As the mother of two adopted children from El Salvador, I can attest to the joy that comes from providing a nurturing, loving environment for international children whose living environments are in jeopardy due to social and economic challenges in their home countries. This being said, there are many issues raised when an individual starts thinking about adopting a child, whether from another country or within the USA. Whatever drives the hopeful parent to want to adopt the decision should be begin with a true desire to contribute to a healthy and safe home environment for a child.
Some of the concerns raised by adoption agencies involve economic, romantic, and occupational matters. The first issue that must be covered is a hopeful adoptive parent’s economic status, as raising a child is an expensive endeavor. If an individual wants to adopt but does not have the necessary income, he or she will most likely be turned down. Adoption agencies review the potential parent’s job history, financial savings, and many other aspects of a person’s economic make-up, and they may turn down candidates who do not have the means necessary to raise a child.
Next, a person’s relationship status and family situation is of great importance when considering adoption. Single parent adoption is becoming more popular, but some agencies still hold onto the belief that a person cannot raise a child by his or herself. Another concern that falls into this category is the possible presence of significant others, whether you are married or in a domestic partnership. Remember, adopting a child is adding a new component to your life, and the child will be involved in every aspect of your existence.
If you are considering adopting a child, be sure to fully examine all facets of this decision. It remains one of my best choices, but it is not for everyone. Adopted children deserve a loving, committed parent, and if you are willing to be that person, you have the fundamental requirement.
I spent my career in postsecondary education, most recently serving as the Chancellor of the San José/Evergreen Community College District. Community colleges have played an important role in the cultural, social, and economic development of the United States. Interest and enrollment in community colleges have surged since the 1980s. The precursors to community colleges were local initiatives founded to meet specific needs. Some of the first such institutions were founded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as alternatives to the traditional four-year college program. Usually, the alternatives were extensions of high schools, and they focused on liberal arts education. Around the turn of the 20th century, the national debate placed increased emphasis on education as a means of ensuring the industrial success of the United States, creating widespread support for community colleges (then called junior colleges). Many traditional colleges and universities also supported the establishment of community colleges as a means of offloading some of the basic vocational aspects of postsecondary education, so they could focus on research and higher-level studies.
During the Great Depression, community colleges shifted away from their traditional liberal arts focus toward pragmatic work skills training. Many students continued to enroll with the intention of transferring into a full university program later, but others came to develop what were then termed “semiprofessional” skills. Following the end of World War II, the G.I. Bill led to a surge in demand for postsecondary education. Community college enrollment increased, and many institutions developed continuing education programs to meet the needs of veterans. As the Baby Boomers came of college age, enrollment in community colleges continued to grow. In the 1960s and 1970s, the number of community colleges increased significantly. Institutions began collaborating more closely, and large national networks developed. Today, community colleges continue to outpace traditional postsecondary institutions in terms of enrollment.
Currently, there are over 1,000 community colleges in the United States. To see President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden speak about the importance of community colleges, watch this video published by the White House. [Community College Summit: Opening Session] [http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010/10/05/community-college-summit-opening-session]
For more than 30 years, educator and administrator Rosa Perez operated at the highest levels of the community college system, serving the needs of students throughout the state of California. A lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and environs, Rosa Perez laid the foundations for her career as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where she excelled in her studies. A Latin American literature major, Rosa Perez built a solid academic record at Stanford, graduating with distinction in 1971.
From Stanford, Rosa Perez began advanced studies in Community College Counseling at the University of San Francisco (USF), additionally serving as an Instructor in the Ethnic Studies Program and Counselor in the Education Services Center for Minority Students. Earning her Master of Arts from USF in 1973, Rosa Perez subsequently rose through several administrative positions at the Community College of San Francisco (CCSF), with interim stints as Assistant Dean of Admissions and Records and Assistant Dean of Student Activities. At the end of this time, Rosa Perez was appointed the Vice President of Student Services at CCSF, a position she held until June 1986. Following two years as Vice Chancellor of Educational Services in San Francisco Community College District, Rosa Perez entered a period of substantial professional development, taking executive positions at Skyline College (Dean of Counseling, Advising, and Matriculation), Santiago Canyon College (Vice President), Chabot College (Vice President), and Cañada College in Redwood City, where she spent six years in a dynamic and highly successful role as President. In her most recent position, Rosa Perez performed as Chancellor of San José/Evergreen Community College District for five years, ultimately retiring in June 2010.