An excerpt from the Foreword:

Beginning Your Adoption Journey
by Carol LieberWilkins, M.A.,
Marriage and Family Therapist, Adoption Counselor

PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page is protected by U.S. Copyright law and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without the express written permission of the author.

It is my great honor to be asked to write the foreword to this book. As an adoption educator and psychotherapist specializing in infertility and family-building options since 1985, I've guided hundreds of couples (and singles) through the emotional minefields of their adoption journey.

It will probably surprise you to learn that almost every prospective adoptive parent with whom I have worked was absolutely certain they would never meet a birthmother or birthfather because they (check all that apply to you):

  1. Bulletare too tall

  2. Bulletare too short

  3. Bulletare too skinny

  4. Bulletare too fat

  5. Bulletare too Jewish

  6. Bulletare too Christian

  7. Bulletare too Catholic

  8. Bulletare too Buddhist

  9. Bulletare a mixed faith couple or not religious at all or undecided

  10. Bulletare too old

  11. Bulletare too young

  12. Bulletare not educated enough or too educated

  1. Bulletare too wealthy (yes!)

  2. Bulletare not wealthy enough

  3. Bulletlive in a huge house

  4. Bulletlive in a modest apartment

  5. Bullethave curly hair

  6. Bullethave straight hair

  7. Bullethave tons of family locally

  8. Bulletall their family is dead

  9. Bullethave family living too far away

  10. Bulletare single

  11. Bulletlive in the big city

  12. Bulletlive in the suburbs

  13. Bulletlive in the country

  14. Bulletare disabled

  1. Bulletare a minority

  2. Bulletare not a minority

  3. Bulletare infertility thrashed

  4. Bullethaven't done enough infertility treatment to be worthy

  5. Bulletalready have one or two children

  6. Bullethave no children yet

  7. Bullethave already decided they are not worthy to become parents so why would they be chosen

  8. Bulletare too average

  9. Bulletare not average enough

  10. Bulletor...


Be honest, how many lines did you check?

Here's something else that will surprise you. Everyone that I have ever counseled who remained on the adoption path became a parent, despite having any or all of the perceived "deficits" above.

Coming to adoption after years of suffering from infertility usually leaves us pessimistic, frightened and intimidated. We feel ""unentitled" to become parents. I can use the word "us" here because I, too, walked this path. I am a mother who became a mother through the magical, mystical, complex, complicated, often difficult, spiritual process of adoption.

It is common and normal for everyone approaching adoption to have fears, including that they will not be chosen. Many are afraid that an open adoption will result in complicated relationships with birthparents. Then there is THE BIG FEAR: the feeling of being threatened by birthparents.

The more you understand birthparents and the adoption process, however, the more you will realize how untrue are many of the myths surrounding open adoption, and how little you have to fear. Birthparents are as different in their needs, personalities and styles as are prospective parents. For every aspect of you that you think will cast you in a negative light, there is a birthparent looking for someone exactly like you.

And most are at least as frightened as you are. They are often alone, confused, and in the most difficult situation any of us can possibly imagine. They cannot parent the child they have created and desperately need someone who can and will. They are often embarrassed, feel foolish, and feel "unentitled" just like you.

To the birthmother or birthfather, you look like you have it all. You (if not single) are married; you are old enough and mature enough to be good parents (as if that were a guarantee!!); in most cases you have more financial security than the birthparents (no matter how much you have); you want to parent; you have medical insurance, support systems, jobs, each other, and more. In other words you have and are many of the things birthparents do not have and are not.



This book teaches you concepts and steps consistent with good mental health. It will show you how to be congruent, in other words, to have your outsides match your insides. It encourages you to trust, both yourself, and the birth parent you hope to meet. And it will help you to introduce yourself to birth parents feeling very comfortable that the people described in your Dear Birthmother letter are absolutely you.

I hope this Guide fills you with confidence and enthusiasm as you begin the process of bringing into your lives the birth family that will eventually fulfill your dreams of parenthood. It's a wonderful journey, and one I urge you to honor and appreciate.

May your path be blessed with all the joys that adoption can bring.

Carole LieberWilkins, MA
September 23, 2001

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Look Inside the Book!

  1. BulletRead an excerpt from "The Golden Rules"

  2. BulletTable of Contents

  3. BulletA Note from the Author

PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page is protected by U.S. Copyright law and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without the express written permission of the author.