Closed era adoptions are very different from most modern domestic adoptions in that adoptees and their adoptive parents typically had very little if any information; and adoptive parents were not educated about “How to talk to kids about adoption.” As a result there are many scars from the shame and secrecy of this era.
Search and Reunion is an opportunity to find missing relatives and to learn more about the self. Usually the feelings related to and triggered by the reunion will be very complex.
Books can be a great source of knowledge, understanding and comfort – especially memoirs. Counseling to help with the myriad of feelings and complex relationships; or adoption support groups to share the experiences and learn from peers are good options. This is complex territory.
Books about Search and Reunion
- Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion and Beyond by Julie Jarrell Bailey and Lynn N. Giddens
- Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age by Laura Dennis
- Birthright: The Guide To Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents, and Adoptive Parents by Jean A. S. Strauss
Books about Adoption that may be helpful
- Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier. .
- Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by Brodzinsky, Schecter and Henig.
- Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found by Sarah Saffian
- Becoming Patrick by Patrick McMahon
- The English American by Alison Larkin
- Beneath a Tall Tree by Jean Strauss
- You Don’t Look Adopted by Anne Heffron
- To Have and Not To Hold: The Bonding of Two Mothers Through Adoption by Lorri Antosz Benson.
To understand the history of closed adoption in this country
- The Girls Who Went Away by Anne Fessler
- The Baby Thief by Barbara Raymond
Support Groups and Counseling
- NJARCH lists support groups in NJ by county. Find a local group here:
- IAC’s The Adoption Talking Circle
- Contact Susan Merkel, LSW at 609-694-6065 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- IAC Search and Reunion Counseling and Support
- Contact Joni Mantell, LCSW at 609-213-0977 or email@example.com
Comments are closed.