This Adoption Trauma button will take you to a powerful and comprehensive resource.
As the year winds to a close, there are multiple family-oriented holidays where absent loved ones are mourned. But birthparents and adoptees – even those in reunion – experience grief that others may not understand. Even today’s open adoptions carry sadness and heartbreak as parents and children struggle to process their love and loss.
When a child is relinquished, the mother cannot grieve a baby who is lost forever, because her child may be found. Adoption is the pain that doesn’t get better, because there is no closure for the child lost this way. Adoptees, too, experience their own grief around the loss of the original family, and often feel unsafe to express these feelings within their adoptive family.
CUB provides support for all family members separated by adoption; resources to help prevent unnecessary family separations; education about the life-long impact on all who are affected by adoption; and advocates for fair and ethical adoption laws, policies, and practices.
A temporary lack of resources – not a lack of love – is often the reason birthparents surrender their parental rights. If parents are unable to raise their children, they should have a say in who will. Denying loving parents knowledge of their children, even when those children become adults, is a cruel and unnecessary punishment that causes suffering for all. A severing of parental rights does not cut off a parent’s love.
Making contact is a profoundly moving experience for both the searcher and the person who has been found; there is no other experience quite like it. One’s hopes and fears are all wrapped up in this final step in the search process. While you want to take into account the other person’s privacy and unique situation, it is really not possible to know that much about his or her current life situation prior to contact. We suggest discretion and plenty of forethought. Sometimes searchers worry that they will interrupt the life of the person found. Remember that by contacting him or her, the searcher is simply providing both individuals with the opportunity to know one another. This is an opportunity that has been denied both the adopted adult and his/her birth parent until now. When all the secrets are out on the table, it is so much easier to understand, to share, and to relate to those with whom we are irrevocably tied by blood and circumstance.
PLEASE NOTE: Haley Radke has recorded and interviewed many participants from the Retreat. Adult adoptees discuss the adoption experience in this enlightening series. (Available on several different podcast services)
Concerned United Birthparents Announcement on Saving Our Sisters.
Participate in surveys surrounding issues in the adoption community. You can also read the results of recent surveys including some focused on adoptees from open adoption and closed adoption and birth parent's perceptions of open adoption.