Host: What is the role of adoptive parents and birthparents in the adoption process?
Sarah Mejac: The adoptive family is hopefully working with an agency that is providing it's services to the birth families and giving them good information both about what happens at the time when a child is placed, as well as throughout the life of the child, what things the child might think about and what things the family might want to know about their birth family and how important that is, I think, to having a healthy family and a healthy child especially; and for the birthparents their concern is they re dealing with a crises, unplanned pregnancy usually; they are trying to figure out, what is the best decision for them if it is to not parent at that time and find a family that will adopt their child. Then they want to look at, what type of family that they are comfortable with and what the things are that they would look for and sort of their idea of the perfect family for their child. It also need to have good counseling and support services so that when they are making these decisions, you are also examining that this is truly the best decision for the birth family and especially of the birthmother. If there is a possibility of the birthparent being the primary parent, that those are explored simply because any thoughtful counseling that a birthparent will get will make that birthparent secure in their decision to place the child and will help them know that their child is going to live a lifetime being cared for and assisted with any type of questions that they might have, that you don t want to separate. There will be natural curiosity on the parts of a child, who do I come from; what are these people like that were my birth family. Likely in adoption, there is a lot more communication and exchange of information. So you can learn about the physical appearance and the things that your birth family might have liked to do or be talented and I think the birth family is really looking for, sort of help looking at the long term and not just the immediate placing of the child.