Coercion in Adoption: What It Is and Why It Is Wrong

Published on Adoption.com 9/14/15

coercionAdoption coercion is when there is any type of pressure, withholding of information or services, or purposeful manipulation that results in her choosing to place her child for adoption.

Coercion in adoption takes away a woman’s right and ability to make a decision. There are adoption coercion laws in place to protect women when placing their child for adoption, but they vary from state to state. But regardless of the laws of your state, an ethical adoption will ensure that the mother is placing the child on her own accord and without any form of coercion. You may have to do extra research to ensure you are working with an adoption professional who will act not only legally, but ethically as well.

Now you are probably wondering what classifies as coercion. Maybe you are even feeling slightly panicked, wondering if anything was done in your adoption to make your child’s birth mother feel like she didn’t have a choice in her placement. Rest assured that everyone makes plenty of unintentional errors; rather than pointing fingers, the purpose of this article is to educate those pursuing adoption and shape the industry to a better standard moving forward.

As adoptive parents we need to recognize the signs of coercion and stand up for expectant parents who are considering adoption placement.

To read more about adoption coercion and how to avoid participating in adoption coercion, read the rest of the article at adoption.com.

Social Networking and Adoption: 6 Things to Think About

Published on Adoption.com 8/25/15

Social-Networking-and-Adoption-6-Things-to-Think-AboutOver 2 billion of the 7 billion people worldwide use social media. Of all Internet users, 47% are on Facebook. The likelihood of the members of your adoption relationship being a part of social media is high. So how can social networking and adoption work together successfully?

Navigating relationships in adoption doesn’t have to be difficult, but social media can sometimes muddy the waters if used poorly. Social media can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you proceed. From prior to your match, throughout your match, and into your adoption relationship, social media can play a vital role in communication, but boundaries may need to be established and privacy and respect given so the relationship can grow naturally and not feel forced or intrusive.

So how do you know what is appropriate for social media and what isn’t? You can start with this list of tips to think about on adoption.com.

4 Tips for Writing the Introduction of your Adoption Profile

Published on Adoption.com 8/18/15

profile-tipsEach adoption agency will likely have specific requirements for creating your adoption profile.  Many will have a template to follow while others give wide-open freedom in its creation, layout, and size. However, overall they all will contain the same necessary elements that will allow expectant parents to get to know who you are and decide if you would be a good match for an adoption placement.

An adoption profile will have a general flow to it that eases the reader into getting to know who you and your family are. An introduction is a sensible place to start your adoption profile. So what should be in your introduction and how can you make it stand out from the rest?

To see the list of tips and samples of an adoption profile read the rest of the article on adoption.com.

9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Breastfeeding My Adopted Child

breastfeedingPublished on Adoption.com 8/15/15

As an adoptive parent, I wanted to experience as many norms as a biological parent would. After hearing “breast is best” so many times, I wanted to give my son the best, too. I also had the added testimony of a healthy, thriving, and intelligent biological son, whom I did breastfeed for over a year, as proof in the pudding. When we first started the adoption process, I mourned the loss of the bonding and health benefits of breastfeeding. Then I started wondering if I could also breastfeed the child we were hoping to adopt. At first I wondered how people would perceive me breastfeeding a child who wasn’t biologically mine. Was it weird? Unnatural? I got mixed responses when I started asking people’s opinions, but after hearing a lot of praise of the idea, if possible, I started researching more. Here’s what I learned in my journey: Follow me over to adoption.com for the rest of the article and the 9 things I wish I had known about adoptive breastfeeding!

Adoption Blogger Call

imagesDo you have a heart for adoption?  Are you passionate about open adoption?  Do you love to advocate for ethical adoption?  Are you great with words?  We need you! 

Our team is looking to spread more awareness and grow our community.  We are looking for a few people who are willing to dedicate a small amount of time to writing for Heart For Open Adoption.  You will be part of an amazing team that thrives to educate the community and spread awareness about the positive, yet always truthful aspects of adoption.  We want to make a change in the adoption industry and change the way adoption is viewed in society.

If you are interested in joining this project, please send us a sample of your work.  It can be an adoption story or about adoption advocacy.  Let us hear your voice!  Message us on Facebook.

