Addressing the needs of non-adopted siblings

Beth Hall, Adoption Educator and Co-Founder of Pact An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for parents of families with born and adopted children on how to create cohesion between all the children
Adoptive Parenting Tips | Addressing The Needs Of Non-Adopted Siblings
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Addressing the needs of non-adopted siblings

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Sometimes families end up with children that are born to them in the same family, as children that are adopted into the family. This creates a new dynamic. Very often, the people that get left behind in that conversation are those that weren't adopted into the family. We forget that it's their issue to. It's my issue too. I was born into my family and my sister was adopted. Everybody tended to focus on her, instead of on me and it was my experience too. I remember when we were little, my sister took my doll. She broke the head off. I was 8 or 9, she was 5. I was furious. I thought of the worst thing I could say to her. The worst thing came out of my mouth. "I don't care. You're not my real sister anyway." My sister really broke down in tears, and honestly, so did I. My parents did a good job. They came right up and I was punished. I knew what I had done was a breach of our family. What they could have done better -- they didn't have the tools to do better -- was to talk to me afterwards about; why did I think that was the worst thing I could say to my sister? I thought that, because I heard that from the world. I thought that maybe we weren't real sisters and I didn't know how to deal with that. I actually needed to talk about adoption, too. Sometimes we forget that all of us in the family are affected by this. We all need to feel entitled to talk about it, not just the person who is adopted, but all of us. We are all a family.

Beth Hall, Adoption Educator and Co-Founder of Pact An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for parents of families with born and adopted children on how to create cohesion between all the children

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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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