Adoptees Estranged from Their Adoptive Families

Among adoption’s more complicated realities is the role of estrangement: adoptees who become estranged from their adoptive parents.

On Saturday, October 14, (10-noon pacific/1pm-3pm eastern) Adoption Mosaic will host its 50th “We the Experts” panel (the experts being adoptees) on “Adoptees and Adoptive Family Estrangement.”

From Adoption Mosaic: “Estrangement is rising in adoptive families. Historically adoptive families have not been adequately informed of the trauma of adoption, and adoptees often feel disconnected to their adoptive families.”

Some of the topics that may be discussed by the four adoptees on the panel include the following:

“When did you realize that estrangement could be an option for you and your adoptive family?

What was it like to go through this separation?

Were you able to find support, either from friends or the adoptee community?

How are you creating your own sense of community after estrangement? Does the phrase ‘chosen family’ speak to you?”

As an adoptive parent, I recognize this is a tough topic to think about, to experience, and to talk about. And of course it’s painful for everyone, especially adoptees. So let’s talk about it, listen to and learn from adoptees, and work together to heal in community (and that can look different for everyone).

Note: In transparency, please know that I am a co-facilitator for Adoption Mosaic. In fact, we start our Seasoned Parents 6 week class today for adoptive parents of adult children. In the past, we have had parents who are estranged from their children, or are close to estrangement. Sometimes it’s been the adult adoptees who ask their parents to take the class. One of the main objectives of the class is to help adoptive parents talk about hard things with their adult children, whether it’s race, trauma, addiction, grief, estrangement, commodification, or another tough subject.

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