Everyone can benefit from being a part of a community of peers where you can talk about similar experiences, discuss topics you’re all interested in and learn from each other. Adoption support groups can provide you with that community of peers, whether you’re an adoptee, a birth parent or an adoptive parent.
The Benefits of Finding Adoption Support
Even if you’re not the one who needs support right now, maybe you can provide that support for others who do need it.
The adoption process can feel lonely for adoptive parents and birth parents alike. It helps to talk to other people who have experienced similar situations.
Even after the adoption is finalized, it can be nice to connect with people who’ve been in your shoes. It’s good to have a place where you can talk about this part of your life that not everyone is going to fully understand unless they’ve been touched by adoption.
Joining a support group for adoption doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re experiencing a problem of some kind. It just provides you with a friendly adoption community!
How to Find Local Adoption Support Groups
Chances are there’s an adoption support group near you. A quick Google search can narrow it down pretty easily.
For Adoptive Parents
The National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, allows you to search for their support groups by zip code, or you can join in one of their online support groups.
The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACA) has a database of almost 900 adoption-related support groups that you can search by state or province, or by the type of group you’re looking for. Some of the types of groups they have in their database include:
- Foster Care
- African American/Canadian
- Asian/Pacific Islander
- Native American/Canadian
- International Adoption
- Single Parent Adoption
- Gay/Lesbian Adoption
- Kinship Care
- Search and Reunion
- Special Needs
For Birth Mothers
The On Your Feet Foundation offers retreats, mentoring, counseling and educational grants to birth mothers post-adoption.
BirthMom Buds also offers retreats, forums, a newsletter, a blog and even poetry to connect birth moms to each other. They support pregnant women considering adoption as well as birth mothers post-adoption.
If your area doesn’t have an adoption support group, this may be an opportunity for you to start one up to provide and receive support from others in your local community!
Online Support Groups
If you find that the nearest local meetings are a bit too far for you, online adoption support groups and forums can be a good way to discuss adoption with others. Remember that many online forums and discussions aren’t very well monitored, so anyone (even those who aren’t very educated about adoption or who have inaccurate information) can jump in and comment, so be wary.
But the nice thing about adoption forums is that they’re highly specific to groups of people. For example, there are forums for pregnant women considering adoption, forums for parents who’ve adopted internationally, forums for foster care parents, special needs adoption, adult adoptees and more. If you’re looking for a specific type of adoption support group, here are some resources to help you get started:
- You can find foster care and adoption support forums by state, which could also help you find local, in-person meetings with members in your area.
- National Adoption Center has online forums for adoptive families of every kind, adult adoptees and birth parents.
- Adoption Knowledge Affiliates has monthly meetings in Texas, as well as helpful resources for adoptees, adoptive parents and birth families.
- Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption offer resources, forums and support to adoptive families and adoptees of Eastern European adoption.
- The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E) offers webinars, workshops, publications and free resources for adoptive families, adoptees and foster care families. They can also connect you with local adoption professionals who specialize in therapy and counseling in your area.
- Families with Children from China (FCC) boast a network of parent support groups through the U.S, Canada and the U.K. for adoptive families who’ve adopted children from China. There are hundreds of local chapters that you can join. You can also learn more about starting your own local chapter.
- Search adoption support groups by state at American Adoption Congress, where you can narrow results down to your area and learn how to start your own adoption support group.
- DailyStrength provides online support groups for adoptive families, particularly those in the early adoption process.
- Gay Parent Magazine has a great resource of parent support groups within the LGBTQ community.
- The Guatemala Adoptive Families Network offers support to families who’ve adopted their children from Guatemala.
- National Adoption Center has resources, educational seminars and support specializing in special needs adoptions and the adoption of children from minority cultures.
- The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information and resources for birth parents, adoptive families and adoptees of all types.
- 211 is helpful for finding local support groups and adoption-related resources for you to utilize.
You can also subscribe to receive news and information on adoption from Adoptive Family Magazine or the American Adoptions Newsletter.
A Word of Caution About Adoption and Social Media Support Groups
In the age of social media, we’ve all seen the benefits and drawbacks to constant contact and the overwhelming availability of information; not all of it truthful. Online support groups and forums through social media can turn from supportive to hateful quickly for some members. Use caution, and DO NOT go to social media for a primary source of accurate information on adoption.
We hope that you will hear these as strong suggestions and recommendations based on both personal and professional experiences over the years. We feel strongly about the benefit of healthy support and the detriments of unhealthy outlets. This is what we have found to be helpful and unhelpful.
