The student presentations this week were great learning experiences. I believe students drew a lot on previous readings and discussions, yet expanded their topics to include debates we did not have time to have in class. I particularly found JB and IP’s presentations to be interesting.I really enjoyed listening to JB because she expanded on something that was almost completely skipped in class. We discussed briefly gay and lesbian adoption but our discussion was focused more on the psychological arguments for gay and lesbian adoption, such as in “How Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?” This chapter states “this body of research-mostly done by psychologists-almost uniformly reports findings of no notable differences between children reared by heterosexual parents and those reared by lesbian and gay parents” (Stacey & Biblarz,p.248). As important as this conversation was, it left out lesbian adoption, which was very disappointing. Luckily JB stepped in and did some of the research for us. She stated she also found the research to be sparse when it came to lesbian adoption and was hoping to find out why that is as she continues to research. I would be very interested in hearing about what she finds.
I also found IP’s research topic to be particularly interesting. Her discussion of transnational adoption, and how this adoption can affect identity, was very similar to what we discussed in class. IP found that she agreed with Keller in the reading “Goals of Maternal Practice,” in that helping a transnational adoptee develop their racial identity is crucial to the child’s wellbeing. IP did however differ with Keller when it came to the parent’s role in supporting this racial identity. Keller stated that when adoptive parents send their children to camps such as Kamp Kimchee in Minnesota, it will “help their children develop a sense of racial-ethnic literacy, pride, and identity” (Keller, p.27). IP found the opposite to be true, especially in her own experiences. From what I understood from the presentation, IP believes that there needs to be better programs in place to prepare adoptive parents for helping their adoptive children develop racial identity and that a simple one week camp is not cutting it.
I believe my walk away from these presentations and this semester as a whole is that no matter what you hear in class, it is always just a small glimpse of the whole issue. It is important to do further research to really find out where you stand on an issue. Do not follow blindly, but rather discover things for yourself by pursuing as much information on the issue as possible.