnection? How do you stay grounded in your underlying emotions and not get carried away by content? When does it become necessary to seek professional help?

Maureen Donley, M.A., MFTPsychotherapist

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist my private practice spans all ages and holds a focus in creative professionals, adoption and trauma work. I earned my M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization from Antioch Univer...

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The sequential path from childhood to mature adulthood

A Modified Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs.
Beth Powell, LCSWSocial Worker and Psychotherapist

Beth Powell, LCSW, specializes in Trauma-Informed Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma and Acute Stress. Beth is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, certified academic educator, neuro-behav...

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What every adoptive parent should know about search and reunion

Michael Grand, PhD, C.Psych Professor of Child Clinical Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology University of Guelph

Adoptive parents must consider many things when their adult adopted children begin the journey to discover the first chapter of their lives---a journey that has taken the adoptee from one family and led to the formation of a second. These lessons are offered in the spirit of fostering closer ties between adoptees and their birth and adoptive families.

Michael Grand, PhD, C.Psych Professor of Child Clinical Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology

Michael Grand obtained his PhD in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a Professor and Director of Training in the Graduate Program in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. He c...

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White parents raising adopted children of color must grasp racism

Beth Hall Director of Pact Pact, An Adoption Alliance

In our society that considers color blindness a noble attitude, parents are often reluctant to talk about, or even mention, racism. But we must talk, and we must talk in a way that also encourages our children to engage in dialogue. A central task of childhood is to define and come to value one’s self.

Beth HallDirector of Pact

Beth Hall is the Director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ser...

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Adoptive parents must recognize and manage post-adoption depression

The term, postpartum depression, is often used by the general public concerning depressive symptoms in new mothers. The condition is a formally diagnosed mental mood disorder, which is commonly classified into three categories: postpartum blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

Sandy EndersOnline Educator

Sandy Enders, MS, SYC, MA, teaches in the Social & Behavioral Sciences department at Central Texas College and Housatonic Community College. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and son, Adam, who the two adopted at birth from Guatem...

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Expert advice for making the adoption process smooth and enjoyable

Let’s face it, beginning the adoption process is a daunting task. One quick internet search of “adoption” will quickly make your head spin and your wallet scream. But don’t fret. There are several ways to make your adoption process as smooth as possible.

Dr. Lori IngberFounder & President

Parent Match founder, Dr. Lori Barer Ingber, earned her PhD in Public Health at the University of Michigan. With her expertise in Women's Health, Health Behavior and Public Health, Dr. Ingber has been a long-time advocate for improving the adopt...

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Adoptees can utilize the Internet to safely connect with family

Recently, adoptees of all ages have posted Facebook photos of themselves holding small posters itemizing their known adoption information. The accompanying caption usually asks viewers to share the photograph and send it nationwide, so genetic relatives can be contacted. However, there appears to be little thought in how posted social media information could be used in a fraudulent or dangerous manner by identity thieves or scammers posing as family members.

How can adult adoptees utilize the Internet to safely connect with unknown biologically-related individuals?

Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh, MACo-owner and Founder

Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh, MA, is a reunited birth mother, Director of Adoption Concerns Triangle of Topeka, a search and support group serving those in Northeastern Kansas, past president of the American Adoption Congress and currently the AAC s...

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Supporting your adopted children as they try to fit in at school

Judy Stigger, LCSW Adoption Therapist and adoptive mom Adoption Learning Partners.org, The Cradle

The school year can bring a new set of challenges for adopted children. Often, it is the first time kids are left to explain adoption, without having a parent nearby to help. Facing school projects and describing adoption to new classmates can bring on numerous complex emotions. It is important for parents to understand how to help their adopted kids fit in at school.

Judy Stigger, LCSWAdoption Therapist and adoptive mom

I have worked in the field of adoption for over 30 years and have post-graduate training in therapy with adoptive and foster families. I am an adoptive mom in a transracial family raising children with a range of special needs across three gene...

