November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Historically, the purpose was to draw attention to children in foster care and their need for permanency. Bravo to then Governor Dukakis in 1976 for getting things moving.
Today, the campaign is used widely and for a host of opportunists—whether it’s an unethical agency trying to increase revenue or Petsmart promoting pet adoption. We’ve blurred the intention of adoption awareness and moved, in many ways, the wrong direction.
There are children in foster care who desperately need a family, and while this is true today more than ever, most of us are aware of this fact. We know that parents, mentors, respite providers, volunteers, and increased funding sources are all needed. This is not to be diminished; it’s just not the focus of this blog. Foster Focus Magazine is a terrific resource that is all about foster care.
What needs attention is the importance of honesty in every aspect of adoption.
- Mothers need support and the truth about all their options. Adoption may not be the best, it certainly shouldn’t always be the goal.
- Adoptive parents need better in-depth education, and the truth about a child’s history. We want them to be a successful family.
- And finally, at the center is the adopted child. The new baby, toddler, or school age child requires a lot at every stage as they grow to become an adult; however, at the forefront they must be raised honestly.
For more information about understanding the adopted infant, click here. This amazes most!
What has often been missed, forgotten, or dismissed is the child’s natural desire for the truth about their beginning. At appropriate times they must be told they’re adopted and given information about their biological family and history. Never finding the right time is not an option.
“If you don’t know your family’s history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” -Michael Crichton
Be aware—an adopted child is an individual with their own unique family history. A baby is not a purchased item like a dining room chair ready for Thanksgiving. Even if they look “new” they are not, babies come pre-packaged with family genetics and history. While we know they don’t come with instructions, if they did it might read something like this:
How to love and raise me, your adopted child:
- Care for me to your very best ability.
- Protect me from harm.
- Help me grow to my greatest potential.
- As I get older, tell me about everything that is unique to me; my beginning, how I came to you, and all you know about my history.
Please share your awareness of the need for honesty in adoption this November.
A new quality book for those hoping to have children naturally or through adoption is Parenting for Peace by Dr. Marcy Axness.
Visit my website; www.latediscoveries.com
I also serve on the board of directors for American Adoption Congress.
Our campaign this year is:
Adoption: No Secrets. No Fear.
Join in November for a discount!
For more information/support-
Concerned United Birth Parents http://www.cubirthparents.org/
Adoptive Families Support http://adoptivefamilies.com/support_group.php
To find a local meet up support group for all click here.
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