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Post-Adoption Support Groups

The Cradle offers virtual psychoeducational support groups, moderated by Nina Friedman, LCSW, Director of Post Adoption Support. Having the opportunity to connect with others, and to share with and hear from those who understand your experience, is important. These groups will allow you to talk about the challenges and joys you may have experienced, while receiving support from a clinically trained therapist.

Registration is required and space is limited. Payment is due before the first session. 

To learn about Cradle and Illinois post adoption support services go to Post Adoption Support. Additionally, The Cradle provides private and personalized counseling to anyone touched by adoption.

Beneath the Mask

7-8:15 p.m. CT on Tuesdays from Jan. 9-Feb. 13, 2024 (six weeks)
7-8:15 p.m. CT on Wednesdays from Oct. 9-Nov. 13, 2024 (six weeks)

This group, for adult adoptees over the age of 21, will use the concepts from the book Beneath the Mask, by Debbie Riley, LCMFT, with John Meeks, MD. Even though the book was written about teens and young adults, we believe the six key areas of vulnerability they identify about the adoption experience are significant regardless of an adopted person’s age.

We will address the disguises adopted people hide behind, why the struggle to form one’s identity is more complex for adopted people and look at the six “stuck points” or emotional challenges people face as they integrate the adoption experience into who they are. Over six sessions, we will discuss the questions, concerns and challenges of each stuck point, which are Reason for Adoption, Identity, Difference, Mission or Difficult Information, Loyalty and Permanence.

09jan7:00 pm8:15 pmBeneath the Mask7-8:15 p.m. CT on Tuesdays from Jan. 9-Feb. 13, 2024 (six weeks)

7 Core Issues in Adoption

7-8:15 p.m. CT on Thursdays from April 4-May 9, 2024 (six weeks)

This group, for adult adoptees people over the age of 21, will address the 7 Core Issues in Adoption as identified by Silverstein and Kaplan: Loss, Rejection, Guilt/Shame, Grief, Identity, Intimacy and Mastery/Control. Understanding these core issues, and how they impact your life, can be validating. Participants can expect to talk about their experiences, hear other people’s stories, struggles and joys, give and receive support, and better understand the lasting effects of the adoption experience.

About the Moderator

Nina M. Friedman has an in depth understanding of adoption issues. She has extensive experience working with adoptive and foster children and their families, adult adoptees, and birth parents. Prior to joining The Cradle’s staff in 2004, she worked with adoptive and foster families at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and Community Counseling Centers of Chicago. She also had a private social work therapy practice working with individuals, couples, and families.

Nina has a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in Mental Health and a specialization in Family Therapy. As an undergraduate, she majored in Psychology with a minor in Family Relations and Human Development at The Ohio State University. Nina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois, has her DCFS Child Welfare Employee Licensure and is a Licensed Direct Child Welfare Services Employee. She represents The Cradle on the Illinois Adoption Registry-Confidential Intermediary Advisory Council, the Illinois Post Legal Adoption Services Meeting of Agencies, the Original Birth Certificate Access Oversight Committee, and the Stakeholder Advisory Team for the National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation.

Learn about ways to give

The Cradle’s support for all those touched by adoption is made possible by our community.

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