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Issue #111 (Winter 2013) issue cover
What Does 'Family' Mean?

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A study finds that children cared for by gay and lesbian adoptive parents do as well or better than those cared for by straight adoptive parents.

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Although the author's family has let her down, she says blood ties will always be the strongest.

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Alexus misses her mother terribly when she goes into care. A few of her caseworkers make her feel cared for, but too many move on.

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The author joins the Bloods gang at age 12, searching for a family. Now family means her girlfriend, but she's stuck in the gang.

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Victoria Malkin, an anthropologist and psychotherapist, discusses how kids without families can bond with others.

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As Otis drifts away from his adoptive mother, he ponders what family means -- sharing holidays? blood? loyalty? respect? harmony?

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Jasmine is sad about not having a family at Christmas; Shawn encourages her to volunteer to help others.

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Jennifer, born in Paraguay, adopted, re-named, and raised by an abusive white woman, goes into care and wonders who she considers family.

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Zakkiaya's biological family neglects and abuses her. It's not until she enters a group home that she find "sisters" and a caseworker "Mom."

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Chris and his two older brothers lose both parents when they're young. One of Chris's brothers continually tells him what to do.

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Essay contest winners describe how they'd like their schools to change.

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Teen writers discuss the movies White Oleander, Precious, and Rosie O'Donnell's America.

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Group activities using stories from the issue guide group participants to explore what they mean by "family."
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