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What does an Adoption Counselor do?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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An adoption counselor helps birth parents and adoptive families through the adoption process. Adoption can be a difficult and emotional time. A birth mother and father must make the decision to give up their baby to another family. That other family must welcome the new addition into their home, while also making an arrangement for a relationship with the birth parents that both parties can live with.

A birth mother who chooses adoption often has a difficult time coming to terms with her decision to give up the baby. She may experience feelings of guilt or regret and may even be uncertain about her decision at various times during the process. An adoption counselor can help work with a birth mother to cope with these feelings and to become more comfortable, solid and secure in her knowledge that she is making the right decision in giving up her baby.

There are also many decisions for a birth mother to make during the adoptive process. The birth mother may need to choose which family will get her baby. She also may need to decide between an open adoption, in which she has some contact with the child and the adoptive family, or a closed adoption in which she and the child have no further contact and in which the child and adoptive family do not even necessarily know who she is. The adoption counselor can help a birth mother make these difficult decisions and understand the implications.

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The adoption counselor can also work with the adoptive family. A family who is adopting a baby may have many questions about the process and how it works. They too have many important decisions to make.

An adoptive family may face struggles or a long wait in finding an infant to adopt. They too need to determine whether an open or closed adoption is right for them. If they choose an open adoption, the adoptive family may have a difficult time in knowing what boundaries to set with their birth mother and in developing an open and appropriate relationship with the birth parents.

An adoption counselor can work with the adoptive family to make these decisions easier. If an open adoption is chosen, for example, the adoption counselor can attend one or more of the meetings between the adoptive parents and the birth mother to ensure that things go smoothly and to help the parties make a decision on how to structure their ongoing relationship.

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