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ElizabethAnn

Open Adoption

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Evelyn,

So glad to hear sharing the news went well. And hopefully the lure of a new little brother or sister will have her spending more time at your home.

Andrea

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Ok so I got a call from a friend wanting some advice. Her friend is starting to look into adoption and knew she had a friend (me) who has adopted. She asked her if I knew of any agencies who did closed adoptions? YIKES!!!! She knew (my friend) that I would cringe but wanted to know if I had any info to pass along to her. So my question to y'all is what is a good web-site or do y'all have any info I can pass along to her? I don't know this lady but it sounds as if she just doesn't have all the info to make a good choice for her family yet. At least I'm going to give her that since I don't know her! I gave my friend all the benefits of an open adoption but since it's through another person I certainly would want to give her some concrete info to look into.

Thanks!

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Judy,

We found this page when we started researching domestic adoption: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_openadopt.cfm

It gives resources to help educate about openness, such as books. I didn't look at all the links and I'm not sure what's changed since I bookmarked the page many moons ago. Adoptive Families magazine/website is a must read for anyone considering adoption IMO. They have a page on open adoption: http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/openadoption.php

I personally cringe when people ask me about closed adoptions. After we adopted Rocco, this woman my step mom knew kept asking her what agency we used to "get a baby so fast," like I went shopping for him. My step mom gave me her contact information, but warned me that this woman didn't seem like she was in a good place to adopt. She told my step mom she was "desperate" for a baby but that her husband didn't want another child (he had children by a previous marriage, but she did not have children). My step mom said she acted like hubby not wanting another child was beside the point :blink: After I emailed her a long message outlining the things she needed to consider and where she could get more information, it was clear in her brief reply that she just wanted a baby and I even got the impression that she might not even tell a child he/she was adopted. I responded with some more information, and she emailed me back "Can you just give me the name of the agency where you got your baby?" :o She made my skin crawl and I flat out told her that I would NOT give her the name of the agency we used because she was not an appropriate fit with them.

Nicole

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I responded with some more information, and she emailed me back "Can you just give me the name of the agency where you got your baby?" :o She made my skin crawl and I flat out told her that I would NOT give her the name of the agency we used because she was not an appropriate fit with them.

Thank you for protecting your agency and its birthparents!!

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I responded with some more information, and she emailed me back "Can you just give me the name of the agency where you got your baby?" :o She made my skin crawl and I flat out told her that I would NOT give her the name of the agency we used because she was not an appropriate fit with them.

Thank you for protecting your agency and its birthparents!!

I agree! People talk to us often about adoption and ask for agency info because they are looking or know someone looking. We always let them know that Abrazo wants couples that want an open adoption and we can now add our personal experiences as an example. Open adoption is a hard concept in the beginning but I think it's just because of the unknown...but you have to be willing to learn more about it and open your minds and hearts to what it means. And people should be truthful with what they really want and find the right fit.

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I think it is hard when people come demanding like that. We've had a few people (some who we don't even know but heard through someone that heard through someone that we adopted FAST) and want to know how to do what we did. We try to explain that it is a long process, and while our son came to us relatively quickly in terms of adoption that it was an exception and that it is not something that can be rushed or forced. I have had a few random people ask me where they can get "a little boy like Luke since he's so cute." We also had someone that asked me (their words not mine!) "where can we get a little Mexican baby like that, but we don't want to deal with birthparents?!?!" I also told them I didn't think Abrazo would be the right fit!

