1. How I Use the Internet to Build Families | Hank Fortener

It’s the pain inside of you, the mark the world left on you, that is the mark that you will then leave on the world. Ask yourself the question “What mark do I have, what scars do I have and how can those develop into a passion to accomplish something for the world”?

Hank Fortener is the CEO & Founder of AdoptTogether.org.

Check out his full bio here.

 

2. An Adoption Story | Jillian Lauren

Jillian takes a humorous & insightful look at

  • Adoptee’s Sense of Identity
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Interracial Adoption
  • Stereotypes
  • Racism
  • Myths & Misconceptions about Adoption

Jillian Lauren discusses her family’s journey through the adoption of her son and her unique perspective as both an adoptive mother and adopted child. Though adoption has come a long way through the years, there is still a long way to go with many children still in need of a home. Join her on her reflections on family, identity, and most importantly, love.

Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel, Pretty. Some Girls has been translated into 17 different languages and is currently being adapted into a Lifetime movie. Her next memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted, is coming out from Plume/Penguin in 2015. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Salon, and The Moth Anthology, among others. She is a regular storyteller with The Moth. Jillian blogs about motherhood and writing at whatever else she feels like at her award-winning blog: jillianlauren.com/blog

 

3. A Child of the State | Lemn Sissay

Literature has long been fascinated with fostered, adopted and orphaned children, from Moses to Cinderella to Oliver Twist to Harry Potter. So why do many parentless children feel compelled to hide their pasts? Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay tells his own moving story.

 

4. My Two Mums (The Myths of Gay Adoption) | Lynne Elvins

When people announce they are going to have children – the normal reaction is “congratulations!” When you’re a gay couple who announce that you are going to adopt, you can get a very different reaction.

Lynne and her partner Emma, became the first gay couple to be approved for adoption in Bristol, UK, in 2004. Lynne takes us on the incredibly moving and thought-provoking journey her family embarked on with their adopted son Steven.

She also addresses the media headlines and myths around same-sex parenting, the machinations of the adoption process and society’s ingrained assumptions about gender roles.

 

5. Rethinking Foster Care: Molly McGrath Tierney

Molly McGrath Tierney is the Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, managing the City’s child welfare and public assistance programs. Over the past six years, she has led a massive reform effort to dramatically improve the impact of services to vulnerable citizens of Baltimore. Molly’s work is considered a national model for modern social services.

Molly McGrath Tierney was the Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, managing the City’s child welfare and public assistance programs. Over the past six years, she has led a massive reform effort to dramatically improve the impact of services to vulnerable citizens of Baltimore. Molly’s work is considered a national model for modern social services.

6. The Tragedy of Orphanages | Georgette Mulheir

Orphanages are costly and can cause irreparable damage both mentally and physically for its charges — so why are they still so ubiquitous? Georgette Mulheir gravely describes the tragedy of orphanages and urges us to end our reliance on them, by finding alternate ways of supporting children in need.

7. AdoptEd | Rebecca Galler

People who are adopted experience judgment and battle preconceived notions about what it is like to be adopted and how it forms your character. How can we change our perspective to see people who are adopted in a more positive light?

Rebecca Galler is a junior at Huron High School. Rebecca enjoys acting in plays with The Huron Players, drawing, and writing. Rebecca is adopted and through her experiences of seeing how adopted people are judged and portrayed everywhere it inspired her to speak about adoption in order to educate people on the topic to try to help break the stereotypes on adoption. Rebecca hopes to pursue the field of interior design, and possibly psychology.

 

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