Adoption is a life long process which is understood and experienced in various ways by all members of the circle of adoption. While adoption is a positive, normal and healthy way in which children become a part of families, it is founded on loss for all in the family of adoption. Understanding and embracing ways of dealing with loss in the seven common core issues of mastery/control, rejection, guilt/shame, grief, identity, and intimacy is often the work of a lifetime and may be enhanced with appropriate support resources.
Post adoption services provide support and assistance for all members of the circle of adoption over the course of their lives. Support includes parenting resources and strategies sensitive to adoption issues, education of families, children, school and community groups about families created through adoption, support/education groups for parents who have placed children for adoption or who are parenting children who came to them through adoption, facilitation of healthy relationships between families of birth and families of adoption, resources for parents of children with special needs, and individual assistance in navigating challenging family issues.
If You Are Parenting Through Adoption: while parenting through adoption is a rewarding experience, you may encounter challenges in raising your child. Our goal is to provide education and support that will enable you to be proactive in meeting those challenges as your child develops an understanding of adoption. Children often need help and guidance in learning how to talk about adoption and to ask the questions in their hearts. We have many resources that facilitate the family discussion of adoption. You may struggle to maintain healthy relationships with your child’s birth family and could benefit from our guidance and support. You may need resources to assist in parenting a child with special medical needs, a child with Perinatal drug/alcohol exposure, or a child with mental, emotional or physical disabilities. We can offer assistance in promoting a healthy understanding of adoption in your child’s school and community groups. In addition we provide post adoption support and education groups for those parenting children who entered their families through adoption where you can lean from the wisdom of others sharing this journey. Consider us one of your resources. We welcome your call and are always here as your partner in parenting.
If You Have Placed a Child For Adoption: you may feel very good about the decision you made to make an adoption plan for your child, yet you will undoubtedly also experience ongoing issues of loss and sadness in your life and in the lives of your family members. You may need assistance in developing a satisfying ongoing relationship with the family you chose to parent your child. Many and varied resources are available for you. Please learn more about our birth parent support groups and other resources on our Unplanned Pregnancy page.
If You Were Adopted: it is normal and okay to have questions about your adoption and your birth family. Your understanding of adoption will grow and expand as you become an adult and will continue through adulthood. You may experience questions that puzzle you, questions that make you feel sad or different from those who were not adopted, and questions for which there are no answers. You may experience feelings about adoption that are difficult to understand and embrace. All questions and all feelings are important. We will do our best to provide the assistance you need to make sense of your adoption with the sensitivity and respect you deserve.
Ages and Stages in Adoption Understanding
Children comprehend and experience adoption in different ways as they progress through the developmental stages common to all children. Sometimes children may not talk about adoption, however they may be thinking about it. Here are some questions asked by many children who were adopted:
- Where did I come from?
- Where do other babies come from?
- Do babies come from “baby stores?”
- Why couldn’t I grow inside you, Mommy?
- If I came to our family by adoption, how did other kids come to their families?
- Why/how did you bring me into our family?
- Why do the children in our family look so different from each other?
- Will I always belong in our family?
- If I’m adopted, can I be unadopted?
- Can a birth parent or another family member take me away?
- Why didn’t my birth family want me? Didn’t they like me?
- Why don’t my birth parents have a nice place to live? (Or other questions indicating concern and worry about birth parents)
- Will I be like my birth parents?
- Why did my birth parents place me for adoption and parent other children born to them?
- Could I be dating a relative I don’t know about?
- Is there something wrong with my birth parents because they placed me for adoption?
We have many resources to help answer questions children have about adoption and to facilitate understanding of how children perceive and process adoption at various developmental stages.
Some of the post adoption resources we offer include:
- Support groups for parents who have placed children for adoption and for those parenting children who came to them through adoption
- Reference material (books, magazines, articles, research studies, audio visual aids)
- Hand outs useful in a variety of home, school, church or community settings
- Adoption related material for schools and communities that address challenging areas such as family tree assignments for children who were adopted
- Networking with other families in the circle of adoption
- Reference material specific for children with special needs (mental, emotional, physical disability, attachment issues, perinatal drug/alcohol exposure, trans-racial/trans-cultural adoption issues)
- Referrals to local therapists
- One on one casework support for individuals and families
3549 Fontenelle Blvd.