Transracial Adoption Event in NYC Begins Tonight!

AFCAF/NY in collaboration with FCCNY and St. John’s Adoption Initiative present ADOPTED. The Movie. We Can Do Better:  6 Evenings on Transracial Adoption with Adult Adoptees

ADOPTED, the Movie:  The Movie (2009) by filmmaker Barb Lee “reveals the grit rather than the glamour of transracial adoption. Lee goes deep into the intimate lives of two well-meaning families and shows us the subtle challenges they face. One family is just beginning the process of adopting a baby from China and is filled with hope and possibility.The other family’s adopted Korean daughter is now 32 years old. Prompted by her adoptive mother’s terminal illness, she tries to create the bond they never had. The results are riveting, unpredictable and telling. While the two families are at opposite ends of the journey, their stories converge to show us that love isn’t always enough.” Because of the thought provoking nature of this challenging film it made a splash in the adoption community and beyond. The Movie was followed by aneducational companion DVD We Can do Better in which five themes are discussed: Intentions behind Adopting, Parenting the Adopted Child, the MultiRacial Family, Identity for the Transracial Adoptee and Tough Questions. See the website:

In six evenings we will show the film and the five sections of the companion DVD. Each evening is introduced by adult adoptee experts, who will also facilitate the discussion afterward. The series is curated by Dr. Amanda Baden, an expert on transracial adoption and Associate Professor at Montclair State University, Montclair NJ:

ADOPTED is appropriate for teens and older. There are issues related to families, adoption and ethnicity that might be challenging for some. This film will likely lead to some important and powerful discussions within families, so parents should expect to talk about it afterward.

The series is meant for adopted persons; prospective adoptive parents; for adoptive parents, who want to revisit themes of race and identity in their families; for social workers at adoption agencies and in government, interested in the adult adoptee’s perspective; for policy makers in local and national administrations and foundations; for students in education and social work; for all of us who have experiences with adoption.

Six Tuesday evenings 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 4/3, 4/17, 5/1
 6:30 – 8:30 pm

-For the six-evening series: Adult $120, students $60
-For ADOPTED 2/28 screening only: $50
-For individual educational sessions: $40 per session

Register online at

Venue & Transportation:
Saval Auditorium
St. John’s University Downtown Manhattan Campus
101 Murray Street
New York, NY 10007

Via public transportation:

[Complete program after the jump]


Tuesday February 28: Adopted.The Movie: Amanda Baden

Tuesday March 6: Session 1: Intentions Behind Adopting: Nancy Kim Parsons – This session includes interviews with adoptive parents and adoption psychologists and social workers about what drives people to adopt. Whether it’s due to infertility, a calling from God, a desire to have a particular gender or race of child, or a combination of reasons,parents and experts encourage pre-adoptive individuals or couples to honestly assess their intentions so they can learn how to put the child’s needs first.

Tuesday March 13: Session 2: Parenting the Adopted Child: Joy Lieberthal – This session includes interviews with adoptive parents, psychologists and pediatricians about some of the unique issues adopted children may face including Attachment Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, developmental delays, and grief–over the loss of a birth parentand/or birth culture. The session also looks at how biological and adopted siblings interact.

Tuesday April 3: Session 3: The MultiRacial Family: Tara Linh Leaman and Liz Raleigh – This session asks adoptive parents to think about whether they really can, and should be, colorblind when it comes to their non-white, adopted child. Interviews with adoptees, parents and psychologists reveal the importance of addressing both race and culture with thechild, acknowledging that racism and stereotypes still exist, believing children when they report instances of racial prejudice, and realizing that children often won’t tell their parents about everything that happens at school.

Tuesday April 17: Session 4: Identity for the Transracial Adoptee: Nancy Kim Parsons with the protagonist of ADOPTED Jennifer Fero – This session features interviews with adult adoptees who stress the importance of parents helping their children develop a strong sense of racial identity and self-esteem. Suggestions include bringing other adult people ofcolor into their lives as role models, seeking out schools, communities or social situations where whites are not a strong majority, and understanding the struggles and confusion transracial adoptees might have. The session also includes advice and explanations from psychologists about why a strong racial identity is crucial for transracial adoptees.

Tuesday May 1: Session 5: Tough Questions: Kacy Ames – This session looks at some of the odd, inappropriate and sometimes offensive questions people–both strangers and loved ones–ask transracial and international adoptive families. Questions like, “how much did she cost?”; “is that your real son?”; and “why did youadopt overseas when there are so many kids in the US without homes?” will come up frequently. And while parents are not required to respond to those questions, their children may hear them being asked and will expect answers. Sociologists and social workers explain the socioeconomics and business of adoption that lead to these kinds of questions so parents can discuss these issues with their children.

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