Latest News

We know that news coverage and access to timely information drive awareness and, ultimately, the ability to influence positive change. Widely recognized as a leading authority on issues related to adoption, DAI is often featured in major media outlets. We also monitor, and share, developments in adoption and foster care policy, research, resources, as well as news, to keep practitioners, advocates, and those touched by adoption informed.

Jeanne Howard: Court could fix adoption inequity

Lansing State Journal - 02/26/2014

Jeanne Howard, policy and research director at Donaldson Adoption Institute, wrote an article featured in the Lansing State Journal regarding Michigan’s adoption law. She discusses how adult political agendas often hurt children and Michigan’s ban on allowing same-sex couples to adopt children needing homes is a current, painful example. Michigan uses married couples, single people, heterosexuals, gays and lesbians, and people of all races to adopt these children. But Michigan’s adoption law restricts adoption to married couples or single adults. And in Michigan, only heterosexuals can marry. This means a couple like Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer cannot adopt their children as a couple even after the state already judged them fit to foster and adopt their children individually.

Utah Supreme Court reverses decision about father’s rights in adoption case - 02/25/2014

The Supreme Court of Utah ruled Tuesday that a district court judge should not have dismissed a biological father’s challenge to the Utah Adoption Act. Christopher Carlton, of Pennsylvania, filed the suit in his quest to find his daughter, now 3 years old, after the baby’s mother told him the child was a boy and had died shortly after birth, according to court documents. The mother, Shalonda Brown, later revealed she had put the baby up for adoption, and Carlton tracked the case to the Adoption Center of Choice in Orem. In early 2011, Carlton began challenging the constitutionality of the Utah Adoption Act, which prevents him from contesting the adoption because he hadn’t acceptably established parental rights.

Psychologist in same-sex case says parents’ gender irrelevant in child care

The Detroit News - 02/25/2014

David Brodzinsky, a psychologist and Donaldson Adoption Institute’s research director, testified on Tuesday in an U.S. District Court trail challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and adoption law. Brodzinsky stated that research has shown a wide variety in how men and woman parent, but their gender is irrelevant to child outcomes. “Both men and women do the same kinds of things. They can engage in the same kind of behavior,” “It’s not the gender of the parents that matters, it’s the quality of the care.” He said. The testimony came as part of a lawsuit brought by lawyers for a Hazel Park lesbian couple who are challenging Michigan’s law that does not allow same-sex couples to adopt each other’s children.

My Philomena

Slate - 02/24/2014

The story of Philomena Lee and her son, told in the new movie starring Judi Dench, scorches me. Like her son, I was adopted. Like and unlike the story of Philomena and Michael (born Anthony), the story of…

Bills in Pa., N.J. would open adoption records - 02/23/2014

Susan Perry, 63, of Cherry Hill, began looking for the identity of her biological mother 13 years ago but sealed-record laws in New Jersey prevented access to her original birth certificate, the gateway to a person’s genealogical, medical, and other information. “I realized adopted people really have no rights,” said Perry, now battling stage-four melanoma. “With many people, there is a real wish to know something about your genealogy and to know your roots. It’s really the first chapter of your life.” Perry has worked with the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJ CARE) over the last decade for passage of the adoptees’ birthright bill. The measure would allow adopted adults over 18 in New Jersey to secure their original birth certificates from the state registrar.

The Extended Family of My Two Open Adoptions

The Atlantic - 02/21/2014

Nowadays, 95 percent of adoptions are “open” to some degree. Even as recently as 1997, only 16 percent of the general public approved of birth mothers sending cards or letters to adoptive families. Even though the current trend is toward openness, incorporating birth family members into the life of our child did not sound like an easy or comfortable thing.

Children should have an absolute right to know who they are

Irish Examiner - 02/20/2014

The psychologists call what happens to adopted people who are denied their biological identity “genealogical bewilderment”. It is an act of appalling cruelty to expect any human being to float through life not knowing who they are and where they come from. It defies belief that any State could hold those records and deny them to their rightful owners. As birth parents of children born mid-century die in droves, closing forever the possibility of a reunion, the State sits on its hands, but tells adopted people its hands are tied behind its back.

American Child Welfare Ruins Lives, Here’s Your Receipt

Pacific Standard - 02/18/2014

There’s one way to enter the child-welfare system and make it out in one piece: luck. The choice was obvious, at least to 18-year-old me. Either stay inside the New York City child-welfare system for some extra college money, I didn’t trust would be there, or get the hell out and claim a terrifying bit of freedom.

Embryo Adoption Allows Infertile Couples To Experience Pregnancy

CBS Minnesota - 02/17/2014

When families experience infertility, they often lose some of their dreams. Most couples that go through adoption miss the chance to experience pregnancy, but not all of them.

5 siblings reconnect 5 decades after adoptions; 2 had seen each other at ND Wal-Mart

Daily Journal - 02/14/2014

The lives of five brothers and sisters born in North Dakota who were separately adopted at infancy took the twists and turns that 50 years bring. Some moved to different states; some married; some had children. But none of them ever knew the others existed. Then, the obituary of their biological mother presented a clue. And when they finally met, one brother realized he wasn’t so unfamiliar with one of his siblings. John Maixner had been greeted a half a dozen times or so by his sister at their local Walmart in Dickinson, North Dakota, where she has worked for 23 years.