Here are some basic do’s and don’ts of participating in social media adoption support groups:
- DON’T… try to count how many families are “ahead of you in line” to adopt; that’s not how adoption works— expectant mothers will choose you on their own timeline, not yours.
- DO… know when to step away from social media if you feel staying involved is causing you more stress rather than relieving your stress.
- DON’T… compare yourself and your adoption journey to those of others; you’re unaware of all the facts and the full scope of the situation at hand.
- DO… use common sense and empathy when sharing photos of your successfully adopted children; other members are still waiting or grieving.
- DON’T… spread gossip, rumors, or unverified facts if you are not an adoption professional.
- DO… share your experiences AS your experiences, and remind others that every adoption journey will be different; there’s no one “truest” experience when all are valid.
- DON’T… express negativity towards adoption in a space where others are seeking comfort, refuge and positivity— take argumentative anti-adoption rhetoric elsewhere.
- DO… trust your adoption professional over someone on Facebook; adoption professionals want to help!
I’m looking for support groups, I placed my son for adoption 18 yrs ago, he has now wanted to meet me, we did, but has since been a huge disaster with my family. My husband and I were separated , I got pregnant, chose to give him life and found a great family to raise him. My husband and I reconciled, but now my husband wants a divorce, says he feels he is living it all over again. We recreated our life together, bought a house, have 9 grandchildren, I love our life. It’s all been taken away , I have stopped contact with my son , feel like I now have told this child for the second time that he is not wanted. My husband told our children that he never wants to hear “the boys” name, if they see him, he wants nothing to do with it, so I cut contact, not fair for him to be a secret
I am so sorry for your extremely painful situation. I’m so thankful you are open to loving ALL of your family members, and thankful you chose life for your son in such difficult circumstances. Praying for you….
I am preagnant i am 24 years old 1 month pregnant im searching a man or woman like to adopt my baby after he give birth.. who want to adopt my baby just contact me or send ne and email. Jhanenet@gmail.com
Hi, Rosalie — If you are considering adoption, you can view our waiting families here: https://www.americanadoptions.com/family_profile/browse. We encourage you to call our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION for free, no-obligation information about the adoption process.
I am looking for advice with a post family adoption. In January my sister gave birth to a baby boy that I adopted, I was there for the birth, cut his cord and did skin on skin with him. He had b en my son from the moment he took his first breath, I am now struggling with what I will tell him in the future, my sister has asked that it remain a closed adoption and he is not told who gave birth to him. But what do I do when he asks, if he asks? We live in a very small town and although it had not been confirmed people have been talking about our situation. I do not want my son growing up and feeling like he’s been lied to by I also feel I owe it to my sister to keep it unknown..
Hi, Brandie — This does seem like a complicated situation. Have you spoken to your sister about the benefits of open adoption and the disadvantages of closed adoption, especially for your son? You and her may both benefit from reading this information and having a serious conversation about your son’s future: https://consideringadoption.com/adopting/open-adoption/open-vs-closed-adoption-an-honest-comparison
If she does decide on a closed adoption, you may consider reaching out to adoption support groups online for advice from other parents in your similar situation. We wish you and your family the best of luck in finding a solution that works for you all.
Hello, I am the sister of two adopted brothers. I have been searching for a support group in New York City for siblings of adopted children but can’t find anything. Every group I’ve found is focused on the parents, but I am very much in need of a community of people who understand what it is to have adopted siblings and the difficulties that go along with that. If you have any resources or names of people I should contact I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Hi, Terra — Your best bet may be to search online for a group targeted to siblings of adoptees. While it may not be local, it might be able to provide the specific support and advice you’re looking for. Try checking out the forums on Adoption.org to get started: https://adoption.com/forums/
I see you give info for adoptive parents and for birth mothers….where’s the support info for us that were adoptive??? I don’t see any links here.
Hi, Lisa — Thanks for pointing that out. While we focused on adoptive families and birth parents in this article, here’s another article listing a great deal of adoptee support groups: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/adoptee-support/adoptee-support-groups Hope you find what you are looking for!
