Jump to content
linlacor

The Myths, Misconceptions, Facts, & Reality of Open Adoption

Recommended Posts

If there's one thing we (on the forum and Abrazo parents) agree on it's the belief in open adoption. We all probably still have our varying levels of comfort and experience with open adoption but I think we can all say that we are on board with open adoption and the benefits of open adoption.

I don't think though that we all started out that way when we found Abrazo or when we began our quest to learn about adoption (although I have read some who did believe in open adoption from the very beginning (although they may not have even known at that time that what they felt was important was basically an open adoption type of relationship)). Anyway, as with most things that we may be unsure about, our comfort with and belief in open adoption has come from a greater familiarity with it and what it is and what it isn't - we've learned about it, we've heard people's personal experiences with it, and we've grown more familiar with it. Some of the misinformation we once had about it has been clarified for us, some of the questions we had about it have been answered, and then there are those who just took the plunge and had no idea what to expect and have just learned as they went and have realized that what they may have feared or been uncertain about in the beginning turns out to be a non-issue.

There are lots of topics on the forum and lots of posts on the forum among many different topics that talk about open adoption - but what I'm hoping to accomplish in this topic is a place where we can share some of the myths, misinformation, misconception, facts, and realities of adoption - whether it be through personal stories/experiences or through external resources that provide good statistics or whatever - I am just hoping to help anyone who may be new to open adoption or who may be a little unsure about what it's all about and has questions about it but isn't sure how to ask them or is afraid their questions/fears may not be "okay" to ask - I'm hoping to show them that most, if not all of us, have had those same questions, have had those same concerns and just about noone comes to Abrazo or open adoption with a fully open heart and mind to open adoption - we all were new once and didn't have a clue what to expect, what was meant by open adoption, what would be expected of us in doing an open adoption, etc etc etc....

I hope this topic will be a work in progress and it will put at ease the minds of those who are needing some "warm fuzzies" when it comes to open adoption.

Unfortunately, I have to take Kayleigh to a birthday party (right now!) and I'm not able to get this going but I'll definitely come back to this later - just thought while it was on my mind, I'd put it out there....

-Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To begin with, I think an introduction to what Open Adoption is, what it means is pretty important. I think this definition/point of view of Open Adoption is really, really good.

This article is an excerpt from Brenda Romanchik's book "What is Open Adoption"

I think everyone can benefit from reading this excerpt (it isn't long, approximately 10 very short paragraphs).

What Is Open Adoption? (By Brenda Romanchik)

Another really informative bit of information on open adoption can be found by clicking the following link

Openness In Adoption - A Fact Sheet For Families

which was published by the Child Welfare Information Gateway in 2003, According to the description of this fact sheet on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website,

This factsheet describes the benefits of postadoption contact with birth parents and reviews considerations for determining the degree of openness that is most appropriate for the child. It suggests that adoptive parents consult Internet websites, books, counselors, and other parents when making decisions about open adoption. The factsheet includes a chart of the advantages and disadvantages of confidential adoptions, mediated adoptions, and open adoptions.

And just in case the link breaks, I've copied the fact sheet here (as it says the information can be freely distributed - as long as I reference the source which is the Child Welfare Information Gateway) The benefit of reading it from the actual website is that it contains links to resources it lists and it's formatted better than what I've just copied here.

What is open adoption?

Open, or fully disclosed, adoptions allow adoptive parents, and often the adopted child, to interact directly with birth parents. Family members interact in ways that feel most comfortable to them. Communication may include letters, e-mails, telephone calls, or visits. The frequency of contact is negotiated and can range from every few years to several times a month or more. Contact often changes as a child grows and has more questions about his or her adoption or as families' needs change. It is important to note that even in an open adoption, the legal relationship between a birth parent and child is severed. The adoptive parents are the legal parents of an adopted child.

The goals of open adoption are:

To minimize the child's loss of relationships.

