Adoption is a lifelong process, and it is important for children and birth and adoptive parents to understand the 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 have reported feeling 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.
Birth Mother Support Groups: Remember That You Are Not Alone!
Explains how support groups can help to prepare and support expectant and birth parents navigate the adoption process, including the emotional toll that it can take. The article describes the different types of support groups and what is typically shared in group settings.
Concerned United Birthparents
Supports 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.
Find a Group
Knee to Knee
Lists free support groups around the country to support birth parents as they navigate the postadoption process.
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.
How Do Birth Mothers Cope After Placing a Child? A Memoir and Advice From a Birth Mother Who's Been There!
Provides a first-hand account of a birth mother processing the emotional impact of placing her child for adoption.
How to Navigate a Very Open Adoption
Provides blog posts on different aspects related to being a birth mom and placing your child for adoption, from the emotional impact of the adoption process to personal accounts of maintaining an open adoption.
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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.
On Your Feet Foundation
Compiles information and resources to support birth parents after adoption, including coaching, retreats, and financial assistance and provides an online community of other birth parents to share in their experiences. The foundation also offers information and resources to educate adoption professionals to be better able to support birth mothers throughout the adoption process and guidance for navigating relationships between birth parents, adoptive families, and the adopted child.
State by State Support Groups
American Adoption Congress
Offers a national registrar of support groups for adoptive and birth parents, complete with location and contact information.