In tha Mix

Whew! Summers here – grades are done. I’m in full writing mode for my dissertation. Things are moving forward here at A Birth Project. Just wanna check in on my bi-monthly update. Just a note, these bi-monthlys will only be happening while I’m trying to finish my writing. Then its back FULL steam ahead!

Here’s some updates.

Good article yesterday in the NYT’s. De-emphasis on Race in Adoption is Criticized.

Great quotes by Shannon and JaeRan. Whoo hoo!

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I just finished watching an amazing film, The Official Story (La Historia oficia) . Its a film from 1985 directed by Luis Puenzo. This film totally caught me off guard by the intricate ways the filmmaker brought the politics of Argentina’s military dictatorship of the 1970s to the forefront and focused on how children are always the one’s who pay for the crimes of war. I found this film SO connected to the ways in which I think the U.S. continues to wage war on its communities of color and then removes their children from them calling it in ‘the best interest of the child.’ There were so many amazing scenes about denial of family, secrecy and lies in adoption and how the labor of poor women’s bodies continues to be used to fulfill the monied populations desires. In other words, how rich folks get to take poor folks children in that same overused paternalistic way that has happened in all colonialist histories. netflix this people!

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I’m also in the process of developing a 6 week young black TRA men’s support group. I’m so tired of watching these young men reach adolescence and suddenly they become the site of all their parents fears. They are tall, black, becoming sexual, becoming young men, negotiating race and identity – and parents are now, suddenly afraid – are now concerned about ‘control’ and violence. Im gagging. I cant take it. So im developing a program for support. Any ideas or funding places?

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I’m presenting June 13th at the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival in LA. If you are in the area, or know people in the area – please pass the info on! My presentation will focus on mixed-race organizations and the ways in which transracial adoptees have been embraced by these organizations. Its a good thing, but my presentation pushes us to critique the places where TRA’s issues diverge in very real and important ways from mixed race identity and argues that there are many moments where adoption issues change the way a mixed race identity is experienced. Come say hi!

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Of course the planning for the first ever AFAAD mini-gathering in Oakland the weekend of November 7-9, 2008 continues with a vengence! WooHoo! Please pass the word and contact me for details!

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Oh Lord – 90210 has returned… and has a black character. Um – a black ADOPTEE character. I’m already prepared for the worst storylines ever. (Sorry Tristan, Im not hatin on you, Im hatin on the show) The cracked out black mother or father coming out of the woodworks to soil a perfect white landscape, the inevitable search for roots or black identity that ends in destruction. What im most irritated by is the desire to have a black character that will of course, equate diversity, but the total unwillingness to have a black FAMILY. are you fucking kidding me? Talk about erasure hidden in liberal discourse. (vomit sounds here). I’ll be watching 90210. Be Careful.

New LGBTQ TRA parent group

One of the 50 zillion projects i have is working part time at Pact, an adoption alliance in Oakland, CA. I’m working as the Adoption Education Specialist, developing new and revising old adoption training and educational courses for professionals and pre & post adoptive parents. Its a complicated thing working at an adoption agency, particularly one that does any transracial adoptions, even if about 70% of the adoptions we do are same-race adoptions for children of color. Even with this statistic, most of the life-long educational support work we do is for white adoptive parents.

We’ve recently partnered with OFC (Our Family Coalition) in San Francisco and IPride/Fusion to develop a new training/ support group for queer adoptive parents focusing on transracial adoptions called Colors of our Families.

I just wanted to let you all know, its starting soon, pass this info on to folks in your community!!

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Colors of Our Families

A six-session peer support group for parents to talk about issues and strategies relevant to race, ethnicity, culture, adoption and parenting.

* Free Childcare will be provided by KidSpace of the SF LGBT Center.
* The Spring 2008 group is for parents of children between the ages of 0 to 5. For families with older children please let us know of your interest as we hope to offer future groups for other age ranges.

Dates
Saturdays 2-4 pm – May 3rd, 17th, 31st, June 14th, 28th and July 12th

Where
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
1800 Market Street, San Francisco 94102

Cost
The cost for 6 sessions is a suggested sliding scale of $90-$120 ($15-$20 per session).
No one turned away for lack of funds.

Questions or Interest in Future Groups

Please contact Martha Rynberg, group facilitator for questions specific to the group.