Adoptive Parenting

Check out some of Pact’s most timely and popular publications. For permission to reprint or repost, please contact Beth Hall at beth@pactadopt.org.

Openness in Adoption

by Pact Staff When considering adoption, prospective parents are asked almost immediately to a make decision about whether they are seeking an open or closed adoption. Making parenting decisions before you become a parent can be challenging, particularly when they...

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Sibling Issues in Adoption

by Mary Martin Mason 1993 For several years my son's birth mother, my husband and I grappled with the best time to tell Josh that he has a half-brother. Josh's birth father has chosen not to participate in our arrangement of open adoption, and Josh's half-brother is...

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Ask Pact: Adoption-Unfriendly School Assignments

In school, children study more than reading and math; they learn how the world operates beyond their own homes. If they are lucky they are taught to search for commonality and to appreciate difference in their classmates and then in their wider community. One way that...

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Addressing the Needs of Non-Adopted Siblings

by Beth Hall 2018 Speaking from experience My parents loved to tell the story. They would describe the two ways children could come into the family: through birth and through adoption. In the end, it was me—the non-adopted sibling—and not Barbara, who burst into...

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One Woman’s Experience of Being a Black Adoptive Parent

by Lisa L. Moore, LICSW, PhD 2022 Full disclosure: Writing about adoption from the position of being an adoptive parent is new for me. I find the experience of producing my own narrative around adoption from this position to be one that challenges me for two reasons....

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Union and Transition: A Ceremony of Entrustment

by Rebecca Weller 2010 Rituals to mark and heighten a child’s transition from family of birth to family of adoption can be personal and highly moving. Here are excerpts from the entrustment ceremony for my son Elijah. Using ritual and symbol to acknowledge and share...

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Understanding Trauma & Behavior in Adopted Children

by Bryan Post 2020  Along the stress-full journey we shall go In his seminal work, “The Emotional Brain,” neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux explores how traumatic experiences in early childhood, whether remembered or not, can impact adult behavior. “In times of stress,” he...

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Understanding Adoption Stories: Candle Ceremony

2010 Ritual can play an important role in helping children address and express unspoken feelings. The folks at FAIR (Families Adopting in Response) developed a beautiful ritual for adopted children. We at Pact encourage families and professionals to think about how...

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Prepare In Order To Protect

by Beth Hall 2009 To prepare: To provide a person with the necessary equipment for an expedition or journey, to defend, to guard, to keep, to look after, to care for, to shield, to shelter or to watch over. To protect: To prevent somebody or something from being...

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How to Talk with Kids About Adoption-Themed Movies

by Beth Hall and Martha Rynberg 2012 One of the most popular themes in children’s movies is loss of parents, often followed by some variation on adoption. It is hard to think of a recent animated kid’s movie that doesn’t touch on these family themes. And that means...

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Talking with Children about Difficult History

by Holly van Gulden 1995 “How do we tell our daughter she has an older brother living with their birth mother?” “The records state our son’s birth mother was raped. Should we tell him his birth father raped his birth mother?” “We wrote to the agency requesting more...

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How to Be an Anti-Racist Adoptive Parent

How to Be an Anti-Racist Adoptive Parent by Beth Hall, with Michele Rabkin August 2020 “The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist.’ It’s ‘anti-racist’….There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.’” Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist As an adoption...

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Alternative Altars: Honoring the Loss in Adoption

Alternative Altars: Honoring the Loss in Adoption by Martha Rynberg 2011 Loss and grief are embedded in the experience of adoption. Often this loss is made invisible by the tremendous joy that new parents feel. This joy can mask the grief adoptive parents have...

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