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just a little add from the birthmom side...i have people all the time ask me how much my agency paid me/was paying me for my baby because they know someone who needs to place. I always tell them i didnt sell/am not selling my son and if your friend is planning to place because they need money they should seek counseling and prayer because it may not be the right decision for them. It's sad to think people truely believe you would only place out of money not love but that is society.It's like people asking me if i will have a baby for them because i placed that makes me mad and most of the time i honestly cant answer i just keep repeating in my head the bambie quote if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all. but boy is it hard hahaha

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just a little add from the birthmom side...i have people all the time ask me how much my agency paid me/was paying me for my baby because they know someone who needs to place. I always tell them i didnt sell/am not selling my son and if your friend is planning to place because they need money they should seek counseling and prayer because it may not be the right decision for them. It's sad to think people truely believe you would only place out of money not love but that is society.It's like people asking me if i will have a baby for them because i placed that makes me mad and most of the time i honestly cant answer i just keep repeating in my head the bambie quote if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all. but boy is it hard hahaha

Mandi, it amazes me how both sides get the classless comments! I think it is smart of you to try and make them rethink if they are thinking of placing for "payment" or solely financial benefit. That is one reason we went with Abrazo - so many shady agencies wouldn't think twice before working with someone doing that and even encourage it. I couldn't live with a child coming to us that way!

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Abrazo recently heard from a mom who's placed with us previously, who said her cousin placed in Texas not long ago, using an out-of-state, unlicensed adoption company who stood at the hospital bedside and counted out a four-figure cash payment in exchange for that baby. We were horrified; this is a felony in the State of Texas, but blackmarket adoptions are alive and well, and that's tragic for the child who just got bought and sold.

The parents who place and who adopt for all the right reasons know there's no way anyone could put a price tag on their child-- nor the experience. We are so thankful for Abrazo's clients for knowing-- and living-- this truth! and for all they try to do to educate an ignorant public who still believes otherwise.

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Mandi-thanks for sharing.

That was very wise advice about suggesting that the person seek counseling and prayer.

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OK so im asking a question and im thinking this is the perfect spot---- Also giving future APs and BPs something to think about and discuss with your matches....

What do you say when you're in public and asked about the relationship between each other?I felt really bad for Erin yesterday at the photo shoot when the photographer asked what the relationship was between us so she knew what pictures and poses to do. I didnt want to answer and seem like i was taking over but i could tell it made Erin feel awkward and it made me feel bad for all of us. So what do you say to this question when it comes up to you?

I ashamedly havent talked to Erin and Jeff about this i dont want to make them feel bad for something that has already made them feel bad.

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That's a great question Mandi! (As always ;) ) I know that in the past when we have been out with Garrett's birthmom I always worried someone might say who's his mom or something along those lines that might make her feel uncomfortable or hurt her feelings. I never want her to feel out of place and I want to respect her as well. I think that is another one of those things that should be discussed with one another just like what does the birthmom want to be called by/around the child.

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We had this happen when Mikayla was 4 days old! We went out to eat with A before we went home and the server was commenting on what a beautiful baby she was. He asked her if she was her baby and I applaud her for what she told him. The truth! Yes, this is my baby and these are my baby's parents. I think the only uncomfortable person there was the server.

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Sorry to hear your photographer was a bit tacky. Wish she had just asked what configurations of pictures you guys wanted. As I think about my answer to the question "what is our relationship" I don't know that it translates into exactly what pictures I want.

But since you asked when friends ask me about our relationship with our kids birth parents I say it's roughly like how my brother calls me to say his daughter did this or that. He knows I love his kids immensely and will celebrate with him in his kids lives. I say that we simply have an extra big family like another niece of mine Zoe whose parents and grandparents are all divorced and remarried so she has 8 sets of everything... That is how our open adoption family circle is for our kids extra big with extra big love.

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I personally think it is something you just have to work out. I told our photographer ahead of time that we wanted an open adoption shoot so that was ok. When she came here and someone asked or whatever we usually just said it straightforward and no one seemed too shocked! If you are comfortable with the term "birthmom" or "birthmother" I do think it is the clearest term that everyone knows. But if you don't like it then maybe you guys can come up with something else! I think mentioning to people (like the photographer) that you are in an open adoption helps ease everyone and makes the person feel like they won't say the wrong thing. I like the answer that Judy mentioned!

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Ps when we are out with Chrystal or jordyn I never introduce our roles I always wait and allow Chrystal or jordyn to say this is her son and who we are.

