Adopted children -- and even adults -- go through traumatic periods where they vacillate whether to find their birth parents and wonder why said birth parents could not raise them. Children adopted under open adoption plans may see their birth parents regularly throughout their lives; others never get to meet their birth parents. Adoptees can use the Internet to find a multitude of resources and support groups for adopted children of all ages.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, adoptees may face self-esteem problems throughout their lives. Some suffer combinations of low self-esteem and fear of abandonment; adoptees may have trouble trusting adoptive family members, co-workers or significant others. Adoptees may also spend their lives wondering why their birth parents put them in the adoption system and how they would have lived otherwise. Some adoptees cope better with these feelings on their own or with the help of a therapist; others find support groups helpful in the healing and adjustment process.
Finding a Support Group
There are a number of organisations that exist to support adoptees and to help them find support groups and resources. O.A.S.I.S. -- Organization for Adoptees Search and Individual Support - is one such organisation. O.A.S.I.S. runs an e-mail list through Yahoo! as well as actual support group meetings across New Jersey. The O.A.S.I.S. website also contains a long list of links that adoptees can use not only to find one another but also to find records of their birth parents and extended family. The American Adoption Congress also maintains a list of adoption resources, among them are many organisations, such as the Adoption Forum in Pennsylvania. These organisations also host support groups.
Forums for Adoptees
An Internet forum may not bill itself as a support group per se, but forums are places where adoptees can congregate on the Internet and discuss issues related to adoptions and birth and adoptive families. Adoption.com, for example, hosts one such forum for adult adoptees. Among these forums are one for adoptee support and another for adult adoptees of open adoptions. The AdultAdoptees.org website also contains multiple forums for adoptees, including spaces for teen adoptees and abused adoptees.
Meetups are another source of support for people who want to connect with other adoptees. The website Meetup.com hosts a list of meetup groups for adoptees. Among these are meetups for adoptees in such disparate places as New York City, Orange County, Orlando and Seattle. The website lists members of adoptee meetup groups, as well as lists of upcoming meetings and past meetings. The act of meeting in person opens the door for discussions and support among adoptees attending such events.
- O.A.S.I.S.: Organization for Adoptees Search and Individual Support
- O.A.S.I.S.: Organization for Adoptees Search and Individual Support: Internet Search and Support Links
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Child Welfare Information Gateway: Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons
- American Adoption Congress: Adoption Links
- Adoption.com: Adult Adoptees Forum
- AdultAdoptees.org: Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change