Adoption can be a lonely road. Even though adoption is becoming more commonplace in our society, many adoptive couples don’t have people around them who understand what they’re going through. Even if they are surrounded by loving family and friends, there are feelings that come with adoption that only other adoptive families can understand. For this reason, adoptive families may find it helpful to join an adoption support group.
There can be pros and cons of joining an adoption support group. There are many good groups out there, designed to genuinely help members navigate the process and their feelings on adoption. However, some groups may be formed for the wrong reasons or may spread false or negative information on adoption. Here are some ways to find the right adoption group for you.
- If you are using an adoption agency, ask your adoption professional for recommendations of support groups in the area. Odds are they have referred other families to support groups, so they know which ones will be a positive influence, led by supportive and knowledgeable people.
- Do your research before joining an online support group or forum. We know that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, so fact-check the information you find in online groups. Find out who is part of the group. You don’t want your interactions to create negative thoughts or doubt in your own adoption situation. Again, trust your adoption professional to steer you toward a positive and reputable online support group.
- Consider starting your own local support group if you can’t find one that works for you. Odds are there are other families looking for support as well. Your adoption professional can put you in touch with other families who are using or have used your agency. Not only can you meet with families who are going through the process, but maybe you can gain knowledge from those who have already expanded their family through adoption.
- It may take a few tries to find the right support group for your family. Some people enjoy the personal contact of a local group. For others who struggle with openly sharing feelings or discussing family affairs, an anonymous online forum may be best. Either way, stay with a support group if it gives you the education and support you need. If not, try another one.
No matter where you are in the adoption process, support groups can be wonderful resources. We can all learn from others’ experiences. Take your time and find the right group for your family.