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Ok so i think i should clarify....I am fully okay with being called his birthmom and would she have asked who his mom was i definitely would have answered Erin because she IS his mom.....It was more the whole what is the relationship that got us all reaching for a response i think...i know my mind was "well these are his parents and they adopted him from me." or maybe "we are all part of an open adoption that surrounds Riley,the baby." I dont know really i guess its something i hadnt expected nor thought of before so i figured since i am trying to keep my experiences and emotions as help for others i would see if others had thought about this or been through it maybe.

And in using me as a learning experience i will add that you should also learn to be braver than me in taking the issue to your "other half" (AP or BP) before seeking advice elsewhere and im sorry that i havent im scared to make them think that it hurt my feelings or they did something wrong they didnt.It was a great experience and a true gift. And i should have said something right then.

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Just remember how new this all for you, Mandi and for E&J! You all care for each other so much and want to spare each other's feelings so it can all feel awkward especially at first. The great thing is the lines of communication are open and probably as your relationship grows you will look back and smile about the things that felt funny at first.

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Just a little insight as well. I placed once before this agency at Adoption Angels. I had no clue what to think. I knew not alot about adoption and wasnt very educated as to my rights. It was a quick decision as i was far along and desperate to find a safe place for my baby. I was given 2 profiles (again not really thinking that wasnt normal) and the reason for this was because apparently the other couples didnt want "black babies" I didnt know there last names, what city they lived in, i didnt have an address and i met them the day that i gave birth. She is 2 and still to this day dont hear from them. After she was born the phone and emails i had were not working anymore. And i remember being asked from an intake lady, "if you would win the lottery tomorrow, would that change your decision to keep your baby?" I was so dumb founded by the question. In reality im thinking YES YES i would keep my baby. But i was scared thinking if i said that they wouldnt allow me to place. I did ask why..She said, "well we want to make sure your 100% sure you want to do this. BEcause these couples spend there life savings going through the adoption process and if you decide to keep your baby, they are out of that money and may never be able to adopt again, ITs a one time thing for some people." LIKE A DUMB IGNORANT lady i still went through with it. When i found Abrazo i was SHOCKED at how an open adoption works.

Ok that looks weird..I was commenting on some threads from before about closed adoptions...LOL

Again, i am new to this??? LOL

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Wow Tara, I'm glad that you found Abrazo after that experience! Yes, adoption costs money but that should never ever be a factor into whether you should place or not. Money is money, sometimes you lose some and sometimes you win some (if only any of us would be lucky enough to win the lottery). Regardless of your knowledge of adoption and the practices, I wish all agencies would have the moral code of Abrazo and be truthful with everyone involved in adoption.

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Just a little insight as well. I placed once before this agency at Adoption Angels. I had no clue what to think. I knew not alot about adoption and wasnt very educated as to my rights. It was a quick decision as i was far along and desperate to find a safe place for my baby. I was given 2 profiles (again not really thinking that wasnt normal) and the reason for this was because apparently the other couples didnt want "black babies" I didnt know there last names, what city they lived in, i didnt have an address and i met them the day that i gave birth. She is 2 and still to this day dont hear from them. After she was born the phone and emails i had were not working anymore. And i remember being asked from an intake lady, "if you would win the lottery tomorrow, would that change your decision to keep your baby?" I was so dumb founded by the question. In reality im thinking YES YES i would keep my baby. But i was scared thinking if i said that they wouldnt allow me to place. I did ask why..She said, "well we want to make sure your 100% sure you want to do this. BEcause these couples spend there life savings going through the adoption process and if you decide to keep your baby, they are out of that money and may never be able to adopt again, ITs a one time thing for some people." LIKE A DUMB IGNORANT lady i still went through with it. When i found Abrazo i was SHOCKED at how an open adoption works.

