Adoptive Families Together forms a supportive network of adoptive parents, who can combine experiences and information to strengthen our families and our adoptions. AFT families have adopted children domestically and internationally, infants and older children, kin and children with special needs. We welcome adopted persons, guardians, birth and foster parents, professionals working in the field of adoption and, of course, all adoptive families.
Parents enter adoption with personal visions of what becoming a family by adoption would be like. Many of us have been challenged by adoption concerns such as identity, loss and separation.
We know love is not enough.
We know that education, information, advocacy and the support of other families who have been there enhance the success of our families after our children have been placed. We know that education, information, advocacy and the support of other families who have been there enhance the success of our families after our children have been placed.
The service we consider most important is our network of monthly parent groups, hosted and facilitated by AFT Parent Coordinators. These parent run, confidential groups are primarily open discussions during which parents can share their personal concerns and needs around adoptive parenting. On occasion we invite speakers with expertise on issues relevant to our children and families to educate our group participants.
Collectively, our parents represent the best source of knowledge, resources and insight in understanding and meeting the needs of their children. Through mutual sharing and support, parents build a network with other adoptive parents in their communities.
Groups are meeting monthly in communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and now Maine! To learn more about our Parent Support Groups, or to get dates and the location of a group in your area, please call us at 617-587-1563.
AFT offers a series of workshops to educate people about the realities of the adoptive experience. To date, we have developed six distinct workshops, which we present to parents, professionals, and social work students in various settings. Below are descriptions of our different workshops.
Online Discussion Group
Our moderated on-line group provides parents with a 24-hour support forum, focusing on children with challenging behaviors and complex needs. Parents use the on-line group to seek information, share stories, gain and offer support. The group’s knowledgeable and experienced parents are especially helpful to newly forming families.
AFT provides many resources, including our newsletter, book, and pamphlets, a selection of recommended reading, web links to local and national adoption-related organizations, and post-adoption services in Massachusetts. We publish the following:
In Their Own Words . . . Reflections on Parenting Children with Mental Health Issues: The Effect on Families: Thanks to the generosity of AFT members and friends, the 3rd edition of our resource book, In Their Own Words…Reflections on Parenting Children with Mental Health Issues: The Effect on Families is available. By request, this edition is updated and revised to be a resource for families nationally. Massachusetts resource listings are available as an insert. All members receive a copy of this book with their new member packages. If you are interested in purchasing additional copies, please contact us at 617-587-1563 or emailing us.
Pamphlet Series – A complete set of pamphlets is free when you subscribe as a member. Members may purchase additional copies and non-members can order pamphlets at a cost of $4.00 each by calling us at 617-587-1563 or emailing us.
The Anniversary Collection – A selection of prose and poetry by AFT members previously published in our newsletters.
Choosing a Therapist – Although one of the most important decisions a parent will make, this process is often confusing and intimidating for those of us unfamiliar with the world of mental health. Here is an easy to read guide to inform and assist you.
Restraint and Seclusion – What defines restraint and seclusion? How do these actions affect our children both emotionally and physically? This pamphlet includes methods of proactively questioning your child care provider to reduce and eliminate restraint and/or seclusion from your child’s treatment plan.
When The Going Gets Tough – What constitutes a crisis? How will I know and what should I do? Pamphlet includes criteria, pro-active language, and a suggested plan of action.
Reading and ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic…Children with Loss Issues, Complex Families and Their School Experience – Children often feel different when traditional school assignments ask for personal information they may not have or feel comfortable sharing.
School Days…What Adoptive Parents Would Like Teachers to Know – This pamphlet relates learning objectives to assignments and gives concrete suggestions that will expand assignments to include all children.
Difference Matters – Articles about racial differences, racism, bullying and suggested strategies to help children learn to be safe.
Parent to Parent…AFT Adoptive Parents Share their Lessons Learned – As parents of children who have been adopted, we have a big job to do. Here is a collection of tried and true suggestions and tips from AFT parents.
Newsletters – Our newsletter, The Network, is sent directly to members. Back issues of The Network are available to read and download by clicking on the titles below.
Alternatives to the Traditional Family Tree Assignments – AFT developed a series of worksheets to use instead of traditional family trees. These alternatives are more reflective of the complex family structures of children in every classroom. These worksheets are available for you to reprint and share with your children’s classroom teachers. Themes available include:
Our calendar lists locations of Parent Group Meetings and other group information including events and speakers. The complete AFT Parent Group schedule is available in a PDF format for easy reference and for printing. Click here to view.
Childcare is available at the Jamaica Plain, Kittery, Portsmouth and Roslindale Parent Support Groups. To ensure there are enough childcare providers, please call us at 617-587-1563 to pre-register your child(ren).
For more information about our groups and group cancellations due to bad weather, please call us at 617-587-1563.
The success of our program depends on our members. Each individual and family contributes their unique experience, knowledge and perspective. Our membership includes families who have adopted children domestically and internationally, infants and older children, kin and children with special needs. We welcome adopted persons, birth parents, foster parents and guardians, and professionals working in the field of adoption.
Member benefits include:
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