Our Counselors

Nina M. Friedman, LCSW,

Director of Post Adoption Support

Nina has over 14 years of social work experience, working with foster and adoptive children and families, birth parents, and adult adopted people both at The Cradle and in the public child welfare system. She has also worked in private practice as a therapist.

Nina has an in depth understanding of many adoption issues. She provides support and counseling to all members of the adoption circle, compiles Non-Identifying Information Reports, conducts and facilitates search and connection services, and helps adoptive and birth families mediate open adoption issues that arise.

Nina received her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in Psychology with a minor in Family Relations and Human Development and her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois.

To schedule an Informational Consultation with Nina:
Make an Online Appointment

I know this is emotional...

Video Transcript

When thinking about the possible outcomes when you’re looking for your birth parent, (Are they open? Are they not open? Is this a secret from the rest of their family? Is this something that everyone knows about and they’ve been waiting for you to contact all these years?) that’s something that we can talk about as well and think about. What happens if this is a secret, and your birth mother is willing to enter into this but maintain that secret from everyone in her family still? Or if she has kept this a secret from everybody and she wants to maintain that secret and she’s not open, and there isn’t a possibility for a connection?

You know, these are some of the things that we can prepare for and think about and talk about and then, if that outcome does happen, where do you go from here. Another possible outcome can be that the parent has passed away. And, you know, whether you expect it because of the age or not, it still can be a very challenging outcome emotionally to really deal with, because this is somebody who you’ve had in your mind and your heart, and you were looking to connect with and that isn’t the possibility any more. There’s potentially the opportunity to connect with other birth family members: whether the birth parent had siblings or they went on to marry, or not marry, and had other children. There’s always the possibility of connecting with them and then that’s a whole other level, because you’re preparing for a connection with your birth parent originally. And, then, now we need to take a step back and prepare for a possible connection with a sibling or an aunt or a birth uncle. And are they aware of the adoption?

If they are, well, again, maybe they’ve been waiting for you to reach out, or it’s a secret. And that’s a hurdle that needs to be jumped. And that’s where I would come in, in making that connection and offering support, guidance, resources to help them take in this new information and think about developing this relationship. And how to open up to you and your family to see where this goes so you can learn about them, they can learn about you. And I can facilitate that contact. To get started, I invite you to register for an informational consultation.