Ok that looks weird..I was commenting on some threads from before about closed adoptions...LOL

Again, i am new to this??? LOL

I'm so sorry that happened to you with your previous adoption at that other agency. :( Thankfully, you now know of a place with ethics and genuine concern for all of the people involved but especially for the children. I pray that your daughter's family will find you and reach out to you somehow. We all make a lot of mistakes because we don't have all the information we need. You were thinking of your baby and how best to help her with what you knew at the time. Your intentions were pure and made out of love so try to find some comfort in that. :)

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Oh, Tara, I am so sorry you had to go through that and hope that you will see your daughter again. I totally agree with Jicelyn - money should not be a factor and that agency never should have said anything to you about the waiting parents situation! As others have said, I'm do glad you found an ethical agency and Nicole, Raj, and Rocco. I am lucky enough to live in the same general area and love to see Sky and this side of her family. She and our Joseph are only two days apart so they had fun together when we met up. So thankful for the openness you now have!

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I came across this article today (posted by a friend on FB). http://networkedblogs.com/R6h7o

I'm still processing it, but was definitely struck by numbers one and three. I am FB friends with my son's older siblings. They are great kids (age 14 and 16), and they have a very tight bond. I do get sad sometimes that he is missing out on growing up with them. Does anyone else ever feel like this?

On number 2, I thought it was interesting that the author's perception was that her adoptive mom got busy and neglected the relationship. This definitely may have been the case, but I know for me personally (and many of my friends who have adopted), it is the first parents who seem to step back from the relationship.

I think we all know that Open adoption is not the "cure" for adoption loss, but that it is definitely a better choice than the closed adoptions of years past. Would love to hear others thoughts about this article.

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(Cue the crickets chirping!!) :)

Nothing makes me sadder than to think that my children will feel loss for the choices made on their behalf. Or to think that our love and our family are "not enough." And I don't like to read/hear about the negatives of adoption. I had no idea when I started this journey more than 13 years ago, that there are so many people who strongly feel that adoption should be done away with. But, I don't see that as a realistic option. In a perfect world, of course it would not be necessary, but as we all know, our world is far from perfect. While I definitely think there is lots of room for reform with adoption, it is still necessary for people who are not at a place where they are ready to parent (or parent another child). I would hope that the reasons are beyond financial. And I would hope that they have been given the support to consider all the options and resources.

As far as the article goes, I think it's easy for anyone to think the grass is greener. Even my observation that I am sad sometimes that my son does not have the opportunity to "grow up with" his bio brother and sister is not rooted in reality. Because the reality is that even if he had not been adopted, he would most likely not have grown up with them. They are his birthfather's children, and most likely, if his birthmother had not placed, he would have stayed with her, and his bf would not even be in the picture. It's very possible, he has more opportunity now to have a relationship with them than if he had not been adopted.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I sometimes feel that when people (generally first parents or older adoptees) talk like adoption should be banished, they are looking at what "could have been" with rose colored glasses.

Not sure if any of this is making sense...I'm just trying to process some of the "negative" side of adoption. For those who are PIW or enjoying those first sweet months with you new son/daughter, I don't want to be a downer. Honestly, I have seen very little, if any, negative effects of being adopted in either of my kids. They both seem happy and well-adjusted. :)

Okay, I'm going to hit "Post" before I delete!

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I know Claudia (on whose page this post appears: see also http://www.chicagonow.com/portrait-of-an-adoption/2013/11/you-can-call-me-anti-adoption-if-you-must/) and I know her agenda in posting this. While I do agree that this list includes some painful truths that trigger the same fears that Sherri Eldridge book "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew" does, I also think this is geared towards a particularly anti-adoption crowd?

That is NOT to say it should be ignored! But perhaps, taken with a grain of salt.

Adoption, whether open or not, potentially disrupts the continuity of an entire family system. And that's bound to have long lasting repercussions. But so does infertility. And cancer. And divorce. And poverty. And death.

Open adoption is NOT compensatory. It doesn't "cancel out" the inherent losses of adoption any more than it compromises the benefits. Anyone who assumes otherwise is sadly misguided.

Is ignorance bliss? Only to the ignorant. And how blissful can one really be, if it comes at the cost of inherent truth?

Adoption is beset with issues, and openness comes with its unique subset of challenges, to be sure.

But as long as it's better than the alternative, it gives us reason to keep going and working to make it even better!

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