Adoption is a lifelong process, and it is important for children and birth and adoptive parents to understand the intense range of emotions that come with adoption throughout a lifetime. As much as possible, adopted people—and their adoptive families—should maintain relationships with their birth families (also referred to as openness in adoption). Ongoing contact with birth family members may minimize or resolve the child's feelings of grief and loss, reduce the trauma of separation, and help the child develop and maintain a stronger sense of identity. Some birth parents may experience guilt after their child is adopted. They may find that attending a support group or connecting with birth parents in similar situations can be therapeutic and help them build meaningful relationships with their children. Additionally, adoptive parents who develop empathy for their child's birth parent and prioritize their child's need for birth family contact generally find the experience gratifying for everyone involved. This section provides resources on lifelong issues in adoption and links to support groups and blogs.
Concerned United Birthparents
Provides support to birth parents who have relinquished a child to adoption; describes the long-term impact of adoption; and advocates for fair and ethical adoption laws, policies, and practices.
Grief and Open Adoption
Helps birth parents in open adoptions prepare for the grieving process that might follow the adoption. This article was written by a birth mother.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Lifelong Issues in Adoption
Explains seven characteristics that affect children who are adopted, adoptive parents, and birth parents throughout the lifespan.