To maintain and celebrate the adopted child's connections with all the important people in his or her life.

To allow the child to resolve losses with truth, rather than the fantasy adopted children often create when no information or contact with their birth family is available.

Is open adoption right for our family?

Open adoption is just one of several openness options available to families, ranging from confidential, to semi-open (or mediated), to fully open adoption. In semi-open or mediated adoptions, contact between birth and adoptive families is made through a mediator (e.g., an agency caseworker or attorney) rather than directly. In confidential adoptions no contact takes place and no identifying information is exchanged.

Making an open adoption work requires flexibility and a commitment to ongoing relationships, despite their ups and downs. While this type of adoption is not right for every family, open adoption can work well if everyone wants it and if there is good communication, flexibility, commitment to the process, respect for all parties involved, and commitment to the child's needs above all.

There are many resources available to help you determine what level of openness might be best for your family. The chart included with this factsheet may help you consider some pros and cons of open adoptions. You can also:

EXPLORE THE INTERNET. Several Web sites provide research and issues to consider in open adoption:

American Association of Open Adoption Agencies helps families find agencies practicing open adoption. Adoptees on their mailing list respond to the question, "What do you wish your adoptive parents had known?"

Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project provides information on a longitudinal study of openness in adoption since 1985. The most recent wave included a total of 720 individuals: both parents in 190 adoptive families, at least one adopted child in 171 of the families, and 169 birth mothers. This study was the source of much of the research for this factsheet and the bulletin for professionals.

Child Welfare Information Gateway—Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families1 provides laws for each State on open adoption.

Insight: Open Adoption Resources and Support offers open adoption resources for professionals and support for adoptive and birth parents considering open adoption.

READ. Several recent books about open adoption may be helpful:

Children of Open Adoption by Patricia Martinez Dorner and Kathleen Silber (1997, Independent Adoption Press). The topics in this book include the essential "ingredients" for successful open adoption and communication tips for talking about open adoption with children of all ages.

How to Open an Adoption by Patricia Martinez Dorner (1998, R-Squared Press). This book gives guidance to adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoption professionals in how to navigate more inclusive relationships.

Lifegivers: Framing the Birth Parent Experience in Open Adoption by James L. Gritter (2000, CWLA Press). This book examines the ways birth parents are marginalized. The author makes the point that adopted children are best served when birth parents and adoptive parents work together to ensure that birth parents remain in children's lives.

The Open Adoption Experience by Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roszia (1993, HarperPerennial). This complete guide for adoptive and birth parents touches on almost every aspect of open adoption.

The Spirit of Open Adoption by Jim Gritter (1997, CWLA Press). This book gives a realistic look at the joys and pains of open adoption for birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents.

What is Open Adoption? by Brenda Romanchik (1999, R-Squared Press). Written from the perspective of a birth mother in an open adoption, this pocket guide provides concise information and resources.

Abstracts of these books are available through the Information Gateway Library Search.

TALK WITH A COUNSELOR OR THERAPIST WITH KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN OPEN ADOPTION. Child Welfare Information Gateway has a tip sheet on selecting and working with an adoption therapist who is informed about issues of adoption. This factsheet describes the types of mental health professionals available and provides guidelines for choosing the best resource for your family.

TALK WITH OTHER PARENTS. The National Adoption Directory has lists of foster and adoptive parent support groups in each State. Because each parent group will have its own focus, you might want to ask how many families attending the group are in open adoptions.

What questions should our family consider in open adoption?

In open adoptions, families need to consider when and how much to tell a child about his or her birth family, and then if and how to involve him or her in that relationship. An adoption professional can help you address some of these issues. Some of the questions you may want to consider include:

At what age should a child be included in contact with his or her birth family?

What happens if one party decides to break off all contact?

What will the birth parents' role be in the child's life?

How will your child explain his or her relationship with birth relatives to his or her peers?

How will you handle other adopted siblings who have different levels of openness in their adoptions?

