What It’s Like Being A Mother When You Don’t Have Custody Of Your Child

Most weekends, my $43,000 salary was going toward rental cars, hotels, and eating out with Cameron.

I Will Never Be Pregnant And I’m Finally OK With That

I Gave Up My Son For Adoption, And Now I Want Him Back

Giving up my son was one of the worst decisions of my life.

Investigation Uncovers Shocking ‘Baby Farm’ In India

An underground operation has been selling babies for just $1400.

Ask Kim: I’m 36 And I Just Found Out I’m Adopted

SHESAID resident psychologist Kim Chartres answers your most awkward and confronting questions. 

The Story of Us: Talking to Your Children about Adoption

It was not that long ago adoption was an act of family building shrouded in secrecy. The truth about a child’s origins often remained locked away with other skeletons, only ever being revealed in unintentional and traumatic ways. A shift has occurred in recent decades however, resulting from a better understanding of the psyche of an adopted child.

A 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents in the United States found that today, 99 percent of adopted children ages 5 and older are aware of their adoption status. It has become extremely rare for parents to keep the details of an adoption from children as they grow. The secrecy is gone, replaced now by the question of when and how to tell.

Make the Truth a Part of Your Family Narrative

Adoption does not have to become a taboo subject. If you tell your child’s adoption story just as you would have told the story of their birth, they will grow to understand it simply as part of who they are. Making the subject commonplace within your home and always remaining open to questions will help your child to feel a sense of security surrounding their place within your family. Leave the conversation open, and revisit it whenever there seems to be a need to do so. When those outside your family ask questions, answer them; allowing your child to see you embracing the truth, instead of hiding from it.

Keep the conversation age appropriate

Experts recommend talking to your children about adoption starting as early as infancy. There are several children’s books on the subject you can incorporate into the nightly bedtime routine, helping your children to grow with the knowledge that they are adopted from an early age. Keep your conversations on the subject age appropriate, and allow your children’s questions to guide any additional information you may choose to share. As your children age, their curiosity and capacity for understanding will also increase. They may recognize other examples of adoption in the world, or through television and movies, which can lead to more questions as they seek a better understanding of who they are. Continuing an open dialogue will ensure they come to you as they are ready and willing to learn more.

Integrate Information about Their Birth Family

A long term adoption study which began in the 1980’s revealed many of the benefits of open adoption. Children who had contact with their birth parents were shown to report the highest level of satisfaction with their adoption arrangements, and low levels of confusion surrounding parental roles. Even when contact is not a possibility though, sharing as much information as you can about your child’s birth origins will help them to maintain a more established sense of self.

Share Your Struggles

Adoption is not the standard path to parenthood, and is often fraught with many additional hurdles along the way. It is also not uncommon for adoptive parents to have first faced years of infertility and loss prior to turning towards adoption. As your children grow older, these are stories which you should be proud to share with them. Not only will they hear how truly wanted they were, but they will also learn perseverance and strength from fully understanding the example their parents have set.

Learning about adoption can be a badge of honour for children wear, growing up with the knowledge that they were chosen and wanted before they ever even came to be. Don’t be afraid to talk to your kids about how you built your family, remembering that it is as much a part of their story as it is yours. Create an open and honest dialogue, and watch as they flourish in that complete understanding of who they are.

Leah Campbell is the author of Single Infertile Female: Adventures in Love, Life and Infertility and blogs at Single Infertile Female.

Timberlake shy

Timberlake shy

Don’t film Justin
Sydney Justin Timberlake fans, be warned ? if you?re going to his concert this week, expect to be individually searched before you enter the venue. Yep, Mr Timberlake is so paranoid about being photographed, he?s ordered security officers at his concerts to search through back packs and handbags for cameras, recording equipment and of course alcohol. Fans should even expect a ?pat down? to make sure they haven?t got anything hiding in their clothes. The media has also been limited in what they can record ? questions about the Kylie butt squeeze, Britney and (of course) the Janet nipple action, are strictly forbidden. How boring.

Brad and Jen
Oceans 12 take over Rome
Two of Hollywood?s spunkiest stars Brad Pitt and George Clooney have been doing as the Romans do. The pair are in the Italian capital for their latest film Ocean?s Twelve, and are grabbing attention everywhere they go. Brad has been seen sipping a cappuccino and laughing with director Steven Soderbergh, while George was spotted shooting in various locations throughout the city. No doubt women all over Rome have been hoping to catch a glimpse of the studly pair. But Brad isn?t noticing, as wife Jennifer Aniston has flown into town.

