talking-about-adoption-mattersOf course, talking about adoption matters.

Adoption brings out big feelings for everyone involved. Finding the words and opportunity to discuss adoption with one another can often be challenging. While it can be tempting to avoid these conversations. Talking about adoption matters and it brings out big feelings for everyone involved. Finding the words and opportunity to discuss adoption with one another can often be challenging. While it can be tempting to avoid these conversations, it is important that they occur. How, with whom, and how often we are talking about adoption matters! In the last few decades, adoption gradually emerged from behind a solid wall of secrecy and a pervasive sense of shame. This is a good thing. As people grew more open to talking about adoption, the tone and content of conversations improved.

More voices speak out

Yes, we now talk more openly within our families and beyond the security of our inner circles. Conversations in the media are no longer the exclusive purview of adoptive parents. Adoptee voices now garner a more significant presence which they should. After all, they have lifetimes of lived expertise. Adoptees have begun to rewrite the cultural understanding of adoption. Still, too often, adoptive parents continue to hold the main stage and continue to dominate adoption conversations. Unfortunately, too much misinformation and incomplete understanding remain which leads to skewed perceptions. When people are talking about adoption matters honestly and openly though, it helps to correct inaccuracies.

The fairytale version gets revised

More nuanced and complete conversations replace the benign view of adoption—one that recognizes the complexity, duality, and pain. Much still needs debunking. Much still needs learning. And, much still needs unlearning. Everyone benefits when we talk about adoption matters truthfully and in ways that reflect the experiences of each of the sides of the triad.

Open Adoption has become the norm

So adoptive and birth parents have many opportunities to be in touch. Ideally, they will listen to and talk with each other with respect as they focus on providing the best experience for the children they love and care about. (By the way, open adoption is not a panacea nor is it easy or simple. Nevertheless, in most cases, open adoption serves adoptees better than the secrecy and finality of traditional closed adoptions. This is why open adoptions account for nearly 90% of current placements.

Living an open adoption

As each person deals with their deep grief and significant losses throughout their lifetimes, they will have strong thoughts and feelings.

these will change over time. Adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents will need to address, express, and discuss their experiences. When they talk to each other, each one will speak from their personal point of view. Unsurprisingly, these multiple perspectives often contradict and conflict with the experiences of other triad members. These clashing perceptions coexist and are simultaneously true. They must listen to one another with respect and open hearts and minds.

When the going becomes challenging and feelings get hurt, as they inevitably will, dedication to the interests of the adoptee can keep everyone engaged. Their mutual commitment to grow and nurture healthy, authentic relationships can help sustain them through difficult conversations and trying times as they all strive to build connections that last for a lifetime not simply while the adoptee is a child. So sometimes extra support is needed.

How do we accomplish the talking?

It’s always useful to seek skilled assistance from  Adoption Attuned coaches and therapists. Other excellent resources are courses on adoptive parenting and understanding the adoption experience; adoptive parenting blogs like this; reading quality books such as those books written by our coaches as well as the books recommended on our website; and of course podcasts, like The Essentials for Adoption Attuned Parenting which we have produced for over seven years. We invite you to visit our website where you will find lots of excellent, free content there.

Talking-about-Adoption-MattersDrumroll, please!

On our new podcast, our coaches, Kim Noeth, a birth mother, Sharon Butler-Obazee, an adoptee, and Sally Ankerfelt, an adoptive parent will discuss important issues using Adoption Attuned principles to broach even the most sensitive topics with grace and respect.

We acknowledge adoption’s complex reality and recognize the benefits of Tri Position conversations where someone from each point in the triad contributes. Kim, Sharon, and Sally will reach across the adoption constellation and model courageous communication, and help create a listening community where anxiety can be reduced, and mutual understanding can prevail.

We hope you will join us on March 6, 2024, for ADOPTION MATTERS: Real People, Real Life, Real Talk.

Another drumroll, please.

Growing Intentional Families Together announces the creation of its first Shaping the Future Award to acknowledge the efforts of individuals and organizations committed to encouraging dialog across the adoption constellation. Our adoption coaching firm believes that a fuller view of adoption complexity grows a more complete picture, strengthens relationships, and honors the individual’s personal experiences.

We present the 2024 Shaping the Future Award to Isaac Etter for his efforts on behalf of transracial adoptees to grow communication, nurture understanding, and further ADOPTION ATTUNED PARENTING PRACTICES, policies, and education within adoptive families and the adoption community.

Isaac Etter has a deep passion for innovating in the adoption and foster care space. He was adopted transracially as a toddler. Isaac began his advocacy work by speaking and leading trainings for adoptive and foster parents. He believes it is essential for families to talk about adoption and race honestly, openly, and regularly. Isaac asserts that he wants to show parents how to help adoptees “grow up feeling seen and valued for all the aspects of their identity.”

Isaac is also the author of A Practical Guide to Transracial Adoption and the host of the podcast Inside Transracial Adoption. Both reflect Isaac’s  core philosophy that “when parents are equipped, children are empowered, families thrive.”

Isaac and his work embody the principles of ADOPTION ATTUNED PARENTING PRACTICES. We are proud to honor his continuing efforts to make a difference and to name him the 2024 recipient of our  Shaping the Future Award.

Essentials of Adoption Attuned Parenting (our original podcast.)

All episodes from our previous podcast continue to be available on our website and on your favorite podcast platform.

parenting-course-podcast-essentials-adoption attuned parenting-adoption-success

Read these award-winning books written by our coaches.


parenting course