The Birthparent Support Group is an ongoing support meeting for birthparents who have placed children in an open adoption through Adoption Options. The group offers a safe, caring and confidential place for birthparents to share their stories, discuss issues unique to open adoption and celebrate their relationships in a supportive atmosphere. It is an open group allowing birthparents to attend as they desire. There are no fees.
The Birthparent Support Group is facilitated by Adoption Options’ social worker, Mackenzie Godlien, and will take place via Zoom every six weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. For each meeting, Mackenzie hopes to create a space where you feel comfortable to share what you would like. If you would rather join and simply observe, your participation is still always welcomed, appreciated and wanted.
Adoption Options has a private Facebook group for birthparents who have a placed (or are in process of placing) a child for adoption within Alberta. This is a confidential (“FB secret”) group, and is a great way to connect with other birthparents, learn new resources and information, offer and receive support, and chat with others about the journey of open adoption. To join the group, please email your Adoption Options’ social worker or Mackenzie Godlien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021-2022 Meeting Schedule
Please note that dates and topics can be subject to change, but in general this will be our calendar for the 2021-2022 year.
Reminders to RVSP will be sent three weeks prior to each meeting, please note that we require four attendees as a minimum to run each meeting.
September 14, 2021 Gathering, Connecting and Goal Setting
We will come together for our first meeting of the year to gather and (re)connect. We will spend some time talking about how the summer/ year has been. This will be an open space to share about how you’re feeling, but also to set some goals and intentions for the year moving forward and what you all hope to see reflected in this group throughout the year.
October 26, 2021 Managing Relationships
For this meeting we hope to blend between discussing stories as well as suggesting skills to help manage adoption relationships, which can include topics such as: boundaries, conflict, how to talk with your child about their story as they grow, etc.
December 7, 2021 Preparing for and Navigating Through the Holidays
Sometimes holidays can be particularly difficult for birthparents, and with Christmas right around the corner may be feeling the absence of their birthchild more deeply. Through discussing this topic together, we hope to offer validation and support.
January 18, 2021 Storytelling
As with every meeting, this is a safe space to share your story. This is a commonly requested topic as many of you share that this is one of the most special or sacred aspects of this group; that coming into a safe space where there is common understanding, no judgement, and no expectation of how to package and then divulge your stories is supportive and healing. There is a beautiful power found in the sharing of stories, and the connection that can come from it is a gift you all give each other. Come as you are and share what feels comfortable.
March 1, 2021 Grief and Loss in Adoption
Making an adoption plan can come with some complex emotions, and grief is often the centerpiece. This session will offer the opportunity of growth and healing through talking about our experiences, sharing our thoughts and feelings, and discussing what has been helpful or a hinderance in navigating through and managing the waves of emotion that may arise within this grief.
May 7, 2021 Birthmother’s Day *Time TBA*
This is a sacred day of importance to be honored and celebrated. We plan to host a special gathering on this day that will take place in the afternoon. Details on this event will be shared in the Spring.
June 14, 2021 Life After Making an Adoption Plan: Parenting, Dating, Talking About Being a Birthmother, etc.
Through each others shared stories, and in an environment of care and support we will talk about what it means to walk through life after making an adoption plan. This will include navigating the world of dating, parenting, and more. We will also chat about how you may talk with people about being a birthmother and sharing this with others. Such as in new friendships, with family members, colleagues… especially when it is asked “do you have children?” We will talk about the feelings that come up when this question is asked, and collectively share skills for coping