Let’s Discuss Mitigation – Pre Surrender

This week we will talk about Mitigation and Management of Collateral Damage.

Monday and Tuesday will be Mitigation. Wednesday and Thursday will cover Management. Friday will be pot luck.

Before we begin, let us define mitigation. See below definition from dictionary.com


1. the act of mitigating, or lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant, as wrath, pain, grief, or extreme circumstances

2. the act of making a condition or consequence less severe: the mitigation of a punishment.

3. the process of becoming milder, gentler, or less severe.

4.a mitigating circumstance, event, or consequence.

Thinking about mitigation in the context of an expectant mother considering surrendering her chlid, unborn or born, to adoption, what can we do to lessen the possible impact of collateral damage?

The most obvious response you may have is for her to parent. Do not surrender and you do not set loose the plague of adoption trauma locusts. I would agree. Family preservation avoids this. However, since there will be mothers who will choose surrender, what counsel would you give them in advance to lessen possible collateral damage? What should a therapist or social worker share with the mother to mitigate the wound of adoption surrender post placement?

Let me give you a few commonly heard suggestions to get you thinking:

Informed Consent

  • – Expand the “informed” to include more than just the inability to revoke. Offer (require?) resources that include talking to adoptees, exploring parenting options, understanding PTSD that some mothers experience
  • – Explain that adoptive parents are no better than biological parents over the lifetime. They divorce, struggle with substances abuse, even abuse and murder children — just like biological parents do. They are not a supreme being rather human and fallible just like biological parents.


This old post of mine, White Flag Realities, might also be useful.

Okay, your turn.

What more might we offer to mothers considering surrendering their child to adoption to help them understand possible side effects of adoption on both her and her child?

Let’s Talk Collateral Damage : Pot Luck

Today’s final post on Collateral Damage is a pot luck post. You tell me anything I may have overlooked in relation to the impact adoption surrender had on your life.

It can be anything from your relationships to family and friends, your children, your health, your marriage, you emotional well being.

Next week we will talk about ways to mitigate the damage. Mitigation is the the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something. If we know surrendering mothers might experience some of these challenges, what can we do to reduce the severity of them post surrender? I realize the obvious mitigation is to avoid surrender completely and preserve the family. However, in the cases where this cannot happen, what can we offer to those expectant mothers prior to surrender?

Finally, managing the damage post surrender. The adoption surrender has already happened. Mother is in throes of post traumatic stress disorder. What improvements need to be made to help mothers manage this? These are all topics for next week.

For today, share your pot luck damage.

Have a great Friday.

Let’s Talk Collateral Damage : Education & Careers

Winding up our week of talking Collateral Damage in adoption, there are two more posts (this being one of them). Next week we will talk mitigation and management of the collateral damage.

This one relates to your career and/or education. Adoption lore suggests one of the many reasons a mother should reliniquish her child to strangers is to enable her to finish college and gain a rewarding career. The inference being that you cannot go to college or get a good job while parenting because well, parenting a child will ruin your life.

So, I ask. Did you go to college? Gain that rewarding career? Or did something else happen? Did you opt to be an at home mom?

Education and Careers Post Surrender

College – If you surrendered young (meaning before or while college age), did you end up going to college post surrender? Did you graduate? How did that work out for you?

Under College Educated vs. Over Educated – If you did not go, did the reason have anything to do with adoption? If you did go, did you pursue higher education relentlessy (as some mothers have) in an effort to well, prove something to yourself or others?

Career – Regardless of your position, do you share your adoption status with your coworkers or colleagues? Do you live in fear of being “found out” professionally? Has adoption surrender (or reunion) impacted your job in any way? Did you choose a career related to adoption or chidren?

Other – Anything related to education, career and adoption you want to share?