Summary

No one level of openness in adoption is best for everyone, and each adoption changes over time. Adoptees from all kinds of adoptions, from confidential to fully open, can be emotionally healthy. Using the resources listed on this factsheet, as well as the following tables, you can decide what level of openness is best for your family.

Table of Pros for Each Type of Adoption for Involved Parties

Table of cons of each type of adoption for the involved parties

1 "Cooperative adoption" or "adoption with contact" refer to arrangements that allow some kind of contact between adoptive families and members of the adopted child's birth family after the adoption has been finalized. (back)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if a good place to start this discussion would be to look at the Tables of Pros & Cons provided in the Fact Sheet I referenced above?

I think many of the fears/questions from those who are new to open adoption or who are still exploring adoption are covered under the "Cons" Table for Open Adoption. Abrazo & those reading this - would you agree? I'm sure Abrazo gets lots of calls/inquiries from people who have concerns about open adoption.

I wonder, based on all the calls Abrazo has had over the years, what would be the "Top 3 List" of questions/concerns/apprehensions about open adoption Abrazo has heard? I also wonder, for those who had questions/concerns/apprehensions about open adoption when they started but took the plunge anyway - what was your biggest fear/concern/question?

For me, and I think this is still the case - I worry about what if I have a hard time relating to my child's birthparent(s) and/or feeling a strong connection with them? What if their value system is so different from mine, their lifestyle is so different from mine that I find it very difficult and even scary at times to develop and grow and nurture the relationship with them? What if they have a substance abuse issue and that clouds their judgement and they call me for help (and not just a shoulder to lean on sort of help - what if it's the kind of help that I can't or I'm not supposed to provide because everything I've ever read and heard about open adoption relationships talks about the inequities inherent in the relationship and providing financial assistance to this person only magnifies those inequities - and why this scares me is not because I don't want to be asked for help by someone who I care about, but because I know I have issues setting boundaries and I know I struggle with feelings of guilt already over the slightest of things - what if I can't say no? What if I say no and they become angry with me or they pull away and we lose contact or it makes the next time we talk very awkward and uncomfortable?) Anyway, I know Elizabeth talks about the "living room couch" test - something about if you can't imagine your child's birthparent sitting on your living room couch and having a conversation with them, then you probably shouldn't be adopting their child (or something like that) - but what if we get a call about a BOG and we don't have the time to get to know our child's birthparent? What if who our birthparent is when we first meet them, isn't who our birthparent is over time? Anyway - this is something I still do think about - not so much that it prevents me in any way from believing in open adoption and wanting it very much - if I find myself in that situation, I'll just deal with it. Why and how do I know I can? Because I've read personal experiences on here that have shared the realities that sometimes happen when two families who come from very different walks of life come together but through the love both families have for their child (and with support and understanding and help from others who have been there/done that) - it works.

Nothing is perfect - noone claims that open adoption is perfect or without its challenges - but, as Brenda Romanchik so poignantly expresses in her book What is Open Adoption

The primary difference between a truly open adoption and a semi-open adoption is that the adopted child has the potential of developing a one-on-one relationship with his or her birthfamily. It is not about the adoptive parents bestowing birthparents with the privilege of contact, nor is it about birthparents merely being available to provide information over the years. Direct contact, in the form of letters, phone calls and visits between the birthfamily and the adopted child, along with his adoptive family, is essential if they are to establish their own relationship. After all, how can we honestly call an adoption open if the child is not involved?

Okay, so...I think I've provided a lot of food for thought in this post and I hope I get some responses - from all members of the triad and from our resident "scholars" of open adoption (aka Abrazo). And just in case you guys still aren't sure where or how to begin the next post in this thread, here's the list of "Cons" & the list of "Pros" for open adoption as they pertain to the Adoptive Parents (from the tables provided by the Child Welfare Information Gateway).

