As we celebrate AFABC’s 40th anniversary, we’re reflecting on the past but also looking ahead to the future. This article explores one scientific advancement that’s already changing the world of adoption: DNA tests.
Every adoption reunion is unique, but most of them have one thing in common: they’re complicated. In this article, a reunited adoptee shares her advice.
Reunions in the real world
Thanks to the internet and social media, adoption reunions are becoming common. Reunions are complicated journeys through intensity, excitement, anxiety, and unknowns—and there’s no road map.
My daughter Libby was born as I held her birth mother Carla’s hand, breathing with her through the agony of labour. When her daughter drew her first breath, Carla looked at me and said, “Congratulations on your new baby.” Then she asked me to cut the umbilical cord.
There’s no better time than the present for adoptive families to get reacquainted with Mother Nature. Angela Krueger, an Ontario PRIDE trainer, parent facilitator, freeelance writer, and adoptive mom, explains how getting outside can facilitate attachment for adoptive families, and shares practical tips to help you make it happen.
Take a walk
“Again?” my preteen asks, rolling her eyes, when I say it’s time for a walk around the block.
- Expect your child to find relationships with birth family difficult and confusing at times. Confusion is a part of life and they will need to handle confusing situations of many kinds.
- Expect relationships to change and evolve.
Claire’s 10-year-old son, Adam, was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her second son, Ethan, joined their family from foster care at age 7. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the “fast and furious learning” she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child. This series ran from 2013 to 2016.
Carey Elliot* has a close relationship with her four adult children, a long and happy marriage, and a successful career. She also has two grandchildren: a two-year-old boy, and a six-year-old girl. The little girl was placed for adoption at birth.
When Carey's daughter Danika became pregnant at 25, she told her mom that she was considering an adoption plan for her baby. Though other members of the family found this idea hard to accept, Carey was supportive: the birth father was not involved, and Danika very much wanted her child to have siblings and a two-parent family.
A ritual, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.” Rituals take place on occasions like Hanukkah, Easter, the Lunar New Year, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. They don’t have to be religious in nature; baking Christmas cookies with your mom and sister is as much a ritual as attending Mass. The simple daily things you do can be can be rituals, too.
If you see any of these signs in your relationship before you adopt a child, work through the problems together or get a good counsellor.
Your adoption-related questions answered
My father constantly makes negative remarks about black people in front of my African-American son. It really upsets me, but I hate confrontations. What should I do?