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United in Love: Celebrating and supporting those touched by adoption

National Adoption Month is coming and this November, we ask that you surround those touched by adoption with love and grace. Perhaps it’s a birthparent in your church who made the tough but loving decision to make an adoption plan for their child. Or it could be the family that welcomed a child into their home. Or it’s the adult adoptee searching for answers to their identity.We ask that beginning in November you can take some of these ideas to help celebrate, advocate, and extend love and support to ALL who have been touched by adoption.

Ways You Can Help Those Touched by Adoption

Birthparents:

  • See them as a whole person – not just someone who is in a difficult situation.
  • Ask genuine questions about how they're feeling.
  • Don’t ask intrusive questions.
  • Acknowledge their status as a parent, including them in special occasions that might be particularly difficult, such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
  • Learn about birthparent loss and grief.

Adoptive Families:

  • Bring them a meal or send them a gift card for food delivery.
  • Offer to clean, do laundry, or pick up items from the store.
  • If the family has other children, volunteer to provide transportation to events or afterschool activities.
  • Help multiracial families respond to racism by building safe spaces where children and adults can share about experiencing racism, and by speaking out about racism and supporting efforts to create community change.
  • Don’t ask intrusive questions.
  • Support post-adoption educational opportunities by:

Adoptees:

  • Realize that it's okay for them to express their feelings about adoption, both positive and negative. Acknowledge the loss that is inherent in adoption. Don’t convey they should feel gratitude about adoption.
  • Don’t equate physical adoption with spiritual adoption.
  • Don’t ask intrusive questions.
  • Support legislation that promotes adoptee's rights (adoptee citizenship, open records, etc.).
  • Train church and community members about the needs of children who have experienced trauma and develop strategies for effective responses.
  • Support adoptee-driven projects like:
    • Contributing financially to conferences that are planned by and for adoptees.
    • Assisting groups with adoptee mentor programs.
    • Buying books written by adoptees.
    • Hosting or promoting film showings of adoptee documentaries.
  • Support adoptees who are interested in searching for biological family members. Recognize that a desire to learn about their biological family is not a reflection of the adoptee's feelings about their adoptive family. If asked, you could help with exploring information or connecting them to professional resources that can assist with the search process, or just be there for the adoptee by listening and offering support as they navigate the search process.

Other Ways to Provide Support:

  • Stay in touch after the newness of adoption dies down.
  • Include the child, the biological family, and adoptive parents in prayers.
  • Offer to babysit so the parents can have a night out.
  • Get involved in a support group, retreat, or other opportunities to host special events for those touched by adoption.

National Adoption Month