*Much of the language used in the field of adoption is outdated and not reflective of current practices or understanding of this complicated process.  Adoption Life uses language reflective of common terminology in blog posts in order to more effectively reach those searching for helpful adoption information, while supporting and encouraging the use of more positive adoption language whenever possible.*

As National Adoption Month, or National Adoption Awareness Month as it is also known, comes to a close it has given me a good chance to reflect on what it is to work in the field of adoption.  Adoption is a truly beautiful and complex process.  As the director of a licensed adoption agency, in the course of a day I can have a meeting with expectant parents, adoptive parents, state foster care caseworkers, state licensing authorities and of course Adoption Life staff.  I might be working closely with an expectant parent who is trying to decide if adoption is the right choice for her situation, or a family navigating the transition of a sibling group from the foster care system into their home for adoption.  When I sit down at my desk in the morning, I really can’t tell for certain what the day will hold for me!

Adoption is complicated. Working in adoption is a chance to be connected with people in some of their most intimate and vulnerable moments of life!  I often think about that opportunity and responsibility.  It feels so huge.  As we consider how important this responsibility is, we have to carefully consider how we provide the best services to the vulnerable populations in adoption.  It is important that those considering adoption have access to licensed adoption agencies, and preferably local adoption services that can serve them with knowledge and experience in their environment.  Providing adoption services in Casper, Wyoming might look really different than they would in Boise, Idaho.  Licensed adoption agencies have to follow the rules around adoption that are created to protect the vulnerable parties.  Working with local, licensed providers is the best way to protect your rights in the adoption process.

Adoption is beautiful.  I have been so absolutely blessed to watch beautiful relationships develop between adoptive families, adopted children, and birth families.  I have watched birth mothers and adoptive mothers provide such a unique and loving support to each other, because they understand each other in ways others can’t.  I have watched children who spent years in the foster care system, blossom into their full amazingly talented potential in stable and safe homes.  I’ve been able to watch families grow in love and capacity for love as they navigate their adoption journey, unique as it may be.

My hope today is that as we all improve our understanding of the beauty and complexity of the process, that understanding will result in improved practices, more ethical guideposts for ensuring all parties are adequately protected and served.  I am so grateful that I have the privilege of working in adoption. Please reach out today to info@aodptionlife.org if we can help support you in your adoption journey.

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