How do these relate to you and your initial thoughts on open adoption or your current thoughts on open adoption? How were you able to resolve some of these "cons" for yourself and move forward with a commitment to open adoption? Are there any that you'd like to add?

Potential PROS of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents

Increased sense of having the "right" to parent and increased ability for confident parenting.

Potential for authentic relationship with the birth family.

More understanding of children's history.

Increased empathy for birth parents.

Less fear of birth parents reclaiming child because they know the parent and their wishes.

Delight of being "chosen" as a parent.

Potential CONS of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents

Full responsibility for setting relationship limits and boundaries.

Potential pressure: accept openness or no child.

Potential difficulty with emotionally disturbed birth parents.

Potential for supporting both child and birth parents (emotionally)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic Lisa!

One of the first things I thought of when we discussed adoption without even doing any research was that I wanted to have contact with the birthfamily. Letters, calls, pics definitely, but what about visits? YIKES! That one got me somewhat. I remember a phonecall with Abrazo in the beginning and discussing how was it fair that I would raise this child, but with the visits and input and contact from the birthfamily that I would be basically a glorified babysitter. Little did I know! That is NOT the case. We don't have contact with Andrew's birthfamily now, but when we did it was NOT the case at all. We have friends that have constant contact with all of the birthfamily and that is not the case. YOU ARE the child's parents. You make the decisions. You change the diapers, feed, burp, clean up vomit, kiss booboos, ease their fears. You ALL love this child. No matter what this child DOES have two sets of parents. One set created him/her. One set (or for many one person) raise/s this child. No matter what (hiding from the birthfamily, not telling the child, wanting this child to have been born to you with all your heart) that will never change.

The second thing I remember about starting the process was meeting a lady in my old church that adopted two daughters in a closed arrangement. She told me with them sitting beside her how scared she has ALWAYS been that the birthparents will come back to take the girls away. They were older teenagers. While saying this she even was looking around like she was in fear. That is NOT a way to live your life. That is NOT a way for a child to live thier life. I felt so sad for her and her children that she has lived with this for so long.

The question that I get most from so many when I discuss open adoption is if I am scared that they will take them back. OH PLEASE!!! I calmly say that is not a fear at all and I know that Andrew's birthmother made the decision she wanted and she CHOSE us!!!! What an honor.

So what has everyone else encountered? What fears have you tossed to the side? What have you learned?

Lisa V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure if this is the correct thread to post this so please feel to move it!

This weekend I read "Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother". I first picked up this book hoping to find that some of my feelings that I have experienced up to this point are perfectly normal. While I did not experience everything the author, Jana Wolff, did with the adoption of her son, we did have alot in common. I wanted to share one of her statements that I found very powerful and in my opinion sums up why I feel that open adoption is a wonderful thing!

"I need Martie (birth mother) to help me raise our son. I don't need her at bath time, or story time, or bed time. But I definitely need her to help me paint a complete picture for Ari (her son), of who he is and where he came from. There are questions only she can answer, commonalities only she can offer."

To me that statement says it all. Yes many adoptive parents can be/are great parents but they can not provide all the answers a child may need. This is one of many precious gifts that can only be provided by birthfamilies. This why I believe so firmly in open adoption!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Angie.

Last week Joshua and I were talking about how he grew in Nichole's tummy, and what he probably did in there. I told him how he was fed through the umbilical cord. I told him I knew he hiccuped and moved around a lot. I told him how I once felt him move by laying my hand across her stomach. We talked about some other things, and I was so thankful that if any questions ever come up that I can't adequately answer, his birthmother is just a phone call away!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa, thank you for launching this very thought-provoking topic. I hope folks will discuss feelings openly here, without any fear of reprisal on the agency's part for their candor. In answer to your question about what the top three concerns/questions/fears Abrazo has heard over the years, here are the prevalent issues most commonly raised by those who are seeking to adopt a child;

1) that loss of anonymity will enable the birthparents to show up at the adoptive parents' home univited, whether for dinner or to take the child back (neither of which, I might add, have ever happened);

2) that the birthparents will be dangerous or unstable people seeking to co-parent, who will therefore wreak havoc in the adopting family's life forever;

3) that open adoption will somehow dilute the strength of the adoptive family's relationship, causing confusion in the child's understanding of who his or her "real" parents are, and pitting the adoptive parents and birthparents in a perpetual contest for the child's loyalty and affections.

