Thursday, 26 June 2014

Adoption and Tracing Birth Parents and Families

Many adopted people may know very little, if anything, about their birth families. If you are in this position, you may have thought about whether or not you would like to trace members of your birth family.

Even to begin on that journey can feel scary. You may have a multitude of questions concerning your birth family - will you get any answers and what kind of answers might these be? It may be that you feel quite ambivalent about finding things out and whether or not you would like contact with any family members you might find.

As you proceed in this journey, having a space to reflect can be helpful. The human mind seems to dislike blank spaces and we imagine what we don't know. For an adopted person, this can mean that you have ideas concerning your birth family that may be challenged by what you actually find out. Trying to make sense of it and develop a better understanding can take time.

Often people find that they take their investigations in stages, finding out so much and then letting that sink in before taking things further. This seems a sensible approach, given the emotions that can be stirred up in the process.

Nowadays a great deal can be found out through the internet. You never know what you might find! Perhaps it is not possible to be always prepared, but you can give yourself time to reflect on and process your findings. Having time and space to allow your journey to develop, at a pace with which you are comfortable, can be important for your wellbeing.

Research into family trees seems to be getting more and more popular, not just with those who are adopted. It seems as human beings we often want to think about where we came from, as part of how we see our identity - who we think we are.

Each person's journey can have its own twists and turns including discoveries, (good and not so good). If you can take care of yourself in this process, you'll be in the best place to make decisions that will work best for you.

If you would like help and support in your search, Lin provides face-to-face counselling in Stroud, Gloucestershire;  and telephone counselling for those living in the UK.

Lin Travis Counselling Services

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