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Ease the transition to adoption and minimize the stressful journey

April M. Moyer, M.A. Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student, Psychotherapy Clinician, and Adoptive Mother Clark University

Pre-adoptive parents have various reasons for choosing adoption. Some cannot biologically have children with their partner due to infertility or being in a same-sex relationship. Others choose single parenthood and decide that adoption is how they would like to form their family. And some adopt out of altruism or a personal connection to adoption. Whatever the reason for choosing adoption, all pre-adoptive parents face a multitude of questions, decisions and challenges.

April M. Moyer, M.A. Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student, Psychotherapy Clinician, and Adoptive Mother

April Moyer is an advanced graduate student in the process of earning her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Clark University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology as well as a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. She has...

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Preparation and communication are vital for a successful adoption

Kimberly Powell Professor of Communication Studies, Parent of a Preemie, Author of Living Miracles: Stories of Hope from Parents of Premature Babies Luther College

When considering adoption, many families tend to focus on the fairytale image of meeting a child and instantly bonding--or bringing home a newborn baby. However, this is not always the reality. To ensure a successful adoption, it is extremely important to consider a variety of different ways to adopt, as well as to understand how best to support a child who is adopted.

Kimberly Powell Professor of Communication Studies, Parent of a Preemie, Author of Living Miracles: Stories of Hope from Parents of Premature Babies

Kim Powell is a Professor of Communication Studies and Women & Gender Studies at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She received her PhD from the University of Georgia in 1992. Powell teaches courses in public speaking, intercultural communication...

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Be a foster parent and have a great marriage

Marriage can be tough. Every marriage is going to experience challenges from time to time. It is only normal. Foster parenting can be difficult, as well, as there are unique challenges that foster parents face as they care for children in need. Tragically, many marriages will suffer while taking care of children in foster care. When you are putting much of your energies and time into your foster child, you may be so drained and exhausted that you soon neglect your spouse.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Create a great relationship with your foster child’s caseworker

In order to be a truly successful foster parent, you will need to work closely with your foster child’s caseworker and your child welfare agency. It is important for the well being of your foster child that you work alongside the caseworker and the agency, and help to build an effective partnership and strong working relationship with both. With this strong relationship, all of you you will have a much better chance of guiding your foster child through the many difficulties and challenges he will face, as well as work together to see that his future is as bright and successful as possible.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Achieving a healthy transition from foster custody to legal adoption

The last name on your newly adopted child’s certificate of adoption may read the same as yours. However, there will still be many questions and concerns awaiting your child--now and in the future. To achieve a healthy and successful transition from foster custody to legal adoption, there are a number of strategies you can use as an adoptive parent.     

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Provide a secure and predictable home to help adopted kids heal

Attachment is vital for healthy development, mental health and relationships. Children who are adopted may have difficulties with attachment, which can lead to a variety of problems that require help and treatment. School, friends and family can be deeply affected when a child’s pattern of attachment has been disrupted due to multiple placements or adoption from an institution. Consequently, it is vital to provide a safe, secure and predictable home.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhDDirector

PhD in Human Development from the University of Maryland. Diplomate status in Child Psychology and Forensic Psychology. Certified therapist, consultant, and trainer in attachment-focused treatment and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy by the ...

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How to protect foster children from the dangers of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the use of technology to embarrass, threaten, tease, harass or even target another person. It is one platform used by the 21st Century bully to inflict pain and humiliation upon another. This type of bullying is conducted through emails, chat rooms, social network sites, text messages, cell phones and even websites.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Expert advice on breastfeeding your baby by adoption or surrogacy

Yes, it is possible to breastfeed a baby you did not give birth to. Breastfeeding a baby by adoption or surrogacy helps babies and their new mothers bond to one another, be healthy and heal from the losses they have experienced. It may involve producing milk or it may not. If may involve taking medications or it may not. There are many ways to successfully approach breastfeeding without birthing.

Alyssa Schnell, MS, IBCLCInternational Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Author

Alyssa has been helping mothers and babies in the St. Louis area with breastfeeding for the past 12 years. She has been accredited as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2009 and works in private practice. Her p...

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Seek advice and professional help when adopting a child

Maybe you have considered adoption because of infertility, or perhaps you have biological children and now want to adopt. Whatever the reason, adoption isn’t always an easy decision. However, with the right planning and assistance, the process can be made easier and less stressful for everyone involved.

