You Gave Me The Most Special Gift and I Have Questions

By Jessica Hartwig, Adoption Recruitment Specialist

In my personal experience with ‘foster to adopt’ adoption, we did not have the opportunity to meet our daughter’s birth mother.  She walked out of the hospital after she gave birth.  We took our baby home at six days old and had faith that she would ultimately be our adoptive daughter.  Very little information is known about our daughter’s birth parents.  The identifying contact information that her birth mother completed within the hospital was false.  Birth father is unknown.  The only birth parent information that my husband and I have to share with our daughter is the fragmented account that one social worker who had met her told us within days of our placement.

This experience is common among public agency adoptions. However, a few public agency adoptive parents and many parents who adopt through a private agency do get the privilege of meeting a birth family member. During your adoption journey, should you have the opportunity to meet a birth mother or birth family member, I would suggest that you be prepared to ask the questions that you and your adopted child may need to know now and/or want to know in the future.  Continue reading

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Foster Parenting: It is not about us, it is about what is best for the child

By a Foster Parent

As a trainer for new foster and adoptive families, I always say, “It is not about us, it is about what is best for the child.”  There are so many tremendous rewards to building relationships with biological families.  In my role as a social worker and trainer, I emphasize the importance of the relationship between foster/adoptive families and birth families.   However, as a foster parent, I have had the joy of experiencing all the benefits myself.

In early summer 2005, my husband and I took placement of a precious one-month old baby boy, who I will call Sean.  Just before Sean’s birth, his parents’ rights were terminated to his older sister. We were selected as Sean’s foster family by the agency because of our willingness to adopt him in the event that his parents were not successful in completing their treatment plan.  We were overjoyed and excited about becoming parents and the prospect of possibly adopting Sean.  Despite our own history of infertility and deep desire to adopt a child, my husband and I knew that our role as Sean’s foster parents was not to fulfill our own wishes.

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