Towson administrator, adoptive mother of two girls, retires from Academic Diversity position

Paz Galupo, mother of three, has stepped down as the director of academic diversity at Towson University (though she will continue to teach psychology) partly because she’s decided to adopt another child with her partner, Carin Sailer-Galupo.

Galupo has a 17-year-old daughter, Isabel, from a previous marriage and has now adopted two more girls with Sailer-Galupo. They were married at a Jewish (Reform) temple, but their union is not recognized by the state.

Below, find Galupo at work for the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, Intersex and Allies (LGBTQIA) community at Towson University as part of the Lavendar Graduation, an event celebrating seniors in the Queer Student Union (QSU).

And beneath that, get a glimpse into home life for the family who is also currently hosting toddler twins in foster care.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Lavendar Graduation“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mama Paz at home“, posted with vodpod

Man on the street: thoughts on same sex adoption

A Baltimore Sun article reports that Md. voters narrowly favor same sex marriage, so I wanted to see what college students in Md. think about same sex adoption.

I went out and got a random sampling of Towson students to weigh in on same sex adoption. Here’s what students had to say:

Man on the street: would you adopt?

I wanted to find out what Towson students think about adoption. Here’s a sample of guys on campus.

Birthmother’s day

Imagine having to give your child up for adoption and then getting a painful reminder of that fact every year in the form of Mother’s Day.

Some birthmother’s have decided to set aside the day before Mother’s Day to commemorate their experience.

It’s a day that celebrates women who chose to give life.

Laura de Jong who gave up her child for adoption 31 years ago has yet to hear from her child, even though it was an open adoption. This event is an opportunity for birthmothers to encourage each other while they wait to see if their children will seek contact.

The importance of foster care

A study released recently shows that the 30,000 children emerging from the foster care system need more support than ever. They’re less likely to get degrees, jobs and generally “make it” in the traditional sense.

There are many reasons to foster. Paz Galupo, adopted mother of two girls from Guatemala, says she and her partner bring in foster kids to show her adopted girls that she understands they had a life before they were brought into her family.

But another issue that needs attention is the need for older kids to have foster families. Just like in many adoptions, most foster families are looking for infants or young children to foster. But older kids need families, too.

The importance of [carefully considering] international adoption

Since the debacle involving Tory Ann Hansen returning her adopted son to Russia, several follow-up stories have highlighted the plight of children growing up in orphanages in Russia.

This report from CNN quotes the child psychologist at Children’s Home No. 59, “Most of [the children here] have had traumatic experiences in their life.”

I spoke with Anastasia Whitesell, adopted at 14 from Russia with her 9-year-old sister. From her experience in a Russian orphanage, Anastasia agrees.

“It’s a stereotype that Russian kids are aggressive, but there is some truth…[they’ve] been taught to be aggressive to survive, to keep from getting beat up.”

Anastasia could have told Ms. Hansen:

“It takes work to adopt. It’s not an automatic “happy family,” but rather it’s a calling on couples and individuals who choose to adopt. It will take time and work for a family to be healthy.”

America covers its butt

Since the report of the Russian boy shipped back all alone to his country have surfaced, the American news media have raced to bring to light every adoption story that ever went remotely well.

Thanks for setting the record straight, everyone. You’re all heroes.

Because before you published the story about the Tennessean family who “thought they’d adopted the perfect set of Russian twins” only to discover behavioral issues that resulted in God-awful things like one girl peeing in her toy closet and both girls being “terrified” of thunder…wait, seriously? Four-year-olds who are afraid of thunder? Weird!

But those Tennesseans — God love ’em — they stuck it out! They “talked to their adoption counselor and went to support group meetings.”

And, wouldn’t ya know it — after about a year (or a paragraph in the article), things calmed down. So today, this True American Family has a couple of “intelligent, well-behaved 15-year-old girls.”

This particular article goes on to highlight all the services available for families who adopt — and for that, it’s worthwhile. And maybe even a little journalistic.

But let’s leave the marketing and PR about adoption for the non-profits.

It’s time to start writing about the policies and political systems that keep these kids locked up in institutions their whole lives.