How little does “the average person” know about adoption?

How little does “the average person” know about adoption?

by Beth Kozan

Perhaps I found the answer in a conversation I had with the insurance agent who, six months ago, negotiated my current car and homeowners insurance policies. He’s new to the office – all my previous contact with the agent has been through his secretary.

I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Arizona. To generate funds to help me publish my books, I do adoption-related counseling. I’ve been in private practice for six years, following almost 35 years with adoption agencies.

No insurance

In addition to my professional liability insurance, I need a general liability policy, commonly referred to as a “slip and fall policy,” for the office I’m renting. I was shopping to see if there was an advantage to having a separate policy for the required “slip and fall,” rather than attach it to my professional liability policy.

“What kind of counseling do you do?” the agent asked.

“I work with people who are touched by adoption,” I replied.

“Then you work with kids?”

“Not necessarily. I work with adoptive parents, sometimes with their children. I work with couples who might be deciding whether to end ‘doctoring’ to try to achieve a pregnancy and turn to adoption. I work with adoptees beginning to search for their original families, or meeting a birth parent for the first time. I work with birth mothers who placed a child for adoption in years past, perhaps in secrecy. I work with almost anybody whose life is touched by adoption.”

“Huh. I know people who do education counseling, but I never heard of that. I’ll talk to the companies I work with.”

The next morning he called to say, “None of the companies I work with will issue a policy because of the type of counseling you do.”

“But,” I say, “I’m not asking for professional liability; I need slip-and-fall liability, in case somebody is injured on the property.”

“Well, no one I do business with will touch your type of counseling!

I am astounded. What did he say to these underwriters? What misrepresentation makes the counseling I do more dangerous than the colleagues in the same office who work with divorcing parents engaged in custody fights, or depressed people who are waging a battle with suicide? Or gender issues? Or job-related problems?

I am angry, and it takes a lot to make me angry! It also gives me fuel to know that my books on adoption are needed!


Beth Kozan is the author of the upcoming books, Adoption: More Than by Chance and Beth KozanHelping the Birth Mother You Know. Beth worked in adoption for 35 years and retired to write. She has many more books than these titles to write and will emphasize and explore the concept of community in her additional books. “Growing up in a close agriculture-based, rural community in Texas, I felt the comfort and bonds of caring for others which is often missing in our busy lives today. Exploring and building communities for today is my writer’s goal.” Follow Beth on Facebook or vist her website, where she reviews books and films featuring adoption.

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