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11 Perfect Places to Meet Up for Open Adoption Visits – Adoption.com

places-to-meet-up-for-open-adoption-visitsPublished 7/11/15

Coming up with a comfortable and enjoyable location for open adoption visits can sometimes be challenging.  Whether you are still working on building a relationship or you fit together like an old pair of shoes, you still want the visits to be in places that you have fun, can enjoy good conversation, and see the children in action. Some adoptive families and birth families live very close while many others live far apart. No matter what the distance, picking a location that everyone will enjoy can add stress to the day. I have compiled some of our favorite locations to get together during our open adoption visits to help take some of the planning off your plate.

Click here to find out if some of your favorite activities are on our list at adoption.com.  If you have something else you love to do for your open adoption meetups, what is it?

5 Inappropriate Times and Places to Post Your Adoption Profile – Adoption.com

5-Inappropriate-Times-and-Places-to-Post-Your-Adoption-Profile1Published 7/24/15

When looking into adoption, you may have read or been told to share your desire to adopt with any and every one you come in contact with. Sharing your adoption profile with everyone you know may help you find your match. Networking is a powerful tool in adoption, but when does networking become invasive and rude? Adoption is a delicate subject and should be treated with respect. There are inappropriate or even illegal avenues for marketing yourself as a hopeful adoptive family, so be sure to do your homework before posting your adoption profile. You want to start your potential match on the right foot and never be ashamed of how your match formed. Your desire to adopt and have the perfect family comes as a result of the pain and loss of another person or multiple people, so here are some guidelines to help you make sure you are not offending people in the process.

Click here to read what 5 places may not be appropriate to share your adoption profile over at adoption.com.  What other places can you think of that can come across poorly?  Maybe work, school, childcare?

Should Education Classes Be a Required Part of the Adoption Home Study? – Adoption.com

Should-education-classes-be-required-as-part-of-the-adoption-home-study-Published 7/10/15

Depending on the type of adoption you are pursing, various training will likely be a part of completing your home study. You may question the reasoning behind the time-consuming classes, books, tests, group meetings, etc. You may wonder why adoptive parents are subjected to education when people who have children biologically aren’t required to have training. Each state and each agency has different requirements as to what counts as training and how much training or hours of classes are required.

I look at every chance to learn something new as a blessed opportunity. I personally LOVE to learn. I even would go as far to say that your training in adoption shouldn’t stop at the finishing the home study. Continued education in adoption, changing studies, and helping your child through the emotions of adoption is all something we can learn more about.

So what can you take away from those classes, books, magazines, and movies?

Read the things you can expect to learn through adoption training by reading the rest of my article at adoption.com.

Adoption Books | Review of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Adoption” – Adoption.com

Adoption-Books-_-Review-of-Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul-The-Joy-of-AdoptionAre you looking for inspiration during your adoption journey? Do you just have a soft spot for tender, heartwarming stories? Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Adoption is a compilation of adoption-themed tales. While it was published once as Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, it has been updated, with 17 new stories added. Written from the perspective of adoptive parents, birth parents, those who were adopted, and others touched by adoption, these very real stories open up our eyes to unique, yet familiar, situations.

I am a sucker for a good tear-jerker, but in all honesty, lately I have avoided many movies and books that I know will require tissues in an attempt stifle my blubbering mess. When I was asked to read and review Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Adoption, I was a bit hesitant… read my review of the book here at adoption.com.

Adoption Books | Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey – Adoption.com

Adoption-Books-_-Encouragement-for-the-Adoption-Parenting-Journey1Published 6/25/15

The journey to parenthood and even into parenting can be a difficult road.  You may be left feeling defeated, unworthy, unfit or just plain stressed. In this uplifting book by adoptive mothers Rachel Garlinghouse and Madeleine Melcher, a weekly devotional and short story provide you with an encouraging example of how to think on the bright side.

The book is designed to be a quick and easy read, but with thought-provoking samples and questions in each short chapter. You can chose to read straight through or select topics that you may feel drawn to based on your situation that day or week. With topics like Acceptance, Contentment, Courage, Doubt, Forgiveness, Heartache, Joy, Loss, Reassurance, Struggle, Uncertainty, and Worry, there are many emotions we all feel that are covered in the book.

In this Christian faith-driven book, each chapter begins with a scripture that correlates with the given topic. Click to continue reading my review at adoption.com