How to Start an Adoptee Support Group

     Searching for an adoptee support group, but have yet to find one? Here are  10 tips to help you create an adoptee support
    group in your area. 
    1. Network, find someone that can help you co-host meetings. That one person may know someone that knows someone. Your group may start small, but it will be intimate which is needed especially in the beginning.
    2. Place ads in your local newspaper classified section, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, and library with the header stating “Adoptee Support Group Meeting” or something similar to gain the attention. Make sure to add your email address and phone number.
    3. Once you have gathered some interest think of a place that is public and commonly suitable for everyone to attend such as a library or Starbucks (safety first).
    4. Check in on adoption forums to see if anyone has an adoptee support group that is willing to offer advice to you in regards to starting up your group and topics to discuss.
    5. Select a date, time, and place for your meeting and inform everyone that has responded to your emails and phone calls.
    6. Host your meeting. Have someone at the door taking down names, phone numbers, and email addresses. First thank everyone for attending and showing their support. Introduce yourself and if you have a co-host, and speak briefly about your decision to start an adoptee support group.
    7. Open the floor up for introductions.  Then you can proceed with asking those that attended what topics they would like to see shared.
    8. Before you bring the meeting to a close be sure to ask everyone if they have signed the contact information sheet. Thank everyone for coming and be sure to announce the next meeting date.
    9. Now that you have the consensus of what adoptees are seeking from this support group, reach out to your community, lawyers, search angels, private investigators, therapist, that are willing to speak at your meetings and offer advice…for free that is.
    10. YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO START A SUPPORT GROUP. Just be safe about it if it is in a public place. Ask your school about starting one on campus or a church leader about having one at church. You can make it as fun and funky as you wish. Some days will be filled with laughter and some will be filled with tears. However, to know you have people that have your back and understand how you feel is always a great feeling. You are not alone.
     
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    Jessenia Arias
    Jessenia Arias
    I'm Jessenia. I am an adult adoptee with 10 years of experience advocating and fostering relationships with adoptees, and over five years of experience teaching adoptive parents how to have a successful and genuine relationship with their adopted child.

    2 Comments

    1. Muzik says:

      Thanks Von! I had been thinking about the importance of counseling through peers. I attend spoken word poetry venues and it made me think of all the discussions we have and how close many of us are. I admire seeing people gather together to help one another. Plus you cant go wrong with coffee, tea, snacks, and healing!

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