The adoption symbol: a triangle embraced by a heart. The triangle represents the three parties involved in adoption: the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the person who was adopted. I belong to the adoptive parent side of the triad, but I spend a lot of time reading blogs and comments written by the other two sides of the triad.

I always learn a ton when I read the words shared by these other two groups of people. They, like no others, can teach me about the complexities of adoption, about the parts of the story I will never experience, about the need for reform, and about adoption loss. But something I often hear when I’m reading these articles is that adoptive parents need to stop writing about their experiences; the only voices that should be heard are those of birth parents and people who were adopted. I have to disagree.

Adoption is hard. Adoption is complex. We all need support on this journey, and I would argue that we all need each other. I need to hear all three voices. I need to hear from other adoptive parents. I need the support and guidance from people who understand what I’m going through. I need to hear from birth parents. I need them to broaden my perspective as I navigate my relationship with my son’s birth parents. I need to hear from people who were adopted. I need to listen to their experiences and let them provide insight into the loss my son has experienced and the challenges he will face going forward.

To the birth parents and people who were adopted reading this: I’m not trying to speak for you. When I write, it isn’t to bury your voice. I’m listening, and so are many other adoptive parents out there. Please keep writing, keep talking, keep sharing. The voices of each member of the triad are valid and valuable. The conversation isn’t complete until all three sides can be heard, and if we validate each other, all of our voices become stronger.