Archives for March 2016

Maintaining Your Child’s Cultural Identity after Adoption


Whether your child is biological or adopted, it’s important that they have a strong sense of their family history and cultural identity. When your child comes from a foreign country, the customs and practices of their native land are a part of their cultural makeup. By embracing their native culture, you can help assure that they develop into healthy adults. Here are some ways to keep your adopted child’s cultural heritage alive.

Make the Culture Part of Your Regular Routine

Find restaurants or regularly prepare meals that include food from your child’s country of origin. If there are holidays that are unique to your child’s native culture, celebrate them and make certain your child understands why you are doing so.

Find Support Groups

Many cities have organized groups of families who have adopted from a specific country. For example, if your child was adopted from China, you can probably find a group of similar families who get together on a regular basis to learn about and share in cultural events, dinners and festivals.

Look for Special Events

Many large cities have festivals celebrating different aspects of foreign cultures. Your local museum may bring in exhibits that feature art, history or cultural artifacts from their native land.

Learn Their Language

This can be a fun adventure that you and your child can share. Be prepared to have your child learn the language a lot faster than you do. It can be a perfect opportunity for them to teach you something, which will help build their self-esteem.

Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.

Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.

US Supreme Court Upholds Rights of Adoptive Same Sex Partner

On March 7, 2016 the US Supreme Court ruled that a Judgment of Adoption entered in one state must be recognized and respected in any other state in the country.

Between 2002 and 2004 a woman who was identified as E.L. gave birth to three children, a single birth and a twin birth. She was in a committed relationship with another woman who has been identified as V.L. V.L. with the consent of her partner E.L. filed for a second parent adoption in Georgia where the couple had rented a home. The adoption complied with all requirements of Georgia law and was granted by the court. Years later when living in Alabama, E.L. and V.L. separated. V.L. sought joint custody and visitation with the children in Alabama. While the Alabama lower courts agreed that she was entitled to this, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the Judgment of Adoption need not be honored in Alabama. V.L. appealed this to the United States Supreme Court arguing that under the United States Constitution and federal law which requires judgments of one state be given full faith an credit in a sister state, the Judgment of Adoption had to be honored in Alabama. The US Supreme Court, while not discussing the issue of same sex couples, ruled that V.L. was correct in that full faith and credit should apply. The court specifically said, “A state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning.” The Supreme Court then returned this case to Alabama for further hearings on custody and visitation, but the issue of legal entitlement has now been resolved.

This case now raises the question in assisted reproduction cases as to whether judgments granting parentage by way of Pre-Birth Orders in one state will be honored in a sister state that does not provide for such orders.