10 Things to Think About When Opening a Closed Adoption
A few days ago, I received an email from a blog reader in Mississippi asking about resources to help his kids reunite with their birth mother/first mother.
I encouraged him to check out two books in particular:
How to Open an Adoption: A guide for parents and birthparents of minors
by Patricia Dorner
Opening up a closed adoption can be scary, exciting, exhilarating…any number of adjectives could appropriately describe the emotions involved. It’s a good idea to get the help of a counselor or therapist savvy in adoption related issues before the reunion takes place, as well as after. Some of the things a good counselor should encourage you to think about are:
- What are some fantasies you had about your birthparents while growing up?
- What do you think your birthfamily/mother will be like?
- What if they don’t live up to those expectations?
- What are some of you expectations for future contact?
- What if your expectations is different than theirs?
- What is the “best case scenario?”
- What is the “worst case scenario?”
- What are some of your hopes for the meeting?
- Are you prepared to set and enforce limits or boundaries?
- How will roles and identities need to redefined after the reunion?
I have had the opportunity to hear many about many successful reunion stories- but unfortunately I have also heard about reunions that didn’t go as hoped. It’s impossible to enter into a situation like this without hopes, dreams, and expectations. Recognizing those expectations- both positive and negative- may help the reunion go more smoothly.
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