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Birthparent Pioneers

Posted by Sally Shuey | Last updated May 17, 2019

By Shari Levine: What are the core components of a genuine and fulfilling open adoption? I set out to identify and explore the unique ingredients that birthparents and adoptive parents bring to the table to create not just a good open adoption, but a great open adoption. I wanted to learn more about how we as an agency can foster …

A Story of Empathy and Love.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated May 17, 2019

by Shari Levine: Josh and Matt are natural stewards of open adoption; the core tenets of compassion and respect are reflected in their relationships. It’s a worldview that is deeply meaningful to them. When asked what inspired this philosophy, Josh said, “My own struggles with my family – we had a pretty significant falling out over the whole gay thing. …

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Transracial Adoption – When my validity as a father was casually questioned at the swing set.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated May 10, 2018

By: Rich Kocher, OA&FS Adoptive Father My daughter M has naturally fine blond hair cut in a short bob that frames soft, delicate features. Her eyes are bright and blue with lashes that are enviably long and thick. While petite, her lean frame gives her a tall and lanky appearance. Her milky white complexion flushes rose-red easily and tans effortlessly …

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Hospitality In Action

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated November 17, 2017

By Katie R. Stallman, LICSW, CGE . Jim Gritter, a prominent open adoption pioneer, has inspired Open Adoption & Family Services to take a deeper look at our services and the education we impart to families through his latest book, “Hospitious Adoption”. In this, he deconstructs open adoption relationships and redefines them through the lens of hospitality. Since the goal …

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Make lasting connections with other adoptive families through groups.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated August 25, 2017

By Courtney Moscariello, MSW. The seminar, waiting family gatherings, annual picnics and holiday parties all provide opportunities to connect with other adoptive families in a more formal setting. We love helping our adoptive families get to know one another and have seen firsthand how valuable these relationships can be in the long run. We’ve noticed that most times however, and …

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Openness as an attachment enhancer: Finding and strengthening your connection.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated July 21, 2017

By Katie R. Stallman, LICSW, CGE. Attachment. No other concept or word is uttered more when discussing parenting in general, but particularly parenting and adoption. Do you have a healthy “attachment”? Are you attached to your child, and even more importantly, is your child attached to you? What does the word actually mean? Deborah Gray, a renowned Northwestern attachment therapist …

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Developing Resiliency: Seven Core Beliefs

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated July 7, 2017

By Katie R. Stallman, LICSW, CGE. People who are part of a close and loving open adoption seem to have a little something extra in their back pockets that makes their relationship work no matter what. What is that something extra? How do those people do it? We’ve seen participants in a successful open adoption develop an unflinching ability to …

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Talking with your child about their adoption.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated June 27, 2017

By Jan Jamieson, OA&FS Counselor. Some adoptive and birth parents find conversations about adoption daunting. Even with openness, regular visits, and pictures hanging on the wall of one another, some families somehow miss starting these conversations. Immediately after an adoption, parents are immersed in diapers and feedings, parenting groups and parenting books as well as sleepless nights with fussy babies. …

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How to talk to family and friends about your open adoption.

Posted by Lori Maas | Last updated June 16, 2017

By Lindsey Martin, Counselor, LCSW. All relationships create opportunities to enhance our communication skills, but perhaps none more so than open adoption. Despite the trend in adoption towards openness, we have all encountered concerns about and arguments against open adoption. These arguments tend to be based on common myths and misconceptions and fueled by people’s fears. It can be difficult …