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Narcotic Prescriptions and Pregnancy

In  recent years, doctors have started prescribing opioid painkillers to pregnant women at an alarmingly high rate–especially since risks to the developing fetus from narcotic painkillers are generally unknown.

In 2007, 23% of the 1.1 million pregnant women enrolled in medicaid filled a prescription for a narcotic painkiller. This is up from 18.5% in 2000.

Of most concern, however, is the variation of prescribing rates throughout the country. Rates of opioid prescriptions were highest in the South, and lowest in the Northeast. In the study of women enrolled in Medicaid, 41.6 percent of pregnant women in Utah were prescribed opioids, and 35.6 percent in Idaho. Oregon had the lowest, at 9.5 percent, with New York at 9.6 percent. Does this mean that women in Utah have more painful pregnancies than women in NY? Doubtful, say experts.  Instead, it is likely that attention has not been paid to the statistics regarding addiction and misuse potential in these areas.  This is especially troubling since most prescription drugs approved by the FDA do not have sufficient data to determine fetal risk. According to Cheryl S. Broussard, a health scientist at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, this number is actually fewer than 10 percent of all medications approved since 1980.  At a time when pregnant women are taking more prescription drugs now than at any time in the last three decades this certainly raises a red flag.

In the past 30 years, the use of prescription medicine by pregnant women in their first trimester has increased more than 60 percent, while the use of four or more medications has more than tripled, according to a 2011 study published in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Some doctors and scientists say they are concerned about recent research demonstrating an association between first trimester use of opioids and neural tube defects, which are malformations of the brain, spine or spinal cord. Mothers of children with neural tube defects reported more use of opioids early in their pregnancies — 3.9 percent — than mothers of children without such congenital defects — 1.6 percent.

It is unclear why the demand for painkillers during pregnancy is on the rise.  Some argue that America’s attitude toward pain management has shifted dramatically in the last 20 years–patients expect immediate relief from pain and as such, have adapted a very low tolerance to pain levels.



GLSEN Day of Silence 2014

silentToday is the 19th annual GLSEN Day of Silence–a day created to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of anti-LBGT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools.  This year, hundreds of thousands of students at more than 8,000 schools are expected to participate.

LGBT students and their allies will remain silent throughout the school day or during non-instructional time to illustrate the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bias and behavior.

“Day of Silence” is a student-led event modeled after peaceful and non-violent protests . The original action was created by students at the University of Virginia in 1996, inspired by former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and a class he teaches on the history of the Civil Rights Movement.  The Day of Silence became a GLSEN program in 2001 and has grown to one of the largest youth events in the world.

According to statistics, more than 8 out of 10 LGBT students  are harassed at school each year because of their sexual orientation and more than 6 out of 10  because of their gender expression, according to GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey.  More than 31% of LGBT students said they missed at least a day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe. Students who are bullied also skip school more often, have lower GPA’s, higher rates of depression, lower self-esteem, and are less likely to go on to college.

Studies also show, however, that  students who attend schools that take action to address anti-LGBT bias and behavior  experience less victimization, have better educational outcomes and report better mental health.

To participate, students  wear shirts, stickers or buttons and hand out speaking cards to explain why they are silent. The card reads:

 “Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment.


I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.”

To learn more about GLSEN, please visit their website at


iGive and support FFTA!

This month, new iGive  supporters can earn Forever Families Through Adoption $5, even if they don’t shop!

Why should you shop with iGive?

  1. When you shop, you help Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc..  Why not take advantage of over 1,400 stores that want to help?
  2. The average shopper raises between $30 – $100 a year for their cause … all for free!
  3. It’s simple and automatic
  4. Five bucks donated to FFTA, for free! Just to try it out!
  5. The more iGive members, the better the deals we can get from stores.

Everybody who joins to support Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. and tries the iGive Button through 7/15/14 means $5, free.

About 1,000 – 1,500 people a day become members in our best months, so we’re asking your help to make April a Best Month !!

