Identity as a Core Issue - Special Topic, General Discussion Meeting facilitated by Dottie and Estes
This General Discussion meeting presents a special topic for discussion: Identity as a Core Issue. Below is a description of this unique program, and at the bottom is an overarching description of General Discussion Meetings.
Identity As a Core Issue
As a lifelong intergenerational event, adoption affects an individual’s identity. Adoptees may feel as though their identity is incomplete, as if they are missing some pieces of their puzzle. Late discovery adoptees and those with misappropriated parentage may wonder who they are when not genetically the child of their parent of experience. Transracial adoptees may wonder what it means to be Asian, Black, Latino, or multiracial in a sea of White faces. Adoptive, foster and kinship parents may not feel entitled to the parent identity for not being a child's birth/first parent. Birth/first parents may be unsure of their role in their child’s life since they are not actively parenting the child day to day. The losses in adoption and permanency create complexities for all constellation members that need to be addressed to achieve a healthy identity.
How has adoption impacted your identity?
General Discussion Meetings
These virtual meetings provide a safe place where people can share their feelings and experiences, get support from their peers, and learn from others’ perspectives. The meetings have an open discussion format and are attended by anyone with a connection to adoption or foster care, including adult adoptees, birth parents, siblings, and adoptive parents, those that have experienced foster or kinship care, or DNA discoveries such as misattributed parentage or donor conception. Professionals are welcome to come and learn from the shared perspectives of the constellation members.
Why are these groups needed?
We believe adoption is a complex, lifelong, and intergenerational journey for all those whose lives are impacted by it. These meetings connect and empower individuals impacted by adoption, kinship, foster care, and DNA Discoveries and provide a source of healing, understanding, and learning. Recognizing that a unified voice is a strong voice, we advocate for truth and honesty on behalf of adoptees, who wonder where they came from and why they were placed for adoption; for birth families, who have never forgotten the child; and for adoptive families, who deserve to have their questions addressed honestly. We recognize that everyone has a right to know their genetic history. By bringing these groups together, we learn from the experiences of each other and have the opportunity to explore and process our own journeys.
What is the scope of this group?
This peer discussion and support group is not meant to replace conventional therapy, but rather serve as additional support on your personal journey to integrate your experience. The focus of this group is the emotional aspects of our journeys. For those involved in the process of search, one on one guidance and support as well as technical expertise and assistance are available through our Search & DNA Assistance Program.
These are virtual meetings led by trained, volunteer facilitators using the Zoom platform (which can be accessed through a home computer/laptop, tablet, or mobile phone) and will require an internet connection or phone data connection. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by finding the link for the meeting on our calendar and following the prompts for registration. There are five opportunities to participate in a meeting each month. Dates and times can be found on our calendar: https://www.adoptionnetwork.org/news-events/our-calendar.html