January 26, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable #13

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

Note from Heather: I'm happy to turn this round over to the wonderful Andy of Today's the Day!, whose compassionate insight I've welcomed over the years. Andy knows adoption from two perspectives: she is an adoptive mom to six-year old Liam and an adoptee who reunited with her first mother in adulthood. Today she has us thinking about what to do when perspectives clash in open adoption. It's a hard topic, isn't it? I know I often hear of loved ones disagreeing about how much openness is too much (or too little). If you've experienced this in your open adoption(s), I hope you'll participate, even if you don't feel like you have any answers yet. Sometimes just knowing other people have similar experiences can be encouragement enough.


We often hear about open adoptions where the two sides don't want the same level of openness. First mothers who don't get updates as often as they would like, or not as many visits each year. Or adoptive parents who want to include their child's first mother in his life, but she is not ready.

But what we don't often discuss is when people on the same side of the triad can't agree on the level of openness in an adoption.
  • It could be a wife who wants a fully open adoption but the husband only wants to send letters once a year.
  • Or a first mother isn't ready for an open adoption but the first father wants to be part of the baby's life.
  • Maybe a spouse isn't supportive of their partner entering into reunion with their first mother.
  • Or a partner who came along after the adoption and isn't comfortable with your relationship with your placed child.
  • And the classic Hallmark movie of the year scenario: Your mother-in-law is convinced that the baby will be snatched away from under your nose if you have an open adoption.
How would/do you navigate these situations? Does your current relationship impact the type of open adoption that you have? How does this affect your current relationship?


The Responses:

  • Thanksgivingmom @ I Really Should be Working shares with us how Open Adoption affects her current relationships with people in her life who don't even know about the adoption yet.

  • Andy @ Today's the Day explores how 2 people with different life experiences can come together as a couple when discussing Open Adoption.

  • Tammy @ You Just Never Know Where Hope Might Take Ya discusses how having her and her husband on the same page with their Open Adoption has helped their extended families build relationships with their child's first family.

  • Jess @ The Problem with Hope looks at how it can be difficult to explain Open Adoption to people who have no experience with it at all.

  • Susie @ Endure for a Night talks about how placing her child for adoption" has effectively ended my relationship with that side of the family" and that her husband (who is also the child's first father) isn't always ready to look at pictures when they receive them

  • KatjaMichelle @ Therapy is Expensive shares how she navigated open adoption with her child’s first father, both while they were still together, and after they broke up. She also examines how subsequent relationships have been affected by adoption.

  • Rebeccah @ Chasing a Child is disputing the level openness with a twist… she is disputing with herself.

  • Robyn @ Adoption.com’s Domestic Infant adoption blog feels like she is hiding the fact that her son is a big brother because her family isn’t understanding of Open Adoption

  • Spyderkl @ Evil Mommy has had “less then enthusiastic {response} about sharing identifying information” from both family and social worker. Go read how she has navigated that and has an open adoption today.

  • Ginger @ Shattered Glass and her current SO, who is also the children’s bio-father, have “polar opposite” feelings about how to handle open adoption.

  • shannan @ Joe And Sha Blog writes a post about all the wonderful things that open adoption has given her, her children and the children’s first mothers. She shares these stories to help the people in her life understand that OA isn’t something to be afraid of.

  • Maura @ Adoption Journey expresses her frustration of always having to educate people that Birthmother’s are not all plotting on how to steal the baby back just because they have an open adoption.

  • A @ A+A Adopt a Baby has an amazing community of friends and family, that may not fully understand or agree with Open Adoption, but they respect A+A’s choices.

  • Meghann @ Adoption.com's Open Adoption Blog shares how she invites discussion about open adoption, even with those who disagree, to help "the person understands this life we’ve chosen a little better."
  • Anonadoptee @ The adopted Feminist was one of the children in the first legally binding open adoptions in the UK. Now as an adult, she offers invaluable wisdom and thought into how her open adoption ended up being all about the adults, and not about the children. She offers this great insight: "I guess the point of this post is make sure you know what your children want."


Anonymous said...

I guess I might be first!


luna said...

yikes. I have a lot to say about this one, I think. but someone reads my blog and might not be too happy about me airing some of our differences...

Tammy said...

Here's mine... http://canonlyimagine.blogspot.com/2010/01/open-adoption-roundtable-13-clash-of.html

Jess said...


I'm in! :)

Elly said...

my husband thinks it is a bit odd, but is willing to let me maintain our open adoption as I see fit. I think my MIL thinks it is time I moved on from caring about DS's bmom. Luckily, we live a long way apart so it doesn't effect anything day to day. I'm going to do what I think is best for DS anyway, and hopefully in the future, she'll see that that is open adoption and understand why I did it.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in~ http://susiebook.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/open-adoption-roundtable-13/

Anonymous said...

Took several tries to actually get it to post and now I'm not sure i posted the most recent draft but I can't muster the energy to check so here it is ...sorry its so long

Rebeccah said...

Perfect topic for me this week. http://chasingachild.typepad.com/thejourney/2010/01/debating-openness-with-myself.html

Anonymous said...


Though I forgot to title it properly. Oy!

I usually post my blog post links to Facebook, but I realized I couldn't because my aunts and cousins are on there. I'm pretty sure that's irony.

Alissabeth said...

Here's mine!!

spyderkl said...

Finally finished mine: it's over here.

Maru said...

Here's mine. :o)

Shannan said...

I'm not I answered correctly:) but I wrote what was on my mind tonight and have enjoyed reading everyone elses.

Ginger said...

Here: http://heartshards.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/lucky-13/

meghann said...

Hee! I finally made it in time!


anonadoptee said...

heres mine


I'm a bit jumpy about it because it contains identifyiong info, so I might pasword protect it at some point. People just need to drop me an email if they want the password.

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