The top three concerns Abrazo usually hears about openness from those who are seeking to place a child are;

1) that the adopting parents aren't who they purport to be, which could result in potential harm or future abuse of the child;

2) that the child will hate the birthparents and never forgive them for having "given him/her up" resulting in unbearable sorrow on the part of the birthparent who has to witness this firsthand;

3) that the adoptive parents won't keep their promises to keep in touch over time, and losing contact after the fact would be more devastating than never having had any to begin with.

Why do you suppose the nature of their fears are so very different?

I think it's important to bear in mind that adoption is a contrived arrangement which holds inherent flaws, no matter how it's done; the related issues of loss/grief, entitlement, attachment, trust and identity may always impact triad members-- regardless of whether an adoption is "open" or "closed." But the depth and effect of that impact can be dramatically varied, I believe, for good or for bad.

Open adoption is more than a simple placement strategy. Rather, it's a "relational approach" intended to enhance an adopted child's identity development over time, by instilling a more complete understanding of who he/she is and how he/she became part of their family tree. It requires maturity and commitment on the part of all the participants, to perpetually balance the needs of the adults for the welfare of the child. And even when adoptions can't be open or don't remain that way, whether by choice or by circumstance, the spirit of openness still holds the power to enhance both the experience and the outcome, because indeed, it is the truth that sets us free...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding ON to Lisa's list...

How do these relate to you and your initial thoughts on open adoption or your current thoughts on open adoption? How were you able to resolve some of these "cons" for yourself and move forward with a commitment to open adoption? Are there any that you'd like to add?

Potential PROS of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents

Increased sense of having the "right" to parent and increased ability for confident parenting.

Potential for authentic relationship with the birth family.

More understanding of children's history.

Increased empathy for birth parents.

Less fear of birth parents reclaiming child because they know the parent and their wishes.

Delight of being "chosen" as a parent.

Connection with biological siblings and extended members of birth family

Introduction and connection to the birth culture and traditions of that heritage

Potential CONS of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents

Full responsibility for setting relationship limits and boundaries.

Potential pressure: accept openness or no child.

Potential difficulty with emotionally disturbed birth parents.

Potential for supporting both child and birth parents (emotionally)

Family pressure to disconnect from birth family( openess is not a good thing), and/or ongoing education for extended family regarding value of open adoption for all involved

What if an open relationship needs to be closed - effects on child, birth family, adoptive parents

Abandonment issues

Edited by HeidiK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hurrah for TODAY! MSNBC dedicated their Today's Show online topic to Dispelling Six Common Myths about Adoption, a message we'd love to see even more of mainstream media pick up, to let folks know that open adoption is a successful route for American family building, that domestic adoption is the US is thriving and that not all birthmoms are helpless, confused teens!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hurrah for TODAY! MSNBC dedicated their Today's Show online topic to Dispelling Six Common Myths about Adoption, a message we'd love to see even more of mainstream media pick up, to let folks know that open adoption is a successful route for American family building, that domestic adoption is the US is thriving and that not all birthmoms are helpless, confused teens!!

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. I was not able to see the show today. This information regarding these six common myths is promising!

Cathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I try to always say when asked how a mother could "give up her child" is to say something along the lines of the fact that birthmothers are the strongest and most selfless people I know. I know that I am too selfish to make that brave of a decision. I guess that people don't think about the faith that it must take for a parent to trust their child to someone they hardly know (if at all). I am so amazed by first parents!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the things I try to always say when asked how a mother could "give up her child" is to say something along the lines of the fact that birthmothers are the strongest and most selfless people I know.

