Upcoming Webinar about Psychotropic Medication in Foster Children

Controversial topics abound in today’s society.  Let’s face it.  Controversy is interesting.  One such controversial topic is the use of psychotropic medications.  Perhaps you may wonder what does the use of psychotropic medicine have to do with caring for the fatherless.  The answer is that an unusually high percentage of children in foster care are treated with psychotropic medicine.

One great way to learn more about the use of psychotropic medication in the lives of foster children is to watch the upcoming webinar with expert physician, Brent Wilson. Details are below from the website http://www.childrensaid.org/apac/services_/trainings/webinars.html

Upcoming Webinar:

Navigating Psychotropic Medications: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide to Sailing through the Storms of Overmedicated Children

Brent Wilson, M.D. 

Thursday, October 16 12:00pm -1:00pm

Foster children are an extremely vulnerable group. They experience symptoms of mental illness at rates that far exceed other socioeconomically disadvantaged youth.  This is a direct result of the traumatic neglect or abuse that they experience while being cared for by their birth parents.  For many reasons, this results in foster children taking psychotropic medications at alarming high rates.  Despite the fact that foster children make up less than 5% of the entire population of Medicaid insurance youth, nearly one third of the Medicaid’s behavioral health expenditures are spent on foster children.

During this webinar you will hear from a child psychiatrist who has worked with Alabama’s Department of Human Resources for several years.  Dr. Brent Wilson has worked for state agencies and community providers across the nation to help insure that foster children receive appropriate mental health services.  During this webinar, Dr. Wilson will focus on the most frequently asked questions from case managers, advocates, judges, and other partners that are involved in over-seeing mental help services of children.

Thursday, October 16, 12:00pm-1:00pm (CST) (Optional Q&A: 1:00-1:15pm)

Click HERE to register for our next webinar, “Navigating Psychotropic Medications”


Together for Adoption Conference 2014

Together for Adoption Conference 2014


We at The Adoption Law Firm would like to continue to promote great events supporting the work of caring for the fatherless. One such event is coming up October 17th and 18th in Greenville, South Carolina.  This event is the Together for Adoption 2014 Nation Conference.  Below is a personal invitation from one of the founders of Together for Adoption.

With the recent Ebola crisis in Africa, this year’s conference them will be even more applicable. Read the conference theme below as stated by Together for Adoption:

“The devastating impact of Ebola on families is another reason why I believe this year’s Together for Adoption conference is especially timely. Our conference theme is Urgency & Complexity: Biblical & Ethical Approaches to the Orphan Crisis. When you think about the children who are being orphaned by Ebola, I’m sure you can feel something of the urgency and complexity of this crisis. So, as we unpack our theme next week, we will work hard not to lose sight of these children who are being lost in the headlines of our soundbite world.”

Two other sessions stated on the conference promotional material are:

  1. Life in Limbo

Limbo offers a glimpse of what foster care feels like through an interactive role play. The participants each decide to be a foster parent, a birth parent or a child about to enter foster care.  Tensions are high, brokenness is revealed, and healing occurs.

At our Conference, 20 people will role play the simulation during the lunch hour on Friday. The others will enjoy their lunch and view the experience. These 20 volunteers will also get their lunch…just not right away.  They will gain a valuable experience first.

  1. Advice for White Parents of Black Children

Dr. Toney Parks will share wise advice for White couples parenting African-American children in a post-Ferguson country.

If you are looking for a very special weekend to spur you on in caring for the fatherless, I hope you will consider the Together for Adoption 2014 National Conference.

Adoption Airfare: Helping Adopting Families with Airfare

Adoption Airfare:  A great company helping adopting families with international travel

The process of adopting a child can seem overwhelming to some.  This process becomes even more intimidating when considering international adoption.  Thankfully, many organizations exist to help those pursuing adoption.

It is our joy to highlight some of these organizations with a heart for the fatherless.  One such organization is Adoption Airfare.  Owners Kevin and Tabatha Lovell operate their business to help adopting families tackle one of the many challenges in adopting a child, namely international travel.

