Are you a newly adoptive parent and hoping to connect with others in your area? Or are you a birth parent struggling for support? Maybe you’re an adoptee who just wants to know there are people who feel like you do.
There are oodles of online support groups through social media, organization websites and more. But what about the human connection? We all need to talk with people, get hugs, and see people face-to-face. Many communities throughout the world have support groups and resources available. However, some communities may not have exactly what you’re looking for. If this is the case, you may consider starting your own resource/support group. Following are some helps as you prepare to lead a new group:
- The North American Council on Adoptable Children offers great resources for those starting and continuing to run adoptive parent groups. These resources include information on how to get the group going from the ground level; managing the meetings; finances; how to become a nonprofit organization; developing the identity of the group, and more. They also include a curriculum for those interested in going beyond support and offering adoption education.
- The Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Local Adoption Support Group offers step-by-step instructions. They start with the very basics, including discussing the type of group you’re interested in, group names, group members, meeting locations, etc. The guide also includes specific advice from those who have already started their own groups. Other treasures included in this online guide are ideas for discussion topics and events, brainstorming ideas to get you going, and how to invite others to join.
- AdoptUSKids is a great resource for exploring more technical aspects of adoption with your newly founded resource/support group. Information on this site includes financial assistance, respite care, training after adoption, adoption tax credit, and more.
- There are also a lot of individuals who have been a part of adoption resource groups and adoption support groups who can offer individual advice and assistance. The Adoption.com forums are invaluable avenues for gathering people from all spectrums of the adoption community. Within these forums there will most definitely be an individual or many individuals who can mentor you on your journey to creating a group that fits your needs and the needs of your local community.
So let’s get started! Starting a group will not be the daunting task you once thought it might be. With online support and resources, you’re sure to be successful!