LET’S TALK ABOUT BIRTH PARENTS IN CHINA
What do we know about birth parents in China? Find out from researchers in a special discussion for adoptees only.
WHEN: SATURDAY, January 30, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm
WHERE: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 315 W. 22nd St., between 8th and 9th Aves, NYC
FEE: $20 per FCC adoptee
FOR ADOPTEES AGES 13 and OLDER only
At some point every adoptee has questions about their birth parents. Adoptees born in mainland China are especially challenged in finding out about their biological families and ancestry. In recent years, several Chinese adoptees have actually found and met their birth families. This is a special opportunity for adoptees to find out about the experiences of these adoptees and their families, to ask questions in a safe, informal environment, and to consider their own feelings on this very complex topic.
You will hear from Dr. Iris Chin Ponte and Dr. Leslie Wang about their research into the experience of seven adopted children (and their adoptive families) who have found their birth parents in China. Adoption psychologist and therapist Dr. Amanda Baden, who is a Hong Kong-born transracial adoptee, will help guide this conversation.
*Note for Parents: While parents are not included in this program, if you are in the neighborhood during this time and wish to get together with other parents for coffee and an informal discussion please contact Mary Child (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Quotes from FCC teens who attended this talk in Boston:
“I really enjoyed the birth parent search talk. It really helped me think about a lot of questions I don’t want to ask my parents. It also really helped me to see that other adoptees my age were thinking about the same things.”
—15 year old
“I was nervous to go to the talk but I was really glad that I did. It was really helpful for me to hear about what other families did and what their experiences were like. I am not ready to search, but at least now I have more information.”
—14 year old
“I really liked going. I have been wanting to search for a long time and I just didn’t know what to do or where to start. This talk really helped me and I talked about it a lot with my adoptive parents.”
—13 year old
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What if I have no desire to search for my own birth parents? Is this normal?
Yes! While it is natural to wish to know more about your birth parents and family, it is also perfectly natural to have no desire to locate them or make contact. This program is not meant to encourage anyone to feel or act differently about this very personal issue. Whether or not to search is up to each individual and should be done when one feels ready and with the support of professional counseling.
Will this session tell me how to conduct a birth parent search?
No, although you will hear about the search experience of the seven adoptees and/or their families. This program will be informational only in a general way.
Can parents attend?
No, this program is a version for adoptees 13 and older only. The idea is to give adoptees the chance to ask questions as individuals without the complication of parents or other family members in the room. Dr. Chin Ponte and Leslie Wang presented their research to FCC parents in NYC in early 2015 in a program for parents only for a similar reason. Those who wish to read their published research paper on this topic can find it: here
Can you recommend any materials for adoptive parents about discussing birth parents with our children?
This article by Beth Hall, Director of Pact, offers good advice:
Embrace discussion about birth parents with your adopted kids
Dr. Amanda Baden is Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Montclair State University and a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in NYC. She is editor of The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researches, Practitioners, and Families. Her experience as a Hong Kong-born transracial adoptee brings added insight to her research and clinical work.
Dr. Iris Chin Ponte is President of Ponte and Chau Consulting Inc. and Director of the Henry Frost Children’s Program Inc. She has extensive expertise in cross-cultural issues in education and adoption from China, is a mother to a son adopted from China, and is a Board Member of FCC-New England.
Dr. Leslie Wang is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UMass Boston. Her research engages with transnational issues of gender and family that link China and the United States.
Questions? contact Mary Child, email@example.com