As you can imagine, when adopting internationally, it is very important to have flexible airline tickets because many times, exact dates of travel cannot be known.  Here are a few of the benefits of working with Adoption Airfare, according to a brochure outlining their services.

  • Special airfare discounts for adopting families
  • Ability to hold flights for up to 11 months in advance with certain airlines
  • Special fares for children returning on a one way ticket home
  • Communicating with adopting families internationally to help them with changes to their flights
  • Responding quickly to the needs of adopting families
  • Flexible tickets that can be changed easily for zero airline penalties with certain airlines
  • Cultural Heritage Travel for adopting families returning to their child’s home country
  • Public speaking at adoption seminars and churches
  • Holding the hands of our adopting families each step of the way through their adoption journey

As you may already know, many parts of the adoption process can only be handled by the adopting parents.  Isn’t it great to know that an organization like Adoption Airfare can take one major thing off of your to-do list?

To learn more about Adoption Airfare, contact them at:

Website:  www.adoptionairfare.com

Email:  tabitha@adoptionairfare.com

Phone: 800-277-7651  ext. 800

Compelled Designs


As you probably already know, adoption can be very expensive.  The good news is that many people are willing to financially give toward an adoption. Fundraisers are a big part of many adoptions. The great thing about an adoption fundraiser is that it serves two purposes.

First, the fundraiser is a great way to help with the cost of the adoption.

Second and fundraiser is a great way to help people be a part of your adoption, which many people like to do.

There are quite a few ideas out there for raising money for adoption.  Today we would like to highlight one of those options right here in the state of Alabama.  Compelled Designs is a company owned by Rebekah Blocher.  Compelled Designs has very unique, handmade pottery jewelry in many different styles.

So how can this help with an adoption?

Compelled Designs gives you the jewelry to sell and you keep 50% toward your adoption.  Another great thing is you can return any unsold jewelry, so there is no risk.

Of course, for the great people of Alabama, here are a couple of designs which need no explanation.


What a great way to operate a business with a real vision to help others.  Check out all the cool designs Rebekah has to offer at www.compelleddesigns.com, or like the facebook page at www.facebook.com/compelleddesigns.

How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Child

How long does it take to adopt a child?

Let’s take a look at how long the adoption process takes from start to finish.  The length of the adoption process really varies depending on factors such as whether someone is pursuing domestic or international adoption.

Let’s first take a look at domestic adoptions.  There are a couple of different ways to go about a domestic adoption.  Two types of domestic adoptions are word-of-mouth adoptions and agency adoptions.

Typically the first step in any adoption is a home study. A home study usually takes about three months to complete.  It is intended to give a thorough background check on the potential adoptive parents.  The home study is intended to find out the suitability of the potential adoptive family to adopt a child.  One recommended idea, if you are looking to adopt, is to put together a profile book. The profile book includes things such as pictures of the potential adoptive family and tells things such as why they are looking to adopt a child. The profile book can be a major factor in which family the birth parents choose to place their child.

A word-of-mouth adoption works a little different. The potential adoptive parents in this situation market themselves in order to find a child. They may talk to friends, family, doctors, pregnancy centers or other individuals who may be able to help them find a child to adopt.

International adoptions can take significantly longer than domestic adoptions.  The timeline can vary from country to country.  The home study is still required. Adoptive parents also have a requirement to cooperate with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service.  Adoptive parents then have a complete packet of information sent to the home country from which they would like to adopt.  A search for a suitable child then begins.   Once a suitable child is located, it can be several more months before the family is ready to travel.  The time frame a family is required to remain in country also varies from country to country.  China typically requires a shorter stay, possibly only a couple of weeks, while other countries may require an adoptive family to stay six weeks or longer.  One great resource to find the differences in each country is a link on the Lifeline Children Services website called “A Quick Look at International Adoption”.

In summary, typically domestic adoptions can be as quick as three to four months or as long as three years.  International adoptions typically range anywhere from as short as two years to as long as five years from start to finish.

