At the heart of every adoption is an adoptee, an adoptive parent and a birth mother. This is called the adoption triad, and it's the base of the adoption community. Although each member of the adoption triad experiences adoption in a unique way, they are connected forever by association as well as compassionate understanding of the other members' roles in adoption.
An adoptee is an adopted infant, child or teen. A birth mother is an adoptee's biological parent. An an adoptive parent is the person who accepts full parental responsibility for an adoptable child. The amount of time and energy that each of the parents put into the transition from birth mother to adoptive parent is one of the strongest connections any parent can experience. However, it's unfortunately not always seen with such a productive perspective. In fact, it's often thought that the two parental triad members are threatened by one another as they both have the power to break the adoption triad at any point prior to an adoption finalization.
The word "triad" conjures up the idea of a triangle, with each member at the vertex of each edge. This image, however, resembles a love triangle, which is often thought of to be a negative symbol. The triad should be thought of as a supportive framework rather than three disparate points at affectionate odds.
In fact, it's the complete opposite. The triad dynamic is different for every adoption. In closed adoptions, the adoptive parents and birth parents will never meet. However, their respective roles are equally important and merge at the desire to arrange a permanent placement in the adoptee's best interest.
There's no shortage of emotion in pre- or post-placement, making support groups paramount in successfully preparing for adoption and its life-long consequences. Adoptive parents and birth mothers who are considering open or semi-open adoption may even want to join a triad support group. They may not have to go together, but it can help build the foundation for a deeper understanding of what other triad members experience. In the end, it takes three to make an adoption work. If one or two of the triad members do not share the same vision or step outside of their triangle's corner to see the perspective of the other person, the adoption community would be a far more conflicted place instead of one that values strong families and new beginnings.
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