Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

By Betsy Keefer; Jayne E. Schooler et al. | Go to book overview

Ramification of Answer: Recognizes that along with needing facts, a child has varying degrees of feelings toward the adoption experience--feelings that it is safe for the child to relate.


SUMMARY
Adoptive parents do have unique challenges before them to understand the subtle issues in adoption that impact them and their children. Parents demonstrate growing understanding of those issues as they adapt coping styles in talking with their children about adoption. It is also critical for parents to be aware of what their own feelings and concerns as it correlates with their relationship with their child.
QUESTIONS
1. How has your life been impacted by the three core issues--loss, shame, rejection--discussed in this chapter?
2. What style of coping with adoption issues best describes you--denial, acknowledgment, insistence? Why?
3. How would you describe your most often used response in answering your child's questions around adoption--authoritarian, chosen baby, glorifying, rational, reflecting?
4. Describe what dynamics might be found in an adoptive family who is in "the child is the problem," stage of emotional/legal dissolution.
5. Describe what dynamics might be found in an adoptive family who is in "the turning point" stage of emotional/legal dissolution.

NOTES
1.
Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Deborah Silverstein "The Seven Core Issues of Adoption," workshop presented at the American Adoption Congress, April 1988.
2.
Robert Anderson, Second Choices: Growing Up Adopted (Chesterfield, Mo.: Badger Press, 1993).
3.
Merle Fossum quoted in Lewis B. Smede, Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don't Deserve ( San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1993), 4.
4.
Gershen Kaufman, quoted in ibid, 7.
5.
H. D. Kirk, Looking Back, Looking Forward: An Adoptive Father's Sociological Testament ( Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1995), 11-12.
6.
D. Paddock, Affirmations for Conscious Living as Adoptive Families. (Highlands Ranch, Colo.: Families with a Difference, 1998), Web site: www. adopting.org.
7.
Quoted in David Brodzinsky and Marshall Schechter, The Psychology of Adoption ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 19.
8.
Ibid.
9.
Brodzinsky quoted in Jayne Schooler The Whole Life Adoption Book (Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1993), 118.

-85-

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