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Reunion Guidelines

Posted by on Mar. 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM
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I copied this from Joe Soll's website called "Adoption Crossroads"

Guidelines for Adoption Reunion

Some of these guidelines for reunion are originally from
Sue Martin of Truth Seekers in Adoption in Chicago.
Additions have been made along the way via the Internet

These guidelines are not cast in stone!

 0.  Nobody knows the "rules", especially the person who is found.

 1. Adoptees may "back off" even if they did the search.

 2. Mothers reuniting with their child may not "back off" - especially if they searched.

 3. Everyone needs "space", but not endless space.
     SPACE means:   Separation

 4.  For those "in space", a simple card signed "Happy Birthday" or "Thinking of You", are acceptable: this can go on for  YEARS, so do *not* have "great expectations".

 5. SLOW is the signal especially at the outset.

 6. Do not launch into long or angry letters before meeting.

 7. Not everything is adoption/reunion related, but separation at birth is a core issue that radiates through almost everything else.

 8. Expect that an adoptee will express anger, somehow, some way, probably not overtly, possibly not even recognizing that he or she is angry.

 9. When reunion is new, talk to one another about the boundaries you need to establish.  (Again, the adoptee has leeway, but the mother must remain in the "responsible adult" role.)

10. Join a support group.  Sharing and learning with others is most important.

11. Start your own grief work.  Seek professional help if needed.

12 Help your curent family and friends to understand that search and reunion will be your "life focus" for a while.  Share that you may need a supportive shoulder or open ears.  "Advice" may not be heard!  Remember that your friends may not understand.. Even you may not understand.

13.  Search and reunion are as much about YOU as they are about finding someone.  Expect to change in many ways.  Do not expect or allow a well-meaning family to expect that search will "fix" you.

14. Remember that real life is "messy", unlike fantasy, which you can bend to suit you.  If you aren't ready for "real" and ready to give up fantasies; don't search!  And certainly don't make contact!

15.  Relatives happen!  Relationships take time and work to put into proper perspective.  (Remember this when experiencing Genetic Attraction, too!)

16. Family is, ideally, supposed to be fun, thought-provoking, and supportive of each other, while still respectful of independence.

Owner of Adoption Reunion group.
by on Mar. 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM
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by on Mar. 28, 2008 at 9:23 AM
I would appreciate discussion on two aspects of this (BTW I thank you, it is helpful!)

First, what type of boundaries?  Within the relationship yes, but things like: phone calls, conversations with others involved, gifts/contact with grand children? 

Next, it says to begin to work on your grief.  Are there some guidelines that someone could point out?  I've had grief in my life, and I feel as if I've dealt with the grief regarding the relinquishment, but it's always good to re-examine I think.


by Group Owner on Mar. 28, 2008 at 9:34 AM

I have to admit I've never talked about boundaries. To me it sounds too much like pressure. I think boundaries move as earn trust with your adoptee. 2 years ago I wouldn't have even asked for my sons cell phone number. Now I can call him anytime I want.

Maybe it's more for situations where one party comes on too strong in the beginning and the other has to set a boundary.

I posted something about grief in adoption but it fell down. I'll give it a sticky.
Owner of Adoption Reunion group.
by on Mar. 28, 2008 at 9:09 PM
I think every adoption is different.  I can tell you from being adopted myself and then adopting out a child I have both prospects and different sort of insight.  When I adopted my duaughter out I wrote her a 20 page letter about my life and her fathers along with the whys and why nots of what I did.  I also express my feelings and hurts along witht he hope that one day I would a least hear from her to know that she was alright.  When she finally contacted me she said the letter was great and let her know that what she was doing was the right thing.  We have never really had angry issues and hurt issues about her being adopted.  Her adopted parents always made her feel that she was special because her mother loved her engough to give her up.  I also think that the adopted parents have some things to do with hour the adpoted persons feels as well.  I think everyone mlust follow their own journey and each path will be different based upon the person and where they are in the life. I dont't think there is a book or anything that can really hep you do it right.  I think you must follow your gut and your heart and it will lead you in the right direction.  Good luck to everyone I hope yours is as wonderful as mine has been and I can't wait to continue this journey.
Best Wishes
by on Mar. 28, 2008 at 9:11 PM
Just follow your heart it will all work itself out.  I have done that and my daugher and I are building a great realtionshjip based on a friendship that can only grow.  There is no right or wrongs only the love we feel for this special person that has come back into our life.
by New Member on Oct. 5, 2008 at 3:35 PM

I surrendered 2 daughters in the 60's  I have had 2 completely different reunions with my girls.  One Child (who I reunited with 20 years ago) was hesitant and felt ACKWARD reuniting with me.  I recently reunited with a daughter that I haven't seen in 43 years.. Our  reunion was like we were never apart.  Everything about seeing her again was SO relaxed, and I'm happy beyond anything.  We share the same beliefs   She calls me mama which makes me very happy.  God truly blessed us ,it seems to be a miracle.  She looks and acts just like my dear mom did. ,my husband wanted me to visit her first,, he gave me on a ticket to see her.  (She wanted to visit me first, but it was nice to spend days with her while we were alone most of the time,

My other daughter is mad at me for visiting my other daughter, but that didn't work out like I wanted it to.  I did visit my first daughter when she was in college, but she now lives on her parents' property, and  they really don't want her associating with her.  I respect their wishes, and want peace for all concerned.

My newly found daughter wants to spend time with me 1st ( she said  she wanted to be with me 1st before she  meets her siblings,)

II  HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IF DAUGHTER  NUMBER ONE IS SO HATEFUL TO ME, i THINK ITS BEST TO STAY AWAY FROM HER , especially since she thinks I am as abusive as her prisoner husband..

I'm a 61 year old woman that expects her children to show respect and love towards me.  If any child of mine doesn't want to give me the respect I deserve, I feel it is best to live my life and be happy with the 4 children that act in a respectful way,

I hopet there are others on cafemoms that don't have to go thru what I have.  I do pray for all my children, nearly every day.  I love them all, and want only the best for them.  I learned a very long time ago, that you reap what you sow.  My message to everyone is to respect each and every individual on this planet, and ask God's blessing upon each and everyone of you.

by on Jan. 16, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Following the guidelinesbig smile mini....mlou


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