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Take Me HomeProtecting America's Vulnerable Children and Families$
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Jill Duerr Berrick

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195322620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322620.001.0001

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After Adoption: Keeping a Connection to Home

After Adoption: Keeping a Connection to Home

(p.53) Chapter 4 After Adoption: Keeping a Connection to Home
Take Me Home

Jill Duerr Berrick

Oxford University Press

In 2005, 51,500 children in the United States were adopted from foster care; over 100,000 children were still waiting for adoption. Adoption has long been seen as a second-best alternative when reunification proves impossible, and outcome studies support the positive benefits of adoption for children. Yet as adoption rates rise in the US, efforts to attend to birth parents’ needs have been minimal. Research on birth parents suggests profound experiences of grief and loss from which they are unlikely to recover if left in isolation. Therefore, supportive networks that can include peers and professionals may allow women to come to terms with their separation from children. Open, semi-open, and mediated adoption may also hold the promise of helping birth mothers heal from the trauma and maintain a human connection to their children.

Keywords:   open adoption, mediated adoption, semi-open adoption, peer support

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