A new year at AKA
On Monday January 18, 2010, the featured speaker at AKA was Janie Cravens, LCSW. A pioneer in open adoption, Janie brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to AKA. It was the perfect topic to kick off the New Year…”So, you’re thinking about adoption.” We had a good turn out and lots of new faces! Janie started out by reassuring all the prospective adoptive parents in the room that “there is a child out there for you.”
She then presented a list of pros and cons about each adoption path; international, domestic infant agency adoption, domestic attorney facilitated adoption, and domestic public adoption (CPS). After giving an overview of the different paths toward adoption, Janie touched a bit on the home study process. Since working with families on their adoption home study is such a big part of my practice, I was very interested to hear what she had to say. Janie validated many of the feelings and emotions that prospective adoptive parents have regarding the home study process; it’s invasive, insulting, and demeaning. Nobody has to go through a background check and answer personal family history questions when you get pregnant…and it makes the adoption process that much harder. Several audience members were able to comment on their own home study experience. One seasoned adoptive mother suggested that prospective adoption parents “embrace the home study- it will make you a better parent!” And remember- the person who completes your home study should be a part of your adoption team.
Janie left us with this final piece of advice for adoptive parents: “Learn what it’s like to be adopted. Listen to the people who have lived it…the adoptee.”
Her advice is part of what makes AKA such a progressive and enriching organizing. It provides the opportunity for all members of the triad to talk and learn from each other.
I hope to see all those new faces at the next AKA meeting…and the next…and the next.