Helping your reunion be the best it can be

This leaflet has been written from our experience and expertise and also with help from external research*. In this leaflet we discuss your reunion and how you can help it to be the best it can be.

If you have difficulties with language or reading, please let us know and we will read this information over the phone or to someone who can support you.  Should you need any further information or support about this matter you can phone or email us via the details on our website.

All those ‘What If’ questions that are bound to come into your mind.  And some of the challenges you may have to face.  You can talk with us about these and we can support you.      

Challenges and things you may feel

Despite all of this you don’t feel as loved as you thought you would be.

The other person is not committed to the reunion or at least not as committed as you. This may leave you feeling frustrated, let down, sad or disappointed.

You sense your feelings are not being taken into account, and you fear that you are being taken advantage of or dumped on by a family member.

You don’t feel fully part of the birth mother or father’s family.

The other person is too committed, leaving you feeling overwhelmed or maybe guilty if you keep them at arm’s length.

It feels this is a competition for love where adoptive parents, birth parents, siblings are in competition for who gets the love.  You may find your loyalties are torn and you may try to please everyone.

You only get on with some birth family members but not everyone.

You feel overwhelmed by the intense emotions stirred up by the reunion concerning adoption, childhood or simply managing the reunion itself. 

You are confused by memories about the past.  You wonder if your birth parent was wrong to have you adopted.

You find you don’t have anything in common with the birth relatives – you don’t like them, and you lost interest in the reunion.

The reunion is with a birth relative who may have personal problems such as mental health difficulties, addiction, criminal record etc.

Finding time to deal with all these new emotions is difficult.

Your relationship with your current family (partner, children, adoptive parents) may change, and these people may feel rejected because you are excited by your new relationships. 

And the answer is…… 

There are no easy answers, but talking and discussing your thoughts and feelings will help to put things in order.  Please let us know if you are struggling so that we can set up a counselling session for you and talk things over with you.  We really want to hear from you if you struggle. 

* The Adoption Reunion Handbook by Julia Feast, David Howe and Liz Trinder.  (Wiley 2004 p.43)