About Pam Connell

Pam Connell is a mother of three by both birth and adoption. She has worked in education, child care, social services, ministry and journalism. She resides near Seattle with her husband Charles and their three children. Pam is currently primarily a Stay-at-Home-Mom to Patrick, age 8, who was born to her; Meg, age 6, and Regina, age 3, who are biological half-sisters adopted from Korea. She also teaches preschoolers twice a week and does some writing. Her activities include volunteer work at school, church, Cub Scouts and a local Birth to Three Early Intervention Program. Her hobbies include reading, writing, travel, camping, walking in the woods, swimming and scrapbooking. Pam is a graduate of Seattle University and Gonzaga University. Her fields of study included journalism, religious education/pastoral ministry, political science and management. She served as a writer and editor of the college weekly newspaper and has been Program Coordinator of a Family Resource Center and Family Literacy Program, Volunteer Coordinator at a church, Religion Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Youth Ministry Coordinator, Camp Counselor and Nanny. Pam is an avid reader and continuing student in the areas of education, child development, adoption and public policy. She is eager to share her experiences as a mother by birth and by international adoption, as a mother of three kids of different learning styles and personalities, as a mother of kids of different races, and most of all as a mom of three wonderful kids!

My Last Blog

This is going to be my last blog as the Adoption Blogger for Families.com. I’m looking forward to spending the summer with my kids, possibly working at their school, and taking on new writing projects. I may well guest blog occasionally for this or other Families blogs. It seems the Adoption Blog will continue, so I hope this blog, along with Families’ forums, can be a source of information and community for adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents. Yesterday I could think of a million things to say in my last few blogs and wondered how I would fit it … Continue reading

What Does the Hague Convention Agreement Actually Say?

Adoption periodicals and websites often refer to the “Hague Convention”, to “Hague requirements” and to countries being “Hague” or “non-Hague”. What does that mean? I gave a brief overview and shared some potential concerns. But what exactly does the Hague Convention say? “Hague” refers to the international courts at the Hague in Holland. The adoption agreement referred to is formally titled “Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect to Intercountry Adoption”. The introduction states that “the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere … Continue reading

Concerns with the Hague Convention Requirements

My last blog was an overview of the Hague Convention on International Adoption, a treaty which the U.S. put into effect two years ago and which is still being implemented in many countries, although some countries have chosen to continue adoption as usual without joining the Convention. This blog will raise some possible concerns with adoption procedures according to the Hague Convention. Hague-related concerns center not so much on countries that did not adopt the treaty, but with countries which have signed the treaty, but do not have the resources to implement all of its provisions by the effective date. … Continue reading

What Is the Hague Convention? -–An Overview

This past spring marks two years since the Hague Convention on International Adoption took effect in the U.S. This treaty actually was written in 1993, but had to be ratified by various signatory nations, some of which had different dates set for their country to come into compliance with the treaty. Two years ago, the internet was buzzing with fears that small adoption agencies , perhaps small faith-based programs or programs that specialized in a certain, relatively unusual sending country, such as Poland, would not be able to meet its provisions and would stop operating, thus putting children in areas … Continue reading

Book Review: All About Adoption:How Families Are Made and How Kids Feel About It

All About Adoption: How Families Are Made and How Kids Feel About It is a book from Magination Press, which specializes in titles helping children understand tough situations or deal with feelings. (Magination Press is also the publisher of Maybe Days, a Book about Foster Care.) All About Adoption authors Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata are both clinical psychologists specializing in families and children. All About Adoption starts out by saying “there are lots of different ways to have a baby. ..some parents have one baby..and some parents have two or three babies all at once. “Babies grow inside a … Continue reading

“Big Fat Greek Wedding” Star Advocates for Foster Adoption”

I’ve written about Angelina Jolie, Katherine Heigl and Madonna adopting internationally, and about Sheryl Crow adopting an infant and Sandra Bullock’s adoption of an African-American infant from New Orleans. (Breaking news on Bullock: gossip sites like “Anything Hollywood”and “igossip” are saying Bullock wants to adopt a sibling for Louis, and wants to start the process now and hope that it won’t take as long as Louis’ adoption. Bullock and her then-husband Jesse James applied to adopt nearly four years ago. I haven’t heard any mainstream verification of this, though. ) It seems rarer to hear about celebrities adopting from foster … Continue reading

A Big Difference for Adopting Parents: the Adoption Tax Credit Renewed and Expanded

Whatever you think of the new health care legislation, adoptive parents will realize one benefit: the Adoption Tax Credit, which was set to expire this year, will be renewed through December 21, 2011. The maximum reimbursable limit for adoption-related expenses was raised from $12, 150 to $13, 170. In addition, the Adoption Tax Credit will benefit families who have no taxes or a very small amount of taxes due, because it is now refundable. The credit lessens for adopters with income of over$ 180,000 per year, and continues to lessen as incomes go up until it is eventually phased out. … Continue reading

Sheryl Crow Welcomes her Second Baby through Adoption

Sheryl Crow announced this morning that she is adopting a second child, Levi James, who was born April 30. Crow made the announcement via her website, and her publicist confirmed the information. Crow, age 48, adopted her son Wyatt three years ago, when he was two weeks old. (Click here to see Michelle’s blog on Sheryl’s first adoption.) The sibling connection seems to be important to Crow—she made her announcement by writing, “Wyatt has a baby brother!” Crow reportedly is not deterred by the idea of being a single mother. “For my whole life, I had a pretty clear picture … Continue reading

Who Wants a Bouncing Baby Boy?

My last blog told about the much-longer wait times experienced by couples adopting from China. I mentioned that one reason is that most adoptive parents wish to adopt a girl. Most adoptive families, even those who want girls themselves, are surprised to hear how many other adoptive families want girls also. Some theories on why this preference exists are: that it’s mostly the prospective mother who drives the adoption process, and she may want a girl like herself, or that single mothers may feel that they can more effectively provide a role model to a child of the same gender. … Continue reading

China Adoption Today

For several years, Americans have adopted more children from China than from any other country. Agencies recommend China to their clients as having a stable and predictable adoption process. Well, the good news is, it’s still stable and predictable. The bad news is, the time families wait for a referral is now measured in years instead of months. In December 2006, I wrote about China’s imposition of new requirements for adoptive parents. Most notably, these stipulated that singles were no longer eligible to adopt (China had been a popular option with single mothers until that time), and neither were people … Continue reading