Adoption Reunion and Other Family Reunion
All three of us, Betty Ann Streeter, Patricia Fenton and Michaele-Sue Goldblatt, have years of experience in all aspects of Adoption. We have worked in:
- Domestic Adoption
- Private Adoption
- Public Adoption [through Child Welfare Agencies]
- Foster Parent Adoption
- International Adoption
- Step-Parent Adoption
- Relative Adoption
And we have worked with individuals and families in all aspects of REUNION.
When we are consulting or working with persons wanting to explore their birth origins, we firstly listen carefully so that we understand what you wish to explore, we then collaborate with you to examine your feelings regarding all the potential outcomes.
Although we do not initiate searches, we will encourage you in your search. Social media and various online search sites have made searches so much easier than they were in the past. Sites such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe.com have also made it possible to find others who share your DNA, thus opening possibilities for search and reunion outside of what used to be the norm [Adoption Disclosure by way of various governments or agencies or asking family members who were sometimes reluctant to give any information].
We will walk the search journey with you and once you identify someone for whom you are searching, we will make the first contact with that person on your behalf. Very often, the person to be contacted appreciates hearing from and speaking to a third party rather than the searcher themselves. Using an intermediary is often less threatening to all the parties as contact is initiated and communication started.
If you are the searcher, you have had whatever time it took for you to be ready to start your search. The person you are searching for is usually shocked and ‘stunned’ to receive that first telephone call or other communication. [We prefer to speak to the individual on the telephone rather than by email or letter, once we know we are speaking to the right person].
Although the most common response from a birth parent is: “I’ve been praying and waiting for this call for the past x years [since the absence of the other]”, the call or inquiry or letter or email is still a great shock for most. Did he or she tell his / her spouse and subsequent children about the one who is now searching? Do his or her parents or siblings know? There are many people other than the searcher and the one who has been found to consider.
If the searcher was not the person (child) who was placed away from one or both biological parents, when he or she is ‘found’, he or she may be ready…or not…to have contact.
Once the person ‘found’ has been identified as the correct person, we make ourselves available to both parties. No one is required to use our services, but we find that most like having someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of. We can offer support to both parties, provide education and support to the searcher and one found and to others [spouses, parents, siblings, in-laws and other family members] who need time to mull this over and discover how they want to proceed.
As with all our work at Milestones & Transitions, we are here to serve YOU. Contact us for a complimentary telephone or video call consultation. We are looking forward to walking this journey along with you.
November 3rd, 2018
By Michaele-Sue Goldblatt, MSW, RSW