From Surviving to Thriving- Marriage Seminar

MitchTemplebyMOodyfromexcerptdsmallerResA strong marriage is the best thing we can give the children God places in our homes.  On Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m., AGAPE of Central Alabama will be hosting a marriage seminar at Frazier United Methodist Church. Speaker Mitch Temple will share insight into how to take your marriage from surviving to thriving. Temple is an author, speaker, and former Director of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In addition to his marriage work, he serves as the founder and director of The Fatherhood CoMission and has been part of top Christian family movies such as Fireproof, Courageous, October Baby, and many more.

Childcare and snacks will be provided. Also, foster parents will receive 1.5 credit hours for attendance. For registration, please visit eventbrite.com. For more information, e-mail Julie Johnston at jjohnston@agapeforchildren.org or call 272-9466.

Bonding and Attachment Seminar- Part Two

bonding_case_for_permanenceThat’s right! Part 2 of Dr. James Kenny’s Bonding and Attachment seminar is coming to the River Region.  Part 2 of the series will be held in Wetumpka, Alabama at 113 East Bridge Street, Suite A on January 7 at 6:30 p.m.  Part 2 of the series will include training in how to perform a bonding and attachment analysis and how to define and evaluate the bonded relationship.

This training is specifically intended for child welfare professionals, but foster parents and other interested parties are encouraged to come.  Knowledge is power and this seminars are all about equipping the people of Alabama to care for our orphans.

For those who have attended Parts 1 and 2 of the series, Dr. Kenny will provide a certification of attendance (clarifying previous misstatement saying that attending both seminars would result in a certificate of bonding and attachment expert).

For more information, please call Rachel Hines at 334-612-3406, or email her at Rachel@theadoptionfirm.com.

Bonding and Attachment Seminar

bonding_case_for_permanenceThe Adoption Law Firm is proud to host a bonding and attachment seminar on November 18 at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama from 6-8 pm. This seminar will feature special guest and world-renown bonding specialist Dr. James Kenny. Kenny is a retired psychologist with over 50 years of clinical experience.  He is the author of fourteen books on family and child care and has presented over one hundred seminars and workshops for parents, mental health professionals, and attorneys on foster care and adoption issues, parenting, and mental health.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kenny will be speaking about how bonding and attachment affects the lives of foster care children tremendously. This event is open to the public for foster parents, social workers, and anyone who has a passion to learn more about the effects of attachment. This seminar will be Part One of a two-part certification process. Part Two is planned to take place when Dr. Kenny returns in January and will cover the nuts-and-bolts of performing a bonding and attachment evaluation. If you attend both seminars, you will receive certification as a bonding specialist.

Please join us on Monday, November 18, at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery from 6-8 and take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity. The fee is $25 for professionals and social workers, however if you are a foster parent you can attend for $10 per person. For this low price, you will receive invaluable knowledge on bonding and attachment and a copy of Dr. Kenney’s book: Bonding in the Case of Permanency. This is an opportunity you do NOT want to miss. Please RSVP to Rachel Hines at 334- 294- 5837 or rachel@theadoptionfirm.com.

AGAPE is Launching Their International Adoption Program!

A recent New York Time’s article, Eager to Adopt: Evangelicals Find Perils Abroad, highlights the difficulties that many well-meaning families encounter throughout the process of international adoption.  Bribery, baby-selling, and the bureaucracy designed to prevent those evils can often bring a good-hearted adoption to a screeching halt.

OrphanageThe reality of these perils is a big reason why I’m thrilled to introduce to you an international adoption program coming out of an agency with nearly 3 decades of experience.  For the last few years, AGAPE of Central Alabama has diligently pursued the development of an international adoption program.  Today at Landmark Church of Christ, AGAPE held an International Adoption Conference which marks the unofficial launching of their International Adoption Program.

The conference began with AGAPE’s International Director, Megan Malinoski, giving an informative overview of the international adoption process.  The next presenter, Kelly Curry, spoke about The UAB International Adoption Clinic and some of the pre and post adoption needs that internationally adopted children often experience.  The conferenced closed with what was probably almost everyone’s favorite time … Q & A with real adoptive families.

For more information on AGAPE’s international adoption program, visit the international adoption page on their website.