Friday, June 7, 2013

How Adoptive Parents Can Help Birth Parents Tell A Positive Adoption Story

It's no secret - adoptive parents are usually strong and outspoken advocates for adoption.  When someone shares that they have either adopted a child or placed a child for adoption, it usually opens up a window of previously undisclosed information leading to a lengthy exchange of experiences and stories.  The conversation typically begins like this - "I have a friend who has a neighbor who had a sister who..."

In the age of technology and advanced tools for advertising, the strongest "advertising" still comes from personal experience that is passed along by word of mouth. 

Did you know that adoptive parents can be extremely influencial in whether their child's birth parent is a positive advocate for adoption or not?  From talking with hundreds of birth parents over the years, it has come to our attention that the happiest and most secure birth parents have been treated with unconditional love and respect from their child's adoptive family while the birth parents who have had the most difficulty accepting their adoption decision have been connected with adoptive families who didn't follow through with their initial promises and expectations.

I'm not naive enough to think that there will never be a situation, in either the birth family or adoptive family, that will cause the frequency of visits or contact to change, but it seems that the most damage is done when these issues are not discussed and the adoptive family retreats from contact with no explanation.  The conversation may be difficult, but we, as adults, are not promised a life without difficult and honest talks.  A lack of explanation introduces a whole new group of unanswered questions for birth parents that leads to insecurity, worry, and uncertainty.

So, how can you best advocate for adoption?  Treat your child's birthparents with unconditional love, respect, and honesty and they will have a positive story to tell the next time someone begins an adoption conversation about their friend's neighbor's sister...

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