Hello, In 1983 I placed a child up for adoption. I knew that someday that I would have to come face to face with what I had done and there would be questions that would want to be answered, I just did not know when. Only a few people knew of this situation those many years ago. No one in my family knew about me being pregnant at 16 only my Mom, best friend and few adults that were close to my Mom. 8 months ago I got a text from the child i put up for adoption over 30 years ago. In this day and age anyone can be found with all the technology that is available. The child told me that the adoption records were open and all they had was my name , they did not want anything from me just to know where they came from. I was in complete shock that my past was staring me right in my face at one of the most difficult times in my life. I am married and it is not in a good place right now, then this happens. The child left a phone number where I could call , but I have not made the call yet. 3 months after that text my daughter called me and told me that she got a Facebook comment and pix sent to her from someone that she did not understand and was upset and confused. I Told her to send the comments and pix to me .When I received it I almost had a stroke!!!!! The child I put up for adoption had found me on Facebook and contacted my daughter and told her who they were . I did not know what to feel at that moment . I was pissed off that this child was so RECKLESS to divulge sensitive and private information like that not knowing or caring of whom they hurt. I talked to my daughter and explained it as a mistake in identity and she was understanding and that was that. That night I ERASED my Facebook account and any other social media stuff that I had. I want to reach out to the child and to give all the unanswered questions that they may have, but the careless and reckless behavior pushed me further away. I so want to make that call so I can get an address and write. I just don’t know when. Does anyone have any advice they could give me ???
I’m an adoptee and it’s very important for us to know where we came from. We had no control over the life changing event of us being adopted out. We are living people also. Please reconsider speaking to your birth child. The truth is always the best policy.
Your birth child was not reckless. They want answers, you were not giving them so they found another way to get them. The fact that you lied to your daughter about who this “child” was is really sick. They have a right to know siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins ect even if you dont want to talk to them. You need to tell your family about this before it blows up.
My mother and sisters made me give up my son and what know one tells you is Is that the baby you gave up an get there birth certificate when they are of the age 21 so they can look you up on the inter net and find out where you live your phone number so you should just call him my kids know about my son so does my husband my kids want to meet him but I have to pay 3 hundred bucks just to find out if my so is alive I do nut have that and even if I preyed that and he is alive its up to him if he wants to meet me so If I were you I would talk to your kids and tell them all about it they will understand my kids understood they were mad at my mother and sisters but they still understand so I would do not anything but I would pay if I had the money just to get to know my son your child may have kids I would call him or her I do not have Facebook or any thing like that if I were you I would call just answer any questions what would it hurt you might become friends it’s better than asking yourself if he or she hates you because of this like I said before I have to pay just to see if my son is died or. Alive I just do not have that kind of money and if I pay its up to him so if he so not want to meet me or any thing like that I just wasted 3hundred bucks that could have went on a bill or two I would for my kids and Ito meet him please call your child tell your family about this child. They will under stand I hope this has helped you
Want to find a adoptee support group near clinton tn. My partner was adopted and needs and wants to find help dealing with it. Thank you
Any adoptee support groups in Utah. I could use it, it’s been affecting me for many many years.
Hi, Kevin — You might try reaching out to local adoption psychologists, such as those listed here: https://utpsych.org/directory (Try using the “Adoption/Foster Care” filter). They may be able to direct you to local resources. Best of luck!
Any adoptee support groups in New Jersey, been struggling for a while
Hi, Brian — We’re sorry for the struggle you’re going through. Have you tried online support groups? There is an NYC adoptee support group that might be able to help you work through your feelings: https://www.meetup.com/adoptees-40/ Best of luck!
Are there any support groups for kids who aged out of the system? I haven’t been able to find anything that wasn’t for foster parents.
Hi, Rachel — We’re a domestic infant adoption agency, so we’re not well-versed on this topic. However, there are a few Facebook groups you might join: Former Foster Children United and Former Foster Youth of America. Someone there might be able to give suggestions on other online and in-person support groups. You might also reach out to your local Department of Social Services; they may know of some groups, too. Good luck!
Hello, I’m a the husband of a 39 year old adoptee. I’m a former investigator and when I met her she had never met her biological parents. I dove straight into this challenge and was able to find her biological parents within three months of meeting her. Since this time it has kinda opened a sort of “Pandora’s box” of problems for her. Her biological parents desire a relationship with her, however her adopted mother now resents her for seeking out her biological mom and dad. Now she is stuck between her adopted mother, not wanting to hurt her feelings, and not necessarily fitting in with these two new families (her biological mother’s family) and (biological father’s family). She is truly stuck because her adopted mother has no desire of meeting the birth parents or even acknowledging them.
Just need some advice on chat rooms or support groups of people that are experiencing the same thing.
Columbia, South Carolina
Where are the groups for adoptees? There are tons of groups for birth mothers (who cares). Tons of groups for adoptive parents (they have no clue) But there are no groups for the people actually experiencing the effects of being adopted.
