Enlightening society’s perceptions of adoption
Bellis’ trained volunteers present accurate adoption education to thousands of high school students. Student surveys show the impact of this work: After hearing the presentation, 80% of students say they see adoption in a more positive light; 79% say they now understand how to talk about adoption in a more sensitive way. By educating young people about adoption, we strive to create a better informed, more understanding culture for those whose lives are touched by adoption. In many cases, we are the students’ main source of accurate adoption education. One teacher wrote: “The personal stories really opened everyone’s eyes. I think everyone is more educated now and has more of an open mind about the subject.”
Filling a gap in support services
While, in our experience, birth mothers generally do not regret the intentional plan they have made for their child and themselves, they can be caught unprepared for the stages of grief and acceptance that unfold in the months and years after placement. Bellis steps up to fill a gap in support services available to them. Bellis hosts a healing weekend retreat and opportunities for ongoing mentoring. Based on the positive impact of support offered to birth mothers, in 2017 Bellis is expanding services to include Adoption Connection gatherings, available to all adults with an adoption experience (birth parents, adoptive parents, adopted persons, birth and adoptive grandparents).
And, it should be noted, we are the only organization offering this range of support in Minnesota – and perhaps in the country.