Birth Family Connections

Co-Parenting or Shared Parenting

From Adoptalk 2018, Issue 2; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership By Phyllis J. Stevens Phyllis Stevens is a foster and adoptive parent and founder of Together As Adoptive Parents, an adoptive parent support network, in Pennsylvania. She also helped start the Philadelphia Resource Parent Association and currently works for the Youth Law Center… Read more

Categories: Adoption Practice, Birth Family Connections, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Supporting Families, Tips and Techniques

Birth Family Connections and Openness

Children who have been adopted are part of at least two families—their birth or first family and their adoptive family. Many, especially those adopted at an older age, have connections to their birth parents or other members of their birth family. Adoptive parents often need help navigating these relationships or even answering questions about birth… Read more

Categories: Birth Family Connections, Parenting
Teenage girl with braids

Permanency Planning Mediation

In 1999, the California Department of Social Services and Consortium for Children partnered to launch an innovative new program—Permanency Planning Mediation. The partners were looking for an effective way to use openness to shorten a child’s time in foster care by avoiding costly and time-consuming contested termination of parental rights hearings while also helping maintain… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Birth Family Connections, Parenting
Teenage girl smiling

Helping Children Connect with Their Birth Parents

I have been parenting adopted kids for 28 years now. I’ve had the chance to raise 12 children (8 adopted) to adulthood. In addition, I’m connected with dozens of my former foster kids who were reunified with their birth parents. My experiences, especially those of my adult children and their birth families, have led me… Read more

Categories: Birth Family Connections, Parenting
Four kids at park

Adoption & Sibling Relationships: What Children Have Taught Me

When I ask children in my Adoption Playshop sessions what they like best and least about their family, their answers reflect the importance of sibling relationships—real, imagined, yearned for, or lived-at-a-distance. They speak of siblings with affection, sadness, anger, longing, resentment, envy, gratitude, guilt, or bitterness. No matter what they share, it is clear that… Read more

Categories: Birth Family Connections, Parenting, Transracial
Boy with baseball cap looking to side

Facilitated Openness Can Benefit Children Adopted from Care

When my parents adopted in the early ’60s, society accepted adoption, but it was not something most adoptive parents (whose infants were matched with the family by skin, eye, and hair color) shared publicly. Today, parents who adopt children from foster care cannot pretend their children were always a part of the family, and most… Read more

Categories: Birth Family Connections, Parenting

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children