So, why not?  Keep getting that word out so that Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. earns an extra $5 for new iGive members.

Happy Shopping!!!



FREE Adoption Information Session

Flyer- Port Chester - Rye Brook Library March 2014This free event is open to anyone interested in or involved with the adoption process, including professionals, community members, expectant parents, adoptive or prospective adoptive parents, and adoptees. Come learn about the domestic and international adoption process and meet the staff of Forever Families Through Adoption. FFTA is authorized in NY and CT.


Adoption: Everything You Need to Know

Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library

Monday, March 31st from 6:30pm-8:00pm

One Haseco Ave

Port Chester, NY 10573

No Registration Necessary!

Questions? Contact Kate at:



We hope to see you there!

How to Throw a Baby Shower for Adoptive Parents


Content provided by

The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for the parents-to-be as well as friends and family. With an estimated 120,000 children being adopted by U.S. citizens each year, according to, it’s important to remember that new families come in all forms. While the experience leading up to the arrival is a bit different, the needs remain the same. That being said, an adoption shower is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the precious new addition and help mom and dad prepare for parenthood. The format will likely parallel that of a traditional baby shower, however, there are a few things to consider in adoption situations.


It’s a Date

Unlike pregnancy, adoption does not have a nine-month deadline. For a domestic adoption, it usually takes around 12 months. Most placements occur between six and 18 months, according to That being said, it is best to plan your shower after the adoption is complete and the parents have their new child. Fight the urge to throw a surprise homecoming shower and openly communicate with your friends about their plans for acclimating the child to their new surroundings.


Only a small percentage of adopted infants are sent to a permanent home straight from the hospital, according to The inundation of new environments can be overwhelming for the child and the new parents may wish to introduce extended family and friends individually first and hold off on large social gatherings for a few weeks.


Invitation Etiquette

One major advantage to hosting an adoption shower is having information on the child prior to the party. As with any invite, you will want to include party basics such as when, where, what time and how to RSVP. Additionally, if possible, include the child’s name and birth date so guests can select age-appropriate gifts. While it’s common to think of a new addition to a family arriving in the form of an infant, only 21 percent of adoptions are to children under the age of one, according to a infographic. In fact, children between the ages of one and two are the most common, followed by children 5 to 12 years old. If the child is older, you may want to include clothing size, interests and any special needs.



Themes for baby showers and adoption showers can be one in the same. From the traditional “It’s a Boy” or “It’s a Girl” theme, to an array of animal-inspired themes, sites like can offer a variety of ideas and accompanying decor, favors and more. If you are looking to get creative, try customizing the theme to the child. For example, if they are adopted from another country, host a passport-themed event with food and decor from their native country. Or, if the child is older, find out their favorite cartoon character or work with the adoptive parents to come up with a theme they would enjoy.


Games and Activities

Shower games and activities set the tone for your party and get guests involved in the festivities beyond eating, drinking and watching the parents-to-be open gifts. For a shower lasting two hours (the typical length of time for a shower) plan on two to three games, but stay away from maternity games. Keep in mind the age of the child and where he or she is from. If the child is older than two, plan a “welcome home” party instead of a “baby shower.” Guests might be unsure of what to buy an older child, so think of creating a registry for the adoptive family.

FFTA Honored by Human Rights Campaign for Work with LGBT Families


Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized adoption placement agency and resource center in Rye Brook, NY, was awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition again by the Human Rights Campaign.  The Seal signifies that FFTA is an organization that is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has once again demonstrated skill and competency in 10 key areas of best practice.


FFTA originally received the seal in November 2011 during National Adoption Day at the Westchester County Family Court with the Honorable Judge Kathie E. Davidson presiding.  National Adoption Day is recognized throughout the United States when an unprecedented number of courts open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children and celebrate all families that adopt.  Judge Davidson has been recognizing and finalizing same-sex adoptions for many years, and joins in congratulating FFTA as the agency once again receives this important honor.


FFTA is truly proud and pleased to continue to place children with LGBT families and to always focus on the best interests of children in need of their forever family.  Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of the agency stated, “As we celebrate the awarding of the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition we are not only supporting the LGBT community, but are standing up for ethical practice by removing barriers to LGBT adults who dream of becoming parents and to children in need of a safe, permanent and loving family.”

Please click the link below to read the full press release:

FFTA Press Release ACAF Seal- 2014 w photo

FREE Adoption Information Session

FFTA LogoOn Monday, February 10th,  FFTA will host a free adoption information session at the Port Chester/Rye Brook Public Library!

This event is open to anyone involved with the adoption process including: prospective parents, birth parents, adoptees, and professionals. The session will run from 6:30-8pm, and no registration is required.


The Port Chester/Rye Brook Public Library is located at:

1 Haseco Ave

Port Chester, NY 10573

The library  is also easily accessible by mass transit via the New Haven Metro North Line.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate at 914-939-1180 or

We hope to see you there!!

The Online Adoption Boom

Social Media has recently become an important part of the modern adoption world.  A variety of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have allowed for potential adoptive parents to reach out to potential birth mothers on their own behalf.  This online connection also allows the matching process to feel more personal and the prospective adoptive parents more “in control.”

Recent Fox News articles have interviewed adoption attorneys who claim that up to 30% of his cases are made up of matches made online.  Prospective Adoptive parents and birth mothers can investigate and follow each other before deciding to meet or proceed.  Attorney Tommy Taneff in Ohio even claims that Facebook adoptions and surrogacies have become the bulk of his business at his Columbus office.

There are a variety of ways that social media can impact adoption.  Here at FFTA, we have recently introduced a new “Family of the Month”  program for our prospective adoptive parents. While participating, families are featured on FFTA’s website as well as our Facebook page.  Additionally, families have the option of promoting their post with a fixed budget that will draw a larger audience.  So far, the results have been very positive.

To read more about this topic, check out these two articles

Why Adoptees Get Mad At Their Moms

It’s very easy for  moms to take the anger directed towards them from their children (especially adopted ones) personally, but it is essential for both for the child and you, that you don’t. By understanding the core reasons why your child is acting this way it becomes much easier to detach emotional feelings from your response and instead work to get through this trying time.

There are a variety of reasons why your adopted child may be acting in this way. A main one is that it is likely this anger is misplaced. Your child is has a deep hurt inside that stems from his/her birth mother making the decision to place them for adoption. No matter how much love, affection, and sympathy you may feel you have provided to your child, this deep hurt still remains.

 No matter how loving the birth mother and the adoption plan, the absence of the birth mother translated to your child as pure abandonment. That is the deep hurt beneath the scab. Because your child doesn’t understand this dynamic, she lashes out at you, with misplaced anger. The birth mother isn’t around, so you receive the brunt of her anger. – via

By taking the necessary steps to understand and decode your child’s anger, you are taking the first steps to managing and overcoming it. The actions taken now will have great impact on your child’s future relationships with you and others around them.




US Parents Stuck in Congo With Adopted Children

Recently, scores of  U.S. couples  have become caught up in wrenching uncertainty, as a suspension of all foreign adoptions imposed by Congolese authorities has temporarily derailed their efforts to adopt.

According to UNICEF estimates, Congo  is home to more than 800,000 children who’ve lost both parents, in many cases because of AIDS. Until the suspension was announced in September, Congo had been viewed by adoption advocates in the U.S. as a promising option, and it  accounted for the sixth highest number of adoptions by Americans in 2012 — 240 children, up from 41 in 2010 and 133 in 2011.

According to ABC News:

“The U.S. State Department, in its latest Congo advisory, says all applications for exit permits for adopted children are facing increased scrutiny because of concerns over suspected falsification of documents. Congolese authorities earlier attributed the suspension to concerns that some children had been abused or abandoned by their adoptive parents or have been ‘sold to homosexuals.’”

To read more about the obstacles many American families are facing in attempting to bring their adopted children home from the Congo, please click here.