There are three primary participants in adoption: the adopted child, the birth parents, and the adoptive family. This is known as the Adoption Triad.
It is well known that the triangle is the best shape for making strong structures because it naturally distributes equal weight along its members. Like a well-constructed pyramid, when the emotions of adoption are distributed correctly and all its members are supported, the result will be solid and stable.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Adoption Triad works.
The Adopted Child and the Adoption Triad
The most important part of the Triad is the child who is being placed for adoption, also called the Adoptee. In an open adoption, adoptees share a unique and integral connection with each set of parents, the birth and adoptive parents.
From their adoptive parents, adoptees receive the necessary care, guidance, and love all children need. From their birth parents, they are the recipients of a unique heritage and culture as well as genetically inherited attributes.
This mixed experience shapes their identity and influences their life choices. Adoptees will have many questions about their biological roots, and it is crucial for adoptive parents to provide support and create an open environment for discussion. Many times, the birth parents remain involved in an open adoption, and adoptees can then have access to information directly.
Birth Parents and the Adoption Triad
The birth parents, sometimes referred to as “First Parents,” are the biological parents of the adoptee. For various reasons, such as financial instability, personal circumstances, or the desire to provide their child with a better life, they chose adoption over the termination of a pregnancy or parenting their child.
Children who are placed for adoption will always be curious about their birth parents. Even if the adoptee never learns much about them, they are still crucial to the Triad. Without the birth parents, no plan for adoption would ever have been made.
Adoptive Parents and the Adoption Triad
These parents are the main caregivers of adoptees, with full parental and legal custody. They may or may not opt for Open Adoption. In an Open Adoption, they will have an ongoing relationship with the Birth Parents, and that may one day be extended to the adoptee, as well.
Adoptive Parents undergo a rigorous screening and evaluation process to ensure their suitability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the adoptee. Adoptive Parents invest all their time, energy, and resources into creating the best life possible for their adopted child. Birth Parents also have made that decision for their child by placing them for adoption.
Dynamics of the Adoption Triad
The Adoption Triad serves as a reminder of the importance of putting the adoptee ahead of everything else and that both the birth parents and adoptive parents share the responsibility of making the adoption plan a success. By acknowledging that there are three parties to adoption, all participants are equal, and each bring their own expectations, experiences, and issues to the process.
Birth Parents may feel grief, loss, and a sense of emptiness after placing their child for adoption. Adoptive Parents may experience happiness, anxiety, and apprehension at the work of parenting ahead. They may have also experienced grief and loss at not being able to biologically parent a child in some instances. Adopted children may struggle with essential questions about their origins, identity, and place in the world.
Communication and openness are vital to making the adoption process work. Adoptive parents should encourage their adopted child to communicate openly about their experiences, feelings, fears, and hopes and allow them to explore their biological, cultural, and ethnic lineage as part of their developing identity.
If open adoption is chosen, birth parents may one day desire to have contact with their child–introducing and maintaining a healthy relationship between the adoptee and their birth parents can be productive and beneficial for everyone in the Adoption Triad.
Seeking Support and Resources
Participants in the Adoption Triad should seek support and resources to help them along the way. Adoption support groups, counseling services, and educational materials can provide valuable insights and guidance. Connecting with others who have experienced adoption can contribute to a sense of community and belonging.
Adoption is a lifelong journey, and by acknowledging and understanding the complexities of the adoption triad, we can help ensure the well-being and happiness of all involved. By fostering open communication, empathy, and support, we can create a nurturing environment that allows all members of the adoption triad to navigate their unique roles and find strength in their connections.
Contact Adoption ARC
Whether you are pursuing the adoption of a child, facing an unplanned pregnancy, or looking for an adoptive family for your child, Adoption ARC is here for you.
You can speak with an adoption counselor free of charge at any time, 24/7 at 1-800-884-4004, to help you make an informed, caring decision that is in your child’s best interests. Get in touch with us today to get started.