Reclaim in adoption

Jennifer Bliss, PsyD Adoption Expert, explains what is done to help prevent reclaim in an adoption and why it is important to start the grieving process with the birth mother while she is pregnant
Preventing Reclaim In An Adoption - Kidsinthehouse.com
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Reclaim in adoption

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One of the scariest things the perspective parents think about when they choose to adopt is a reclaim. That's when the birth mother asks for the child back after the baby has been taken home by the adoptive parents. That happens, maybe, 3 to 4 percent of the time. It is rare, but when it happens, it is devastating. What we try and do is prepare the birth mother emotionally for what she is going to experience at the hospital. We don't want the feelings of sadness to occur for the first time at the hospital because that could be very shocking and overwhelming. We don't want a situation that rocks the foundation of "Is this the right decision because if it was, how could it hurt this bad?" We really want to start the grieving process when she is pregnant, so she's starting to feel the sadness. She is giving the child to the adoptive parents in her heart before she ever hits the hospital. That way, when she's at the hospital, the sadness she feels is familiar and she understands what she's feeling and it doesn't make her question her decision. It also allows her to take more joy in the moments in seeing the family that she's created in front of her, and watching the adoptive parents fall in love with the child is really reassuring to them that they are making the right decision.

Jennifer Bliss, PsyD Adoption Expert, explains what is done to help prevent reclaim in an adoption and why it is important to start the grieving process with the birth mother while she is pregnant

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Expert Bio

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Jennifer Bliss, PsyD

Counseling Director of Independent Adoption Center

Dr. Jennifer Bliss is the National Associate Counseling Director and Southern California Branch Co-Director at the Independent Adoption Center (IAC), the preeminent open adoption agency in the United States. She is also the author of a new book on open adoption, Another Choice: A compassionate Guide to Placing a Child For Adoption.

Dr. Bliss attended the University of Southern California where she received a BA in Psychology and a B.S. in Education. She went on to earn her Masters in Social Welfare from University of California Los Angeles and completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Ryokan College. Dr. Bliss supervises the Open Adoption Counselors in the Northern and Southern California offices and provides ongoing training and support for IAC counseling staff throughout the county. Additionally, Dr. Bliss was the featured counselor on "Adoption Diaries", WEtv's documentary series on Open Adoption.

Founded in 1982, IAC has been instrumental in pioneering open adoption. It is a counseling-based, licensed, nonprofit agency, and has facilitated over 4,000 adoptions, making it one of the oldest and largest fully open adoption agencies in the country. The agency also prides itself on the fact that it is one of the only adoption agencies in the country that has never had any exclusionary policies for adoptive parents, including age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ethnic background, color, or race.

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