Improving Adoptive and Birth Parent Relationships

Adoptive and birth parent relationship

The Adoption Wait, Episode 7

"The way families approach to children in this space that they are hoping to adopt is often leading with this idea of ownership. And you see that in just language people use... While it feels like it could just be looked at as semantics, it's really reflective of a larger idea, a larger feeling that there's entitlement to this woman's child in some way.”
–Kathryn Russell

If you have already started your adoption journey, you know that in the adoption world, adoptive parents are encouraged to educate themselves on all things adoption. But, oftentimes waiting adoptive parents come into the adoption process with little knowledge of how to navigate a relationship with expectant parents.

In this episode, we talk to Kathryn Russell, a licensed social worker, the director of Absolute Love Adoptions, and the creator and host of the Absolute Love Podcast. Kathryn walks through the adoption wait daily through her work with expectant parents and waiting adoptive parents and that experience led her to create a one-of-a-kind course she just launched called A Tale of Two Mothers: The Power Balance Between Birth Parents & Adoptive
Parents in Adoption.

If you have never met a birth parent and feel anxious about how to navigate a relationship with an expectant or birth parent, this is the episode for you.

Here’s what you will hear:

• The biggest mistakes waiting adoptive parents make in their relationships with expectant parents during their wait.
• Why you need to be prepared that your relationship won’t look anything like your openness agreement.
• What adoption professionals need to do to prepare waiting adoptive parents about how the power dynamic plays out in adoption.
• Why waiting adoptive parents need to accept that biological parenting and adoptive parenting are different

Links We Talk About & How to Find our Guest:
Online Adoption Course:

Bio: Kathryn Russell has been the director of Absolute Love since 2016. She has a degree in psychology from Syracuse and a Masters in Social work from University of Pittsburgh. Kathryn is a social worker, an avid traveler, an artist, and doula / birth junkie. She now lives in her hometown of Erie, PA with her husband and 2 young children.

About this Podcast

The Adoption Wait podcast was created for waiting adoptive parents looking for ways to feel less alone in their adoption journey. Join author and host Laci Richter (Refuel Your Wait: Find Hope and Overcome Fear While Adopting) as she chats with adoptive parents who have been through the wait. If you are waiting to adopt, these are the conversations that will offer practical advice and emotional support from those who get it.

Laci Richter