I do the same, Amanda. Many of the people I've talked to since Josie joined our family also agree that Josie's birthmother (MamaJ) made the most selfless decision in her life. They comment that they don't think they could do the same. To be honest, I don't think I could either.

Cathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is an open adoption agreement legally inforcable?

This is most certainly a court case to watch...IMO - there is a lot here that is not said. The 1st thing that I thought of is why did the potential adoptive parents agree to every 3rd weekend visits and to keep the father's parental connection a secret? I think they both got some really poor advice regarding what an open adoption really is! What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is, indeed, fascinating-- thanks to Heidi, for bringing it to our attention. Most states with legally-enforceable contact agreements do include some kind of exceptionary wording (or "outclause") that requires the child's best interests take precedence in any dispute, or offer the option of civil damages in the event of a default on the part of one party.

But it begs the question of who negotiated this agreement, and why? Was it done primarily with the intention of making the placement happen? Or was this truly a plan formulated by all four parents for the child's welfare? Did the parties go to mediation before substantially altering the terms of the agreement? Why would anyone legally commit to a plan requiring an adopted child to be transported out of country without his/her legal parent? How was this child to have understood who Papa Carlos was, if his identity was to be kept secret, and what kind of open adoption mandates such secrecy? How were the intended changes communicated to both birthparents? Was counseling ever considered?

On their website, the agency that facilitated this adoption quotes expert Jim Gritter, words that seem ironic now, considering what's transpired in this particular case since that child's placement:

"Quality open adoption means thinking of the child's needs first-it means gentle transitioning, honoring the birth heritage, having the adults be responsible to build and maintain a satisfying relationship (not putting the burden on the child to keep the connection)."

--James Gritter, Spirit of Open Adoption

Indeed. Let's keep an eye out for coverage on this case! There's got to be a lot more to this story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is out there! Too bad such a strange case is probably going to be the one to set the precedent! I think enforceable contact agreements would put a lot of birth parents at ease, but it still has to be something that makes everyone comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a call, this past week, from a prospective adoptive mom who was seeking to adopt "a baby girl ages 6 weeks to 6 months."

Curious about this defined age range, I asked her why she felt drawn to this type of child only, and she told me it was because girls are more appreciative of their adopters, and because by adopting a baby who wasn't newly born, she figured they could avoid any responsibility for pregnancy-related expenses or birthing costs.

After I picked myself off the floor to explain in my most patient social-work-style why such expectations don't fit well with our program values, I took the bull by the horns and asked if she understood Abrazo's commitment to openness in adoption practices.

She proceeded to tell me they would be fine with the birthmom knowing the baby was going to a good home, but would NOT want any continuing contact with the birthmom after the placement.

Why is that, I asked?

Because, she told me, as good parents, they would need to protect their child from bad influences.

I nearly choked on my own spittle. I'm sure we have had other clients who may have initially held such misconceptions, as well, but I don't think anyone ever said it quite so bluntly.

"But if the baby's parents had the good judgement to pick you to be their baby's new family, wouldn't that seem to suggest that they were actually a good influence for that child?" I asked.

The caller sounded unconvinced by my logic.

I ended up encouraging them to do more homework, before starting the adoption process. I suggested they read everything they can about open adoption, to better understand why any child they adopt needs them to be able to embrace their first family.

Whether they do, or not, I don't think we'll be hearing back from these folks.

(And I think that'll probably be for the best. Because I'd hate for any child Abrazo places to grow up thinking their birthfamily deserves to be held at arm's length-- or any further away than that.)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel sad for this caller, she is clueless about what adoption really means. My daughter would tell this person that adoption means love. The caller is only thinking of herself right now, which we all know changes within moments of meeting your baby, the "Blessing" chosen for you by his/her first parents.

Placing and Adopting is such a miracle in itself, one you treasure for the rest of your life. Why mess it up with controls and stipulations, not to mention unrealistic expectations?

