I have been asked whether I am angry or upset that I was placed for adoption. No, not at all. There is no way of knowing what my life would’ve been like if I had stayed with my birth family. Or been placed with a different family. Or if any number of large or small things had gone differently than they did. Life is an unpredictable series of highs and lows. My life certainly isn’t perfect. There are things I love about my family and things that drive me up the wall. Difficult and stressful circumstances arise. Parents can’t shelter their children from this. What they can do is help provide those children the support and skills they need to face life’s challenges and overcome them. Though they knew they wouldn’t directly be able to do this, my birth parents chose an adoptive family that could. They carefully considered what I would need and picked the family that was to become mine.
Adoption is a difficult and complicated decision, but I’m grateful for the courage and discernment of my birth parents. There isn’t only one way of being a good parent. I am lucky enough to have been loved by two families in different ways.
*Name changed for confidentiality
We asked local social work students to survey friends and family to get their answers on what comes to mind when they hear the word adoption. Here are some of their answers:
I first think of the word hope. Adoption means someone is blessed with a child... -Olivia Toft
It gives birth parents another chance at a successful future and gives the babies an opportunity to succeed, be healthy, and be happy with a loving family.
I interviewed my parents about adoption. They both think it is a wonderful thing for everyone involved. My mom’s sister had a baby out of wedlock back in 1965 and it was much different back then...A lot has changed since then and they think it is a wonderful thing. Both my mom and dad give birth parents and adoptive parents credit because it does take a lot of courage but it is a beautiful thing.
It was so awesome to hear from the community about your thoughts on adoption. As Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close, we hope more people have found a chance to talk about adoption at home, work, or with friends and consider how to support and encourage people going through the adoption process or where to find resources for an expectant parent trying to make decisions for their baby's future.
We are grateful for you!
by Tina Bloch, LSW
What do you think of when you hear the word “Adoption?” Where do we get our information about adoption from? Some people hear about adoption from the media & movies. However, you must ask yourself if that is a true and accurate representation of what adoption is like today.
Adoption has been around for a very long time dating all the way back to the days of the Bible. The first story in the Bible about adoption was with Moses. If you need a refresher about his life, check out the story in Exodus 2.
In adoption, unfortunately the history includes shame and secrecy. Openness can be an “antidote to shame.” Moving along the time periods, closed adoptions stayed the norm for many years. In the early 1930s, it was believed that adoption should be a “discreet process and that secrecy should be maintained to protect not just the adoptive family, but also the birth parents.” However, in the 1980s, people realized that this secrecy, guilt and shame lead to resentment and depression. In closed adoptions, the adoptive families were unable to even access their adoption records or resources to help them. The child had no sense of where they came from and the women who made an adoption plan lived hiding their adoption story. As a result, adoption is very different today.
Today, most agencies conduct open to semi-open adoptions, with closed adoptions still being an option for birthparent(s) if they so choose. First off, openness in adoption means maintaining some degree of contact between the adopted child, their birth families, and the adoptive family. There are different forms that openness can take in regard to the type of contact, frequency, intensity/emotional impact, time and location. The openness continuum can range between the exchanging of non-identifying information through a third party, to arrangements for face-to-face contact and many types of openness in between. For more information about open, semi-open and closed adoptions please visit our Types of Adoption Openness page. At Christian Family Life Services, most of our families choose a semi-open adoption plan where non-identifying information is shared through letters and pictures. In addition, occasional face-to-face visits take place at a neutral location.
*We encourage families who are considering adoption to take time to research stories of openness and talk together with your spouse about your personal comfort level regarding your relationship with birth parents. Transparency is important in this process, and the CFLS case work will provide more education and tools as couples walk through the home study process.
If you have more questions, please contact CFLS or come by for our open house next Thursday!
In celebration of Adoption Awareness Month in November, Christian Family Life Services wants to showcase our beautiful families whom have adopted through us. Families built through adoption may not share genes, but they certainly share lots of love! Check out these great families below:
“Our three boys:
The latest News and updates from the CFLS offices and the adoption ministry.