Angelina and baby Maddox
Angelina?s rainbow vision
Angelina Jolie is stepping up her plans to expand her brood by visiting Russia. The Tomb Raider star has already adopted three-year-old Maddox from Cambodia in 2002. US Weekly reports that the bombshell is thinking of turning to Russia for her next child. An insider has told the mag that “by the end of the year, if everything goes well, she will have a new baby.” The 29-year-old has already visited Russia as a part of her goodwill ambassador duties for the UN High Commissioner. It is well known of her plans to have a rainbow family, but when questioned about having her own child, she says she has mixed feelings. ?I feel like if I did, I would be hounded by that one less child I took out of an orphanage,” she said last year. “My dream is to have under one roof many different cultures and many different religions. I think that would make for amazing people.”

Shrek, the star of Shrek 2
Short Takes
Shrek 2 has beaten Finding Nemo as Hollywood?s top grossing cartoon. It has taken US$354 million at the box office… Renee Zellweger has been given permission to lose weight after filming the Bridget Jones sequel… Actress Meg Ryan has denied having an affair with actor John Cusack, saying the only man she?s living with is her son, Jack.

Courteney Cox wants a baby

Courteney Cox wants a baby

Friendsstar Courteney Cox Arquette has admitted to Barbara Walters in a US television interview that she and husband David Arquette have been having major trouble getting pregnant. The actress revealed the heartbreaking news that she has suffered “many miscarriages” but Courteney added that they were trying to stay positive and hoped that parenthood would still be possible for them. The couple is also undergoing treatment with IVF. The Hollywood duo, who have been happily married for four years, say that they’d consider adopting a child, but Courteney added, “I do want his genes, and I would try probably a surrogate before that … but then, absolutely, adoption.?

New CD proves Dido can survive post Eminem

After four years in the musical wilderness, UK songbird Dido is back with a new album Life for Rent, and she?s keen to prove she is not a one-hit wonder. Dido?s unique voice gained a wide audience in an unusual way a couple of years back – she was sampled by Eminem in the chorus of his hit song Stan. But with good early sales for Life for Rent, it might well be that she can step out of the shadow of bad boy rapper.

As her popularity has increased, so have the requests to ?tart herself up a bit? to sell more albums. Not one to be pushed around, her clever response was “I get offered all the covers of all the men’s magazines and I’m like `Well if I’ve done alright and bought myself total musical freedom already without taking my clothes off, why do I need to now?’ It’s nicer to have an aura of mystery and to keep something back,” she says. Pity that some of her other female performers didn?t think the same way! Should someone have given Jewel that advice?

Demi Moore meets younger boyfriend’s mum

Hey, does it mean you are going steady if you meet your boyfriend?s parents? If so, Demi Moore and toy boy Ashton Kutcher appear to have stepped it up a notch or two. Rumour has it that Ashton took Demi home to meet his Momma in Iowa for some good home cooking. Kutcher?s mom, Diane Portwood cooked up a storm for the lovebirds, who were holed up at her place for the whole weekend avoiding those pesky paparazzi who had tracked them down. Ashton?s mum told PeopleNews, that Demi was very real and not the diva she expected. Diane said ‘What I’ve found is when you meet many of these so-called celebrities in person, they are really down to earth. We sat down and talked about her kids, and my kids and we had a great time.’ Awww, shucks sounds like Demi still knows how to impress!

Billboard top 100 ruled by African Americans

For the first time in the 40-year history of the American music charts, African American artistes have taken out the top ten positions in the Billboard Hot 100. No mean feat considering that, since it?s inception, white musicians have dominated the Billboard Hot 100, considered the most prestigious of music charts in the US.

The Top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart up to last week were as follows:

1. Baby Boy – Beyonce/Sean Paul

2. Shake Ya Tail feather – Nelly, P Diddy and Murphy Lee

3. Get Low – Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins

4. Right Thurr- Chingy

5. Frontin – Pharell featuring Jay-Z

6. Damn – Young Bloodz featuring Lil Jon

7. PIMP – 50 Cent

8. Into You – Fabolous featuring Ashanti

9. Stand Up – Ludacris featuring Shawna

10.Where is the Love – Black Eyed Peas

(currently #1 in several countries around the world including the UK and Australia