Adoption | St. Louis Public Radio


Jason Reckamp (at left) and Patti Naumann joined Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with two St. Louisans directly impacted by adoption – and by the Missouri Adoptee Rights Act, which thousands of people have taken advantage of since the legislation passed in 2016.

Joining the discussion were Patti Naumann, a lineal descendant of a deceased Missouri adoptee, and Jason Reckamp, an adoptee who recently connected with his birth parents after many years of searching.

Melanie Barrier was adopted at age 10 by a Columbia, Missouri ,couple, after living in 20 different foster homes.
Carolina Hidalgo| St. Louis Public Radio

Melanie Barrier went into the Florida foster care system as a newborn. She lived in 20 foster homes before she was adopted at age 10.

Stability existed in only one realm: music. As a child traveling from family to family, Barrier took along her beloved songs of the 1970s.

Malindi Henning answers questions during a science class at Miriam School in Webster Groves. (March 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Miriam School is a small, private school in Webster Groves that serves children who've struggled to learn in typical classrooms. Thirteen percent of its students are adopted.

At first glance, that may seem surprising, as nationally, fewer than 2 percent of school-aged children are adopted. But studies suggest that adopted and foster children suffer from learning disabilities at twice the rate as children raised by both birth parents. For adoptive parents, that may mean a greater challenge in finding the right school or learning environment for their child.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri voters will likely decide later this year whether to amend the state’s Constitution so that the General Assembly can require that all voters show a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot.

The state House is expected to take final action today on the ballot proposal, called SJR53, after the Senate passed it late Wednesday by a vote of 24-8.  House approval is expected.

Gov. Jay Nixon has no voice in the proposed constitutional amendment, other than deciding whether it goes on the August or November statewide ballot.

Zella Jackson Price (right) and her daughter Melanie Gilmore are reunited, nearly 50 years after Price says she was told her daughter died at birth.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

As a well-known gospel singer continues to search for answers as to how and why her daughter was taken from her at birth, a newly opened adoption record holds some clues for the ongoing investigation.  

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 2, 2013 - WASHINGTON – Several years ago, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and his wife Abby endured Russia’s demanding administrative and court processes to adopt their son Charlie, now a rambunctious 8-year-old.

Shortly afterward, Russia began to tighten its adoption restrictions. And this week – despite a 2011 bilateral agreement that aimed to ease the adoption process – a new Russian law went into effect that bans all U.S. adoptions of Russian children.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bi-partisan resolution condemning a newly passed Russian law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The ban is retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

Missouri Republican Roy Blunt introduced the resolution condemning the ban – a ban Blunt calls “outrageous.”

Catholic Charities withdraws civil unions lawsuit

Nov 14, 2011
(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Catholic Charities says it's withdrawing from a legal battle over Illinois' civil unions law and no longer is providing state-funded services.

The move ends the group's long history in Illinois of providing foster care and adoptions.

Diocese officials in Joliet, Springfield and Belleville say Monday's decision was reached with reluctance. The Catholic Diocese of Peoria withdrew last month.

Hearing on hold in dispute over Catholic adoptions

Sep 9, 2011
(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Catholic Charities is delaying its plan to ask a judge to reconsider or stay his ruling that Illinois officials may cut off the nonprofit's state contracts for adoptions and foster care placements.

A hearing had been scheduled Friday in Springfield on Catholic Charities' quest to have a Sangamon County judge rethink or hold off enforcing his recent ruling that favored the state.

Catholic Charities to appeal foster-care ruling

Aug 29, 2011
(via Flickr/steakpinball)

An attorney for Catholic Charities says the not-for-profit agency will appeal a judge's ruling that the state of Illinois can stop working with the group on adoptions and foster-care placements.

Ill. judge rules against Catholics on foster care

Aug 18, 2011
(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A central Illinois judge has ruled that Catholic Charities does not have a right to state contracts for adoptions and foster care placements and Illinois officials may cut them off.

The state Department of Children and Family Services ended $30 million in contracts with Catholic Charities in July because the not-for-profit won't work with unmarried couples in placing children in adoptive and foster homes. Illinois authorities say that violates the state's civil union law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2011 - With little over a week left, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced this afternoon that he has signed into law eight bills passed by the General Assembly this past session. He also vetoed one, but it's not among the controversial measures -- notably, one dealing with abortion -- that still await a decision.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a lower court did not follow procedures when it allowed the adoption of a Guatemalan woman’s child four years ago.

Encarnacion Romero was arrested at a poultry processing plant in southwestern Missouri in 2007 under suspicion of illegal immigration. The next year her infant son was adopted by a Carthage couple while she was in prison.

Romero says she never agreed to the adoption.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 8, 2009 - Philosopher Martin Heidegger concluded that the only thing one human could give to another was care. All other offerings were consequences of that primal sentiment.

His observation explains why the show tune from Annie portrays an orphan's plight as "the hard-knock life." For these kids, the primary care-givers are no longer in the picture, if they ever were. That said, it's harder to be orphaned in some places than it is in others.

Can adoption be colorblind?

Jun 12, 2008
braiding a young African-American girl's hair 300 pxls 2008
Kristen Hare | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 12, 2008 - Maryanne Dersch's white fingers reach into a slippery tub of conditioner. She smoothes it into her daughter's soft black hair.

"Are you gonna be a good girl? Good beauty shop?" Dersch asks Taylor, 2, who's seated at the island in her new family's St. Louis kitchen.

Commentary: Make transracial adoption more effective

Jun 2, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 2, 2008 - To take account of race or to not take account of race, that is the question -- or at least it is in transracial adoption.

The rates of transracial adoption have increased dramatically in the past decades, and research and the law are trying to keep up. From the social research perspective we've learned a few things. Historically, research on transracial adoption found no differences in outcomes for kids adopted across race compared to same-race families.