For the Adoptee:
- It’s okay not to have constant contact after a reunion. It doesn’t mean you’ve been abandoned or rejected. It probably means the opposite: You’ve been accepted as part of your birth mother’s family.
- You are not obligated to stay in a relationship that is not healthy, whether or not you did the searching. Try to get counseling if you feel you must end the relationship.
- Your birth mother might never be able to give you all the answers you want, even in the long term. Don’t push her into something she’s not ready to deal with or to remember.
- It takes time to build a relationship.
For the Birth Mother:
- It’s normal for contact to have slowed down by the long-term stage. It’s not an indication that your son or daughter has lost interest in you.
- If you can’t find a support group, books such as The Other Mother, by birth mother Carole Schaefer, and Birthbond: Reunions Between Birth parents and Adoptees – What happens After, co-written by birth mother Linda brown and researcher Judith Gediman, might help.
For the Adoptive Parents:
- Your anxieties will probably be alleviated in the long-term stage.
- If you need support, a social worker at your adoption agency can talk to you about your post-reunion feelings.
- You might have an extended family in the long-term. Try to adjust.
- It’s important for the adoptee to feel you accept her birth family.
- Reunions provide healing. With courage, love and compassion, there are long-term gains for everybody.
Reprinted with permission from Adoption Reunions, A book for Adoptee, Birth Parents and Adoptive Familiesby Michelle McColm, 1993 Second Story Press