National Adoption Month brings attention to the need for permanent homes for thousands of children and youth in the American foster care system. Securing homes for children and youth is a critical component towards individual success and well-being. This November, POV honors and celebrates National Adoption Month with films and materials available to screen, explore, and discuss.
Be sure to join the conversation about families on social media using the hashtag #NAM2016 and #AdoptionMonth.
In New York, 73-year-old Jackie Miller talks to her adopted son, Scott, revealing something about her early life that sheds new light on his adoption. As they express their profound love for one another, Scott touchingly recalls how he came out to her and expresses his trepidation about the future.
Harry Holt adopted eight infants and toddlers to his existing biological family of six. The press coverage of Holt’s campaign was so successful that they formally instituted a large-scale adoption program that placed Korean children into American families.
Screen: These films are available for free from the POV Lending Library for community or classroom screenings. Register your screening with us to borrow these (and many more) films for free.
Off and Running by Nicole Opper
Avery is one of three children adopted by a Jewish lesbian couple in Brooklyn. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s is like most families — until she writes to her birth mother.
First Person Plural by Deann Borshay Liem
A young Korean girl grows up with an American family: but years later, Deann Borshay Liem discovers that her Korean mother is still very much alive.
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee by Deann Borshay Liem
Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966.
Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy by Stephanie Wang Breal
What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture?
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge, Sherrie. (New York: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1999.) Written by a woman who was adopted herself, this book gives voice to adopted children’s unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.
Birthright by Jean Strauss. (New York: Penguin. 1994.)
Written by an adoptee, this is an important reference that is valuable to anyone affected by adoption. The book includes guidance on making the decision to “search,” negotiating legalities, surviving the emotional turbulence of a reunion, and dealing with the impact a reunion has on adoptive parents.
Oliver Twist by Oliver Twist. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2002.) (Pre-KGrade 3).
This is the story of an orphan boy who escapes from a workhouse and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets.
Adoption: How to Deal with the Questions of Your Past by Ann Lanchon. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2006.) (Grade 6-9).
The goal of the book is to help young people understand the questions and concerns they might have about their birth history. Also discussed are issues that may arise when an adopted child wants to learn more about, or unite with, their birth family.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.(New York: HarperTorch, 1998.)
Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity of putting down roots. This book also celebrates Native American Heritage Month happening in November!
Delve deeper into POV’s companion materials to discuss the topics surrounding adoption:
- In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee reading list
- Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy reading list
- Off and Running reading list
POV discussion guides are an invitation to dialogue. They are based on a belief in the power of human connection, designed for people who want to use our films to engage family, friends, classmates, colleagues and communities. In contrast to initiatives that foster debates in which participants try to convince others that they are right, this document envisions conversations undertaken in a spirit of openness in which people try to understand one another and expand their thinking by sharing viewpoints and listening actively. Take a look at the discussion guides below for ideas on promoting a dialogue around National Adoption Month in your community:
- Assimilation or Acculturation Discussion Guide
- Off and Running Discussion Guide
- In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee Discussion Guide
- First Person Plural Discussion Guide
POV also produces lesson plans, reading lists and other resources around our films. Follow POV’s Community Engagement and Education department on Twitter @povengage and we’ll help you find the right resources for your goals. Be sure to follow @AmericaReFramed on Twitter, as well, to stay up to date with their films and activities.