Even people in the best of relationships can lose touch, sometimes…
…and this is sometimes true for some folks in open adoptions, as well. People move. Phone numbers change. Mail gets lost. There are plenty of reasons that folks fall out of contact, even despite the best of intentions. Abrazo always encourages all of its clients to regularly inform the agency of address changes over the years, so we can help get them back in touch with the people who should matter most, for the sake of their child/ren. (Don’t let us lose you!)
All parents who adopt through Abrazo sign an Entrustment Agreement at placement in which they promise to maintain contact (at the very least, via an annual report with photo/s sent to Abrazo by December 15 every year until the adoptee turns 18.)
The Abrazo staff also does its best to help reconnect adoptive parents who are seeking to re-establish continuing contact with their child’s birthfamilies and vice versa, upon request. (The agency does not charge for these efforts so any donations the agency receives for such assistance are transferred to Abrazo’s Angel Account to help out others in need.) Minimal charges may occasionally be incurred to the requesting party, however, for deliveries or database searches conducted by a third party or such, as needed.
Abrazo occasionally receives requests from teens previously adopted here, asking for assistance in reuniting them with their birthfamilies. Under Texas state confidentiality laws, adoption agencies cannot facilitate reunions between adoptees and birthfamilies for minors independent of the adoptive parents’ consent. What this means in plain language is this: if you’re under the age of 21, you need to have your parents contact Abrazo about reconnecting you with your birthparents (and we hope they will, if they don’t have the ability to re-introduce you to your first family on their own.) We’re happy to help at that point, provided all the adults are in agreement, because obviously, that’s healthier than if kids feel shut out and search by themselves on Facebook or MySpace.
The State of Texas maintains a Central Adoption Registry, where adult adoptees born in Texas and birthparents can voluntarily register in hopes of finding each other. For more information on this program, click here.
Three books that Abrazo finds particularly helpful for those seeking to reconnect are Lost & Found by Betty Jean Lifton, Making Room in Our Hearts: Keeping Family Ties through Open Adoption by Micki Duxbury, How to Open an Adoption: A guide for parents and birthparents of minors by Patricia Martinez Dorner. (All are available on Amazon.com.)
For additional resources concerning post-adoption reconnection, search and reunion, see the following:
Obtaining Records and Searching for Birthrelatives
P.A.C.E.R. (Post Adoption Center for Education & Research)
Online Guide to Adoption Search & Reunion