Birthfamily Issues

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Many members of the birth family face life long issues when a child or family member has been relinquished through adoption. Each is touched differently through adoption, whether it be a birthparent, grandparent or sibling. It is important to talk openly about these feelings so that each member can move through the healing process, although no one will ever forget.

The impact of adoption on birthparents is something that all the members of the adoption community should be aware of. This is not something that is entered into lightly. This is a decision that will affect the rest of their lives and their child’s as well as the adoptive parents. No one comes to this decision on a whim, much consideration, prayer and thought usually back this decision and with great faith in the adoptive parents the child is relinquished.

Nowadays many birth families have ongoing open adoptions where they can receive updates, pictures and even visits in some instances. Open adoptions can be beautiful when each member of the triad is respected and supported creating an extended family for the adoptee. Maintaining an ongoing open relationship can be hard work, but the pay off is immeasurable. If you are an adoptive parent, make sure you understand and keep the agreements you make when committing to an ongoing open adoption.

If the adoption is open, especially ongoing, make sure you take some time to develop a relationship with the adoptive family. This should be built on mutual respect and trust. This foundation will secure your ongoing relationship with your child in their new family settings and will aid in the adoptee feeling secure with their identity, their families and in building successful relationships in their futures.

If you relinquished in a closed adoption, there will come a time when every adoptee will want to know where they came from and if their adoption was not open, or not open enough, they may want to seek out their birth families for reunion. This does not necessarily mean they will not look back, the adoptive family is usually rooted somewhere in their hearts too, but they will want to know their birth families, where they came from, if they had siblings, etc… in order to incorporate them in their lives as well.

Many birth families who do not have communication prior to the child’s 18th birthday will register and search on their 18th birthdays. Then when the adoptee registers, their family info will be in available in the registry for contact and they are on their way to reunion. Reunions can take time, allow for the initial first contact shock to wash over, a flood of emotions, and some recovery time. Often times, there will be an exchange of information and communication in waves in the beginning. Remember, every reunion is unique. Give it time to breathe.

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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

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