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Ask the Experts: How to communicate difficult information to birth parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A conversation with Lee Crawford and Brenda McCreight on everyday challenges.

How should adoptive parents approach their child’s birthparents about difficulties they are having with their child?

Brenda: The birth parents and grandparents having some limited, continued contact is very appropriate. But that doesn’t mean [birth parents] have a responsibility or access to what’s going on in your family, and I think that it is really important to not be over-sharing. They’re not entitled to know everything that’s going on.

If I knew then what I know now

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I don't have any regrets about how my wife, Tina, and I went through the adoption process. But there are three things that would have made a difference if I had known them beforehand.

Bad Advice

Firstly, I wish I had known that so many people would give advice and yet have no real understanding of the issues. It seemed that everyone had his or her own ideas and thoughts on our situation. When Tina and I found out I was infertile, we experienced a great deal of emotional pain, and we didn't know who to share our burden with.

Finding First Nations roots

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As adoptive parents who began our journey with our application to adopt almost 25 years ago, we’ve seen some changes along the way. One of those changes has been regarding the adoption of children of First Nations ancestry into non- First Nations homes.

Our first adoption was a child of First Nations ancestry, and we were given very little information about his birth mother’s community, or even about how to support his culture. Fast forward a few years and his half brother joined us.

Genomics, internet, and adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

How biology and technology provide powerful tools for adoption reunion.

With advances in computer technology and DNA science, it seemed likely that a way would be found for the far-flung children of China to find their birth families. That day seemed far off. However, it has arrived 20 years before I expected it.

Finding family in the information age

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

To make technology work for you, harness your kids' skills

If someone told me ten years ago that I’d find my birth family online, I would have laughed. Ten years ago, we thought Y2K would spell the end of the internet. I never suspected this information superhighway would become my road to finding my sisters. But here I am, on the edge of my computer chair, on the brink of reunion.

The grandmother clause

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The impact of including grandparents in the adoption (and post-adoption) process.

The impact of open adoption on birth and adoptive families is only beginning to be understood. Recent research explores the perspectives of birth grandmothers who had direct contact with their birth grandchildren. The findings clearly demonstrate some of the benefits and challenges of open adoption, the impact open adoption had on their lives, and how grandmothers see their role in the kinship network.

For better or worse: One woman's search for her birth family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

“I made the decision to give her up because I wasn’t able to take care of her. So when I left the hospital, I told the nurse I wasn’t going to keep the baby.” - Vernita Lee

Patricia Lloyd’s adoption records indicate that her birth mother placed her for adoption because she did not think that she could get off welfare if she kept the child. But after trying for several years to discover the identity of her biological mother, Patricia gave up. It was only at the insistence of her two adult children that she began the search again.

Birth mothers find support and healing online

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Several studies have documented the persistent, negative effects birthmothers have experienced after placing a child for adoption. Grief may manifest itself in physiological changes, emotions of sorrow, distress or guilt, socially through family and other interpersonal relationships, and maladaptive coping strategies such as substance use and self harm.

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