Lynda M. Costello, Attorney, 16th Judicial Circuit, Children’s Legal Services.
From the time she was placed with them, the adoptive family made sure to keep her biological mother involved in her life. At all times they treated the mother with respect and compassion. Even at times when the mother had not been around or had not been doing well, the adoptive family made the child feel that her mother still loved her. This helped the young child adjust to changes in her life and maintain a positive perception of her mother, despite not being able to be with her.
The adoptive family also facilitated visitation between the child and the mother, as well as with half-siblings. They visited the mother while she was incarcerated and provided the mother with pictures, drawings and school work from the child. They also told her stories about the child – how she was a flower girl in a wedding, all about the first time she was on an airplane and how well she did in kindergarten.
The adoptive parents continually emphasized to both the child and the mother that they would always have a place in each other’s lives.