Monthly Archive for February, 2011

Adoption & loss. 2 viewpoints, two places in time…

Open adoption does not erase the losses that are intrinsic to adoption…Birth mothers lose their role as the child’s day to day parent with all the joys that role would bring…Adoptees lose the opportunity to grow up in their family of origin and they may still feel insecure or rejected…Adoptive parents lose their fantasy biologic child and the chance to be genetically connected to the child they rear…But these losses are not as extreme as in confidential  adoptions…Birth mothers with openness in their adoption have better grief resolution..(excerpted from”The Open Adoption Experience” by  Lois Melina & Sharon Roszia)…. please see the twoYouTube videos I posted from two different eras  of adoption….. they speak to where adoption practice was and where we are today…openness was not an option prior to the early 1980’s..it still continues to strike fear in the hearts of both birth and adoptive families… but if an adoption must take place… and if it is a well thought out choice and birth and adoptive parents educate themselves…they can  keep the adoption child centered as well as keep their hearts open to the possibilities that openness can bring we can then honestly address the losses in adoption…And hopefully then better prepare all parties for this incredible journey of love…

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=american+adoption+c0ngress (click onto birth mothers never forget)

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=passionjenn&aq=f (click onto open adoption story)

A sweet story of birth and adoptive families joining together…”heart shaped cookies”..

It’s often a difficult topic for birth mothers to think about….How will their child they placed for adoption learn to cope and understand their adoption story?… Will other children tease them or make them feel different? …Will they suffer long term because of the decision their birth parents made and believed would be in the child’s best interest ?…What if they are called upon to help the adoptive family explain adoption to their child?… Will they have the know how and courage to respond? No one can predict the future of how an adoption will turn out… We do know that making “friends” with “grief and loss” is a task that birth mothers, birth families, adoptive families and adoptees must learn to do… When birth and adoptive families join together there is great healing power and empowerment for the adoptee..click below to link to Open Adoption Insight to read this sweet story of a birth and adoptive family who joined together to help “their child” understand and explain to classmates what is a “Birth Mother”…

http://www.openadoptioninsight.org/html/heart_shaped_cookies.html

A birth mother’s secret, shame and fear…Lessons from Oprah …and the not so famous!!

I watched with anticipation as many people did as Oprah revealed to the world her family’s secret..her mother placed a baby for adoption in 1963… Oprah was nine years old and was living with her father at the time and never knew about her mothers pregnancy or the adoption secret that her mother and family carried with them from that date until this very public reunion….secrecy, shame and guilt are harsh emotions that plague the adoption process… we strive today to help woman who choose adoption to have a different experience by teaching and educating all parties about openness and the benefits of child centered adoptions based on real relationships that allow an adoptee to have relationships that will support his true identity and aid in his healthy development as an adoptee ..Openness should never be held out as the cure all or easy fix for overcoming difficult feelings of grief and loss that are part of the life long feelings that birth mothers and all triad members must deal with… Sadly Oprah’s birth mother was not given the option of openness and was a victim of adoption practice that falsely told woman to forget and move on..we can’t go back and undo the past but we can strive to change the face of adoption by educating both birth and adoptive families about the benefits of openness if an adoption must occur..Adam Pertman from the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute writes in his blog about the opportunity we have to use this moment in time defined by Oprah to speak out against the shame and fear and  continue to strive to change adoption practice as well as to support efforts to open records and support legislation that give adoptees the right to access their original birth certificates…. I hope as Adam so eloquently writes that Oprah will continue to speak out about the flawed system that kept her family’s sad secret for so many years as she currently has the “floor” and a built in “audience” and the “celebrity”…But I applaud even louder those brave birth mothers I have been fortunate to encounter in my adoption work …although they may not have Oprah’s “platform” or “celebrity” these woman are perhaps just as powerful ….they bravely create their own “platform” each time they attend a support group or volunteer to speak at a workshops and educate prospective adoptive and birth families about the realities of adoption… they often hold as much or more power to change things than a celebrity like Oprah… they are the ones who have shaped practice here at Kinship Center they help to  keep me speaking out and educating birth and adoptive families about grief and loss issues in adoption and the opportunity that openness can hold for healing….. Link below to Adams blog to read his take on Oprah..and also link to an article on grief and loss from a birth mother who is helping to redefine adoption practice, Brenda Romanchik…if you are a birth mother reading this please consider sharing your powerful story… invite your child and his adoptive family to attend a support group or workshop with you it will be a moment in time that your child will cherish and someday may thank both you and the adoptive family for your courage…

http://huff.to/gRuGHW

http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/open_romanchik_article.php

Dear Abby:some thoughts from birthmothers,adoptees and adoptive mothers

On Dec 12th 2010  an adult adoptee wrote an open letter to Dear Abby praising and thanking his birth mother for planning his adoption..It was a heart felt message of thanks..it made me think how important it is to keep an adoption open and to create relationships between birth and adoptive families that don’t leave a child wondering  into adulthood why and how their adoption came about …or for that grieving birth mother who  longs for contact or  word that her child is growing strong and healthy within a loving family as she  had hoped for…what ever the situation information, openness and truth are best for every adoptee, birth family or adopted family..its what we strive to teach our prospective adoptive families here at Kinship Center and its this wisdom we have learned from adoptees , birth mothers and adoptive families that we try to impart to any pregnant woman who might be considering adoption…keep your heart open to the power of a relationship built adoption don’t be afraid…  if an adoption must take place keep it child centered… Link below to the original Dear Abby posting as well as some replies and comments from birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents…

http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/?uc_full_date=20101212

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_17254844?IADID=Search_www.mercurynews.com.mercurynews.com&nclick_check+1