In this month that honors the gift of adoption, we must pause to also honor, and to thank, the courageous birth parents who make the difficult decision to voluntarily place their children for adoption. Difficult, not only because someone else will be raising the children they love, but also because too many in our society make birth parents out to be victims. When done well, with licensed, ethical professionals, adoption can be an empowering decision, that opens a new life for the birth parents in addition to new possibilities for these cherished children.
This year, maybe more than in years past, we are counting all of our blessings and giving thanks for everything we have - down to the simplest of things. This week in the Gladney Home we took some time with our girls to talk about what things we are thankful for. The answers ranged from food and laughter to our health and the people in our lives that we love and cherish. It was a beautiful moment to be still and connect with each other.
Going into the adoption process, I knew very little about how the process worked. One such area was with respect to birth mothers, who I now know are selfless, courageous, and steadfast women. Simply put, I unfairly assumed a birth mother must be an unfit mother, without ever even having met one myself. It was wrong of me to do so, and I would be proven wrong with all three of our daughters’ birth mothers.
It is past time to give adopted adults access to their original birth certificates, and the Gladney Center for Adoption is working to make that happen. As with everything else, adoption is ever evolving. Even with this evolution, everything surrounding the adoption is intended to protect everyone involved, including the best interests of the child as well as the rights and needs of the birth parents. When the child grows up and wants to search for his or her birth parents, we must continue to be respectful of the birth parents, allowing them to have some control over having their story exposed. In the new age of technology and genetic testing, limiting access to birth records does not protect birth mothers. Giving easy access to birth certificates will not only allow adopted adults to search out and possibly connect with their birth parents, it will give birth parents the opportunity to choose their next steps in a world where privacy is not guaranteed.
In January, Gladney proudly welcomed its latest addition – Adoption.com.
Have you ever had a friend ask you questions about how adoption works or what type of programs Gladney offers? In the recent reFRAMED Podcast, two Gladney Team Members answer our listeners' adoption questions. This is a great episode to share with friends, family, and your social network. Just click one of the share buttons on the top of this post ... it's that easy!
We love educating people about adoption and Gladney. Below are the Top 5 questions Gladney's Team were asked in February:
We love educating people about adoption and Gladney. Below are the Top 5 questions Gladney's Team were asked in January: