International Adoption Info

Newsletter #133 for Internationally Adopting Parents
August 12, 2010
PAL Center Inc.


Dr. Gindis accept patients in his Phoenix, AZ office on September 13-24, 2010
Call 845-694-8496
for details


New Specialist
in the BGCenter-West

Carol Zelaya
School Psychologist,
M.Ed., Ed.S.

Beginning June 2010,
we accept
Spanish-speaking internationally adopted children
psychological screening, proper school placement determination, and services
in our BGCenter-West office
in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information
call 845-694-8496

or email

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Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.



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From the Editor

Visitors from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic

    On August 10, 2010 the BGCenter (New York) welcomed a group of visitors from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic - 7 judges, prosecutors and other high ranking professionals responsible for decision making on varies adoption issues in their republics. The group was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program to familiarize with the US adoption policies and practices on the federal, state and local levels and explore cultural and social support networks and tools for adopted children and adoptive families. At the BGCenter the group met with the Director Tatyana Gindis and the key specialists Dr. Boris Gindis - chief psychologist and Dr. Ida Jeltova - child therapist. Our guests were truly interested in the psychological services we provide, the necessity, initial outcomes and long term effects of interventions for the adopted children.

    There are plenty of children for adoption, internal and external alike, in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic, while the system of social support and regulation of domestic and foreign adoptions continues to adjust. "We work on the improvement of domestic adoption support for the families; we do not have such centers like the BGCenter yet, where parents can find a concentration of necessary resources, but we are studying this issue and searching for the best solutions," we were told. And we indeed witnessed interest in the accumulated in the US experience and desire to improve both domestic and foreign adoption legislation transpired in the informal discussion, which brought about a number of specific questions from the members of the delegation:

  • What is the length of an expected period of adjustment for an adopted older child, what it depends on and are any occurrences of maladjusted behavior typical after this period?
  • What are the long term prognoses for adoptees? Do they become functional members of the society, fully integrated and productive? Are there many exceptions to this?
  • Are there any ways to better screen adoptive parents for possible disturbances later into the adoption? Is such screening feasible at all?
  • Is psychological support (private assessments and therapies) expensive for the families?
  • Are there many psychological centers in the US like the BGCenter that can provide services in the native language of the child; and do all adoptive parents know that preventive initial screenings for their children are available?
  • Is the practice of disclosing the adoption background of the child even for a very young adoptee justifiable and is it in the best interest of this child? Is it really necessary or helpful for an adopted child to deal with this emotional burden at all, especially at an early stage?

    All members of the delegation expressed sincere admiration for the American families, so highly motivated to adopt children with special needs and significant medical issues involving financial sacrifice and commitment. Americans adopt more special need kids than any other country! What are the true American motives: moral obligations to those who suffer rooted in the religious upbringing, a desire to share with a disadvantaged child and do something outside of one's personal welfare, a desire to build a family through adoption when other options are exhausted, any financial stimulus? What can be transferred onto the domestic soil to improve adoption rates locally?

    On our part, we also had questions for our guests - the questions that the BGCenter specialists arrived at years ago and still are concerned with. We see a lot of children from many countries, on arrival or later, and firmly believe that adopted children cannot be treated successfully (through assessments or therapies) without the precise understanding of their background developmental, medical and (for older children) educational history. This information would be indispensable not only for the mental health specialists working with the kids, but for the parents as well, putting them on a higher alert for possible medical and psychological needs of their child. Better medicals would be really helpful for requesting schools to provide an adequate support for adoptees from the start, based on the evidence of needs and disabilities of a child prier to adoption and helping educators realize that wait and see approach is not acceptable for foreign born adoptees. Thus our question to people who decide whether any particular child is going to be approved for the international adoption was: "Can you mandate the orphanages where the children reside to collect and provide all available documentation for the perspective child, his parent(s) and siblings?" And the answer was: "With several exceptions (the child was picked on the street and there is no documented history at all) it's yes, yes, and yes! Give us a list of specific requirements that should be accounted for in the history of the child when provided to the court for adoption processing" Wow! The local court and the judge have real power requesting to collect documents of the child's history while this child is still under their supervision.

    The other interesting point of discussion was a recent proposal of the Russian authorities to limit the adoption rights to the foreigners who are Russian language speakers or at least pledge to learn Russian to provide a "bilingual background" for their adoptive children. Luckily, our guests were fully aware that children typically associate their native language with the traumatic events of their pre-adoption lives, often try to avoid using it for that matter and forget the native language extremely fast regardless of the efforts of the parents to have them keep it. This is not to mention that enforcing a family to study a foreign language and a child to study 2 languages (the native and the English) concurrently is not realistic. All that would drastically limit the number of children who can experience family life at all. Obviously such measure would not be in the best interest of these children.

    This meeting gave us another reason to hope that good will and common sense prevail in international adoptions.
    Tatyana Gindis, Director   
From our database

The link for the article Developmental Delays in Internationally Adopted Children presented in the previous Newsletter has been changed


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