Adoption isn't what it used to be! There have been substantial societal changes that have permanently altered adoptive family relationships and adoptive family boundaries.What am I talking about? Well, for example, consider how any of the following currently impact adoptive family life in a way that is different from just five or ten years ago:
- the impact of trying to keep families together longer resulting in the child experiencing increased numbers of caregivers and longer exposure to violence, abuse and neglect
- the impact of more and harsher drugs on fetal brain development resulting in severe and permanent brain differences
- the ability of birth family to secretly contact and influence the children through social media
- the decreasing supports for parents
These are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure you can name a hundred more.
I'm not spending any time thinking about or writing about whether these changes are negative or positive. They are what they are and life never goes back to how it was. Adoptive families have always been great at adapting and that's what we have to do now - we have to adapt to what we live with now.
What I am going to spend time thinking and writing about is how to get the adoption industry to catch up with modern adoptive family life. I want to talk about major change in pre-adoption training so that prospective adoptive parents understand the ways in which in their lives will change not just from having a new child in their family, but from all the changes I've listed above. I want to help parents and professionals understand the adoptive family life cannot be the same as other types of family life - yes, the parents will love the child as their own and will do all it takes to provide what is needed - but they will be hampered in this if the adoption professionals aren't honest about the high level of ongoing needs that the children will present and if everyone pretends that the birth family won't have continued contact with the child, whether its formal or done in secret on facebook or snapchat.
I would like this blog to be a place of discussion for parents and professionals who want to honest dialogue about the new realities of adoptive family life and how we can best support the families in ways that work now, not in ways that worked ten years ago.
So, here we go... I hope you'll join me.
Hey, remember, you are entitled to a better day!