It's inconceivable to ask first parents to wait on placing their newborn, because the adopting family does not want any maternity bills. And how can any family have a baby without these expenses? Talk about babies dropping out of the sky, let's be real.

There are times like this, I wish there could be a reality check for these callers. How I wish they could know the wonderful Moms (and Dads) who do the best they can as they place their baby, making life changing decisions for themselves and for their newly created family, with so little support and yet somewhere find the biggest amount of Faith... and Love.

Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I am sad to hear that the misconceptions about adoption (open or not) continue...I am glad that this woman called and was open enough that Elizabeth could give her some truth to think about. Had she been shifty with her words and attitude, Elizabeth might not have had such an opportunity to speak just as honestly and openly about the wonderful side of this experience.

Hopefully this woman will be able to read and open her mind to other options available to her possibly expanding family, even if Abrazo is not the agency for her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is an open adoption agreement legally enforceable?

This is most certainly a court case to watch...IMO - there is a lot here that is not said. The 1st thing that I thought of is why did the potential adoptive parents agree to every 3rd weekend visits and to keep the father's parental connection a secret? I think they both got some really poor advice regarding what an open adoption really is! What do you think?

Here's a follow-up to the story, as decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court this past week: Court Rules in Favor of Birthfather. (For a more thorough perspective into why the high court decided as it did, click the link below the text to download a pdf file of the full opinion; it offers some interesting insight as well.)

Obviously, there's still more to this story, which is yet to be decided... stay tuned, to follow the continuing saga of little "A.D" and Papa Carlos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious anyone's thoughts on this topic...

On an adoption page I "liked" on FB, there is a young girl asking some questions about adoption. She appears to be a teenager and she wants to place, but she wants every other weekend "rights." As in, she wants to have the baby with her every other weekend. Most of the adoptive parents are encouraging her to parent if that is what she has in mind, and to maybe seek out some relatives to help her while she is still young. They are telling her that open adoptions don't usually work quite this way and have tried to explain that placing a child is a permanent decision and that even in an open adoption she would have no legal rights. She has said that an agency has told her that this would be no problem and can easily be done. I do not feel like that is something as a parent I could lock into (and we do have an open adoption, so obviously it is not about not wanting to be open!).

Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious anyone's thoughts on this topic...

On an adoption page I "liked" on FB, there is a young girl asking some questions about adoption. She appears to be a teenager and she wants to place, but she wants every other weekend "rights." As in, she wants to have the baby with her every other weekend. Most of the adoptive parents are encouraging her to parent if that is what she has in mind, and to maybe seek out some relatives to help her while she is still young. They are telling her that open adoptions don't usually work quite this way and have tried to explain that placing a child is a permanent decision and that even in an open adoption she would have no legal rights. She has said that an agency has told her that this would be no problem and can easily be done. I do not feel like that is something as a parent I could lock into (and we do have an open adoption, so obviously it is not about not wanting to be open!).

Any thoughts?

What she is describing is "joint custody," not adoption. In fact, every other weekend was the visitation schedule with my dad after my parents' divorce. I fear that if an agency really told her this, they are simply trying to get their hands on the baby, knowing once the papers are signed, she will have no rights and perhaps no legal recourse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, Nicole. I hope the agency is not just saying what she wants to hear. Hopefully if this is the arrangement she wants she can find a responsible family member to help until she is ready to parent full time!

It just made me think that this really is a misconception about open adoption - that it is joint custody or coparenting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just made me think that this really is a misconception about open adoption - that it is joint custody or coparenting.

i agree that it is a frequent misconception. before becoming educated myself, (and having come from foster parenting classes prior to going to orientation) that was one of the issues that made me wary of open adoption. so glad to have come full circle.

andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adoptive Families magazine has a great article this month concernign Open Adoption Over the Years.

There was also a great article about siblings, etc.

Leah x

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×