Birth Parents and their Options Counseling Experiences

A special initiative focused on the birth parent perspective will add much needed information to the larger body of adoption-related research.

DonaldsonThe Donaldson Adoption Institute shared some exciting news via a 9/24/15 press release:

“We are so proud to announce a collaboration with a research team from the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work on a new study of Options Counseling experiences. The study will be conducted by Dr. Elissa Madden and Dr. Scott Ryan. They will investigate the decision making experiences of women and men who relinquished their parental rights as well as the context and standards that guide professionals who provide options counseling. Ultimately, DAI will seek to use this knowledge to suggest best practice standards.

The Options Counseling project is being led by Brenda Romanchik, LCSW, ACSW, CTS, author of “Birthparent’s Book of Memories” and other publications. Brenda is a therapist in private practice specializing in trauma, grief and depression. She is also adjunct Professor at Wayne State University. For 12 years she served as the Founder and Executive Director of Insight Open Adoption Resources and Support.

The Lynn Franklin Fund is guided by an advisory group, all of whose members have a personal and/or professional connection to adoption, including being first/birth parents. Advisors are charged with offering their expertise in steering projects that fall within the Lynn Franklin Fund to ensure that research, advocacy and education in this area is in keeping with the reality of the adoption experience today.

DAI anticipates release of the completed Options Counseling study in the second half of 2016. This vital work is made possible by the Lynn Franklin Fund, a unique, dedicated source of financing for DAI projects that focus on the insights, experiences, needs and aspirations of first/birth parents and expectant parents considering adoption. The goal of the fund is to ensure that the voices of this too-often-marginalized group are heard in every relevant and practical discussion of adoption-related laws, policies and practices.

The Donaldson Adoption Institute”