Hi, Beryl — This is an older article, and we agree that a section of “adoptee support groups” would have been helpful to include. However, there are some links within the article to adoptee support groups and sites; you can read back through to find them. We also provide a list of adoptee support groups on our website, too: https://www.americanadoptions.com/adoption/adoptee-support-groups Thanks for your concern!
I adopted my boyfriends uncles child through dcs i got her when she was 2 she is now 6 years old. She knows she is adopted and I have never lied to her recently she has started saying thing like I miss my real parents and saying she wants to see them. Her bio father will be in prison till 2028 and mom is slowly getting her life together. She doesn’t even remember a life with them just knows she has bio parents. I dont know how to react or what to say and am feeling kinda sad and just looking for a group to talk with.
My husband and I adopted a baby boy in 1983. Our life as a family was enriched beyond words. When our son was 3, his personality changed and as time went on he grew angry and hostile toward me. Since my husband’s death 10 years ago, the relationship between my son and I has turned bitter and ugly. I love him unconditionally, however the accusations and meanness he uses to hurt me are unbearable. I believe much of his anger/resentment is seeded in a feeling of abandonment, particularly toward his birth mother.
He suffers some form of mental illness, but will not seek help. I am of the believers who never give up on a child. Never! At this time, I am so depleted and do not know where to turn for help. Over these 39 years, I have had extensive therapy in an attempt to help both my son and myself. I want to find a support group of other adoptive parents who are struggling with similar issues.
Please tell me there is hope and help,
Hi Victoria, I have an adult child whom is my natural born child. His Biological father was never in the picture and my husband at the time ,adopted him at 4 yrs of age. He was told at an early age of his adoption but doesn’t remember. Then told again at 15(he is now since then he has been trying to find his Bio dad , with some success (I give him as much info as I know) the Bio parent flaked out on him every time. So he quit yet he says he does not feel whole and needs to feel in the blanks. He gets so emotional and then so angry ! How do I help him. Any and all help is appreciated
If adopting from India, you can join our support groups on Facebook. We have pre, in process and post adoption groups. The in process and post groups are hidden for privacy. The pre group is: Indian Adoption Information Interest Group. All free and amazing community.
I am reaching out to anyone who can tell me where I can find support for my adopted cousin. His relationship with his family is in shambles and all are struggling to find ways to heal and mend. He was adopted as an infant from India. He has three siblings that are all biological children of his parents. His family is incredibly conservative and religious, and he recently came out and told his parents he is gay. It was not taken well. He’s now an adult and has had several mental health struggles that have wound him up in very dangerous circumstances. There are so many factors involved that it might be a stretch to find someone/something that he will feel is relatable to his specific feelings, but I’m going to try. If anyone has advice, I would be eternally grateful. Thank you.
You made a good point that a lot of empathy should come with the process of adopting a child. I have a friend who would like to look for adoption support services soon because she recently found out that she is infertile. Perhaps she should wait a few month to let this shock die down before trying to discuss with her husband if they are fit to just adopt instead.
Hello, I am an adoptive mother whose adult son just recently united with both his Birth Mother and her family and his Birth Father and his family. He is struggling with a lot of mixed feelings. He is happy to be united with them and he also has feelings of sadness about the life his half siblings had with his birth parents that he missed out on. I am looking for a good adoptee support group in the St. Paul Minnesota area that can be of help.
Hi there, I am an adopted mom, who was chosen by a birth family because child protected services wouldn’t allow them to raise their son. They chose us through an agency that fosters open adoption and we are very much willing and have honored the level of openness we committed to originally. When it came time for termination of parental rights, the birth parents claimed in court that they tried to revoke during the 30 day period, which is not true. They both have conflicting testimony and now we are scared to death of what is going to happen to our now 16 month old son. He is thriving and we very much want him to know his birth family but the legal situation has been terrifying and very expensive. Meanwhile, his birth siblings from the same birth parents were placed in a closed kinship adoption and the adopted mom is fighting to adopt our son as well. It’s been such a tough road and we are exhausted. I really hope the judge recognizes the importance of permanence especially with a family that has committed to openness all the way through. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?
I am the mother of a 20 year old daughter adopted from China as an infant. For the last year or so things have not been good and recently it all came to a head when she told me, “I don’t like you and don’t think I ever really have” and that when she talks to me she feels like “puking.” There is more to it, of course, but I’m heartbroken and looking for a support group for parents of adult adoptees who’ve been rejected by their child.