Lori BarkusFamily Law Attorney

South Florida Family Law Attorney Lori Barkus has 15 years of legal experience. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Family Law mediator, guardian ad litem and is trained in Collaborative Family Law. She handles matters ...

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Strengthen your adoptive family by building trust and connections

Adoption is a beautiful way to build a family. However, prior to adoption, there is usually grief, loss and trauma that impacts the brain in significant and lasting ways. This can lead to difficulty in attaching securely, self-regulation and maladaptive behaviors. To repair these results and enhance the development of your adopted child, adoptive parents must develop connection and trust as the foundation of their relationship with their child.

Katie Spillar, LMFT AssociateLicensed Marriage & Family Therapist Associate

Katie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and her M.A. in Behavioral Science from The University of Houston-Clear Lake. She has experience w...

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Help adopted kids understand their birth heritage via open dialogue

Ongoing, open dialogue is crucial in helping your adopted children understand and come to terms with their birth heritage and blood ancestry. Over the past century, there have been drastic changes in the adoption process and the amount of openness. Families were once told to keep all family information secret, but this has now changed. We now know that the more knowledge adopted children have about their past, the less emotional trauma they will struggle with in later years.

Sandy EndersOnline Educator

Sandy Enders, MS, SYC, MA, teaches in the Social & Behavioral Sciences department at Central Texas College and Housatonic Community College. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and son, Adam, who the two adopted at birth from Guatem...

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Helping adopted and foster children navigate their early trauma

Julie Beem Executive Director Therapeutic Parent Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. (ATN)

Children in foster care and those available for adoption--either domestically or internationally-- have suffered the loss of their original parents. It is also likely that they have suffered many other hardships and traumas.

Julie BeemExecutive Director Therapeutic Parent

Julie Beem is a mom of four and a parent three ways - biological, step and adoptive. She began her journey of learning to therapeutically parent traumatized children after adopting her youngest from China in 1998. Since 2004, Julie has been an...

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What you need to know about adoption searches and social networking

More and more adopted teenagers are tracing--or being traced by--their birth relatives online and making contact with them. Sometimes, this happens without the knowledge of their adoptive parents. The search capabilities of the internet and the growth of social networking sites, such as Facebook, make it simple for people to trace others with the help of just a few significant details.

Eileen FurslandTrainer and writer

I am a writer based in the UK and I write books, articles and training courses about issues affecting children and young people, particularly adoption and fostering. I have written widely about the implications of social networking for adopti...

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Bringing home your newly adopted child: Managing the transition

Jenny and Ron's dream had finally come true. After months and months of waiting, paperwork, roadblocks and emotional ups and downs, their adopted son, Josh, was sitting in the back of their SUV. But Josh seemed uncharacteristically quiet for a boy his age. He sat slumped with his head down for the most part, speaking only when spoken to. While Jenny and Ron had taken great pains to choose a popular, age-appropriate DVD to play during the long trip home, Josh only looked up every once in a while to glance at the DVD.

Susanne Breckwoldt, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Susanne Breckwoldt, Ph.D. is a psychologist practicing in Cresskill, New Jersey and a children's book author. She works with a population of adolescents, adults, couples and families and has special training in hypnosis and EMDR. Dr. Breckwoldt'...

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How can foster/adoptive parents meet the needs of traumatized kids?

Many adopted children or kids in foster care have experienced trauma in their lives. Consequently, caregivers must give these children the necessary socio-emotional learning opportunities to help ensure that their human needs are sequentially met. To enable these kids to develop into successful, secure, loving and mature adults, special emphasis must be given to children who have come from a hurtful place.

Beth Powell, LCSWSocial Worker and Psychotherapist

Beth Powell, LCSW, specializes in Trauma-Informed Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma and Acute Stress. Beth is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, certified academic educator, neuro-behav...

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Preparation is key when welcoming a foster child into your home

The arrival of a foster child in your house can be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety. The phone call from a caseworker asking if you would like a foster child placed in your home can leave you in a state of apprehension. It is often a time of questions, from you and your family, as well as from the foster child. For the child coming into your home, it is especially an intimidating period. Remember, this new foster child is being moved, against his/her wishes, to a strange home and to an unknown family.

