This is what caught my eye this week as I was strolling through the land of adoption and infertility (with brief forays beyond) on the great and wondrous World Wide Web.

  • This was sent to me with the title “Engineer Flowchart”, but from my experience with two sons, this could easily have the title of “Male Teen Flowchart”.  I harken back with fond memories to a few years ago when one seventh grade son tried WD-40 on his stuck fly zipper and somehow didn’t notice the resulting stain, or the time one of my boys tried to duct tape his Boy Scout badges to his sash the night before his Eagle Scout ceremony. Yes, this could definitely be a male teen flowchart.
  • Interesting article in Slate by a 30 yr old single woman on why she would prefer to be a single parent- I Want To Be My Kid’s Only Parent: I crave the closeness of single motherhood—without the complications a husband can bring.  She was raised by a single mom and had a wonderful childhood and can’t imagine having to share the parenting duties with someone else. She raises the point that this might be a generational shift.
  • A new system for processing embryos during In Vitro Fertilization treatment has been shown to increase pregnancy rates by 27% compared with conventional equipment used in IVF treatment labs. The new design provides a totally enclosed and controlled environment within which every step of the IVF process can be performed. Currently, the typical equipment requires that embryos must be removed from the controlled environment to check their development under a microscope. Removal is not necessary under the new design.
  • The Right Way to Talk with Young Girls about Beauty As the mother of daughters I found this article made me think.  Is it OK to praise our daughter for being pretty? Or is this enforcing a stereotype and encouraging them to focus on their looks over their other attributes.
  • The article in Scientific American systematically tackles some of the prevalent myths about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, such as that ADHD is being over diagnosed, that it is a catch all diagnosis for parents too lazy or self-involved to discipline rowdy kids, and that the medications commonly used to treat ADHD are more harmful than beneficial.  What I enjoyed most about this article is that the author supported her arguments against these myths with good scientific research without making it read like it was published in an academic journal. If you’ve got a child that either has, or you suspect may have, ADHD, this article is worth reading.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a guide for pediatricians and adoptive parents on what type of medical care, evaluations, and tests should internationally adopted children receive when they first arrive home. Comprehensive Health Evaluation of the Newly Adopted Child Pass this around to folks in the process of an international adoption.
  • I’ve long been fascinated by the history and aftermath of the Orphan Trains of the early 1900s when 200,000 babies and children in the northeast, abandoned mostly due to poverty were put on trains heading west. At each stop, the children were displayed for local folks to pick the child they wanted. Some were adopted into loving homes, while others were virtual slaves.  A recent article in USA Today talks about the increasing interest of their children and grandchildren to finding out what happened to these children and finding their extended birth family.  The desire for knowledge does not necessarily lessen with subsequent generations.
  • Really good CNN News segment on using donor eggs to conceive via IVF. So often the media coverage is either inaccurate or sensational or both, so this was a refreshing change.  I thought the editing of the piece didn’t make it as clear as I would have liked that they were talking about using frozen donor eggs, but that is a minor quibble.  They cited 66% pregnancy rate using frozen eggs. Pretty darn amazing. The two doctors interviewed were both from Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta.

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