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ElizabethAnn

Open Adoption

How Much Openness Seems Right To You?  

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Everyone has different understandings and needs when it comes to openness in adoption, but for our visitors who are just exploring this option, what do you think would suit you best? Why?

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As a birthmom, I believe that there should never be another "closed"adoption story. Closed adoptions keep all the bad out, yes, that is the only way you can keep info secretive. But WHY ??? Why would you keep your traits and features from your own flesh and blood??? This is a way to have the "connection" that someday you will regret not having if you go closed. The child suffers without info. You suffer without info. I know it seems difficult, but believe it or not, one day you may decide you NEED that connection, not only to your child, but to their ap's as well. My son's ap's are the best when it comes to supporting me on a rough day and the first to jump for joy on a good day. I thank God every day for my "extended family"! and that extennded family includes the gals at abrazo, my son and his whole adoptive family! I love em all!

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I'm still in the mist of gowing through the full adoption process. To me I would think that the more open the better on all three parts (Mine, the childs, and the adoptive parents). Since I first talked to the adoptive couple, I wouldn't see it anyway other than completely open. including visits and the how are you talks on the internet and on the phone.

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I once tried to explain to someone what "open" adoption meant. By pure definition, "open" simply means that all identifying information (names, addresses, etc), birthmother/father's medical history and other pertinent records are available to both the birthparents and adoptive parents. It's really what you do with that information that moves it beyond just a mere "open adoption" to an open, ongoing relationship.

We have an open adoption, yes....but our birthmother chose not to continue in an open, ongoing relationship. But our hearts are certainly open to nurturing a relationship should our birthmother ever desire one.

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I am between the some and lots. I think very occasional visits (annual or bi annual ) are the best. At least for me. But we email and chat occasionaly.

At least thats what's best for me. However, I think it all depends on the situation on what is the best type.

Honestly. If I didn't have my life going as well as I do now. If I was into stuff and hanging out with the right crowd, I might be embarrased to let my birthkids see me like that.

But like I said, it's all situational.

-Loriahn

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I'm guessing that very few birthparents truly know before placement how much contact or communication they're going to desire with their child's adoptive family in the months and years after the adoption... true or false?

And for the been there, done that crowd: in retrospect, have you wanted more or less connection with your child's family than you originally thought you would need before you placed/adopted?

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Alright, well I have not been there, done that, but since the beginning of this journey my feelings have changed and grown so much. When I first inquired about Abrazo, I wasn't so sure about open adoption. I was more open about it than Marcelo. He had all the "normal" fears. Also, he wasn't so sure about adopting out of the white/hispanic population either. As we both talked about how we felt and what brought us to this point in our lives, God definately worked through our hearts. After orientation, everything changed! We decided that if this was the route intended for us and our family, then we had to open our minds and hearts for whatever was to come our way. Boy, have we come a long way in such a short time. I believe in realism, but also that with the right frame of mind and an open heart, love can conquer our fears. Of course, we still have those little fears that creep up at the most inoportune times, but that's normal. We are human and embrace the fact that life is not perfect. If it were, it would be so boring. Learning new things and new ways to become a better person to others has been the best lesson life could offer.

Look at us now. We are adopting because it's what we feel is the right thing for us and for our family. Not because we cannot conceive "normally", but because we would like to have a family with meaning. We have come to this point in our lives after great hurt and we are still standing.

Marcelo was just saying last night that the minute we lay our eyes on Dante, we will just mealt. This won't happen just because he's a baby and part of our family, but because this is something we have waited for and prepared for in our hearts. I think looking at Dante that first time will be much like the minute I started to walk down the wedding aisle. So much had happened in life up to that point and I knew I had found my Prince Charming. It was a sigh of relief and excitement for what God had in store for us!

Can't wait.

Claudia smile.gif

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You know, I really did not answer Elizabeth's question directly. Sorry. Marcelo and I would love ongoing contact with our birthmother. Unfortunately, at this point it does not look like it would turn out that way. Who knows, maybe in the future things will change. My biggest concern is how this will affect the child. I want to be able to have some answers to those big questions I know he will have some day. Even if it's knowing those little things our birthmother loves most. Anything! I want him to know that her decision to place him was because that is what she felt was best for the situation and for his wellbeing. I hope that I will be able to give him some sense of peace about the whole thing. Yes, Marcelo and I would like contact forever and ever because it would help us, Dante and I know it would help our birthmother. I feel like if she never knows how he feels about adoption and her, she might feel enormous guilt. I don't know that I can spare her of that, but sure would like to do everything in my power to do so.

Claudia

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I may not be on point for this, but most of the birthmom's I know ARE involved either from the start or because their children have become adults and tracked them down. And until you get to the stage where the child is grown and able to fully comprehend you do have enormous guilt. even when it is a good situation and an open one with lots of communication, there is guilt on how it will negatively effect the child, and any other siblings involved. You do go through stages of unsure-ness and doubt during the "prior -to -placement" time, but the idea of open may vary all through an adoption-life. I know most people call it post placement, but your life is one of adoption even as the birthparent. You adopt out your heart and soul to strangers, and sometimes not knowing is easier. I am a rare gal, I have never been un-reachable or un- involved with my son or his parents. I feel more secure with more info, and as we all grow in this we get more involved. It's never easy for me to hang up or watch them get on that plane and fly away, but knowing that I can call next week helps.

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I was driving to work today thinking about our birthparents. I wondered if they would ever want to meet each other? Are they curious about each other? Would they feel a connection? Would it be too much?

Since I have very little contact right now with either of our birthparents, I cannot ask them directly.

I have always secretly dreamed of sharing a family reunion at Camp Abrazo with both sets of birthparents. In my mind that would be awesome, would they feel the same?

Anyone experiencing this type of openness with both sets of birthparents together?

I would love to hear from a birthparent on how they relate or bond, or not, with another set of birthparents?

Karen

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Karen,

it may be that this Abrazo reunion weekend will bring together our two birthmoms. The plan is for both of them to join us, and bring their other children as well. We are certainly excited about it and curious to see how it all works out.

I'll let you know how it goes.

pkk

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