Dr. John DeGarmoLeading expert in the foster care system

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent since 2002, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering pass...

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Advice on socialization for internationally adopted children

Boris Gindis, Ph.D. Chief Psychologist Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment and Remediation

We know from adoptive parent surveys, research and clinical practice that too many internationally adopted (IA) children--particularly those who were adopted after the age of 5, also called older adoptees-- fail to establish and maintain age-appropriate peer relations during their formative years. Indeed, teachers, parents and international adoptees themselves report that too many IA children are less socially successful than their age counterparts.

Boris Gindis, Ph.D.Chief Psychologist

Boris Gindis, Ph.D. received his doctorate in developmental psychology at the Moscow Academic Research Institute of General and Educational Psychology. He completed his post-doctoral training in School Psychology at the City University of New Yo...

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Build resilience strategies with your adoptive or foster family

There are multiple stressors experienced by foster and adoptive families, who care for and raise children who have experienced trauma and separation from their families of origin. It is vital to understand the significance of these stressors and to build coping and resilience strategies.

Betsy Keefer SmalleyTraining Manager

Betsy Keefer Smalley, co-author of the award-winning Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past (2000) and Wounded Children, Healing Homes (2009), has 40 years of experience in child welfare, adoption placement, ...

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Parents can create long-term connections within blended families

Beth Hall Director of Pact Pact, An Adoption Alliance

Sibling relationships are usually the familial relationships we maintain for the longest part of our lives. These unique relationships hold a potential for intimacy that is both profound and provocative. Adoption creates many kinds of sibling constellations—siblings with different genes and/or heritage growing up in the same family, as well as siblings who share genes and/or heritage growing up in different families.

Beth HallDirector of Pact

Beth Hall is the Director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ser...

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Embrace discussion about birth parents with your adopted kids

Beth Hall Director of Pact Pact, An Adoption Alliance

Birth parents are surely the least understood and most often vilified members of the adoption triad (the three principal parties impacted by an adoption, made up of the adopted person, the birth/first parents and the adoptive parent).

Beth HallDirector of Pact

Beth Hall is the Director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ser...

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Help your adopted kids by understanding the challenges they face

Judy Stigger, LCSW Adoption Therapist and adoptive mom Adoption Learning Partners.org, The Cradle

Who am I? Why didn’t my mom want me? Was I loved? What is wrong with me?

Even if your family talks about adoption openly and honestly, your child will have questions and feelings that come up frequently as they mature or when a life event triggers their questions.

For adopted kids, piecing together their own story can be like tackling an especially challenging puzzle. By understanding some of the challenges your child may be facing, you will be better equipped to help him or her fit the pieces together.

Judy Stigger, LCSWAdoption Therapist and adoptive mom

I have worked in the field of adoption for over 30 years and have post-graduate training in therapy with adoptive and foster families. I am an adoptive mom in a transracial family raising children with a range of special needs across three gene...

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Navigating the wonderful and overwhelming journey of adoption

You have made the important decision to expand your family, and you find yourself leaning toward adoption. Sifting through the pages and pages of information on the internet can become quite an overwhelming task. It can be challenging to know where to begin. This article offers a few general considerations to ponder that will help simplify the daunting path to adoption.

Suzanne M. Clark, MA, LPCLicensed Professional Counselor

Suzanne M. Clark is a licensed professional counselor with over twenty years of experience in the adoption field. Mrs. Clark has worked with all members of the adoption triad throughout her career and now maintains a private practice in Atlanta,...

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Providing optimal integration for a newly adopted older child

With the changes in both domestic and international adoptions, many families are now adopting children over the age of 5, following a long period of waiting. In many cases, families also have taken on the unique and complex challenge of adopting children over the age of 12 from Eastern Europe, particularly from the Ukraine and former Soviet bloc countries.

Dr. Ronald S. Federici, Psy.D.Board Certified Developmental Neuropsychologist/Psychopharmacologist

Thirty years of working with children having the most complex neurodevelopmental and emotional issues. Expert in adoption-trauma issues and management of children with out-of-control behaviors who have failed treatment...

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