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. The prompts are meant to be starting points--feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs--and leave a link to your post in the comments. Using a previously published post is perfectly fine; I'd appreciate it if you'd add a link back to the roundtable. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
Has everyone recovered from the Interview Project? Ready to start up the roundtable again? I hope so, because I've had some really intriguing topic suggestions sent in lately.
The prompt for this round comes from the very dear mama2roo of Letters to a Birthmother:
Does money have an impact on your open adoption? If so, how? (Could be issues pre- or post-placement, expectations, assumptions, costs of visit activities, travel, gifts--you name it.)
Dawn (adoptive parent) @ This Woman's Work: "Does it now? No. Did it in our decision to adopt in-state? Yes."
A comment from Anonymous (first parent): "I will always wonder in the future, when my son can understand things a little more, will he think it was crazy of me to have made the decision I made for him given it was mostly about money??"
Susiebook (first parent) @ Endure for a Night: "Money really does affect our open adoption—right down to being a primary cause of its existence."
Jess (adoptive parent) @ The Problem With Hope: "We do help out our daughter's other mother from time to time with gas money (but if we made the trip, we'd be paying gas money and it's nice to have visits here sometimes) or other small things....and we have helped out birthdad once with an early and slightly larger Christmas present when his vehicle broke down, but those are things that we would do for really almost anyone."
Jenni (first parent) @ Confessions of a Mean Girl Turned Mommy: "One of the interesting things about K becoming such a close friend, is that she shares her daily life with me. And part of that is how she's trying to earn money while still being able to be the primary caregiver for Ladybug and Little W. But she seems to qualify her statements with, 'But don't worry, it will be okay.' I wonder, is she doing that for my benefit, or hers?"
A (adoptive parent) @ A+A Adopt a Baby: "I'm not entirely sure that what I think I know about Z is the truth, or the truth as she would tell it. But I do know that the position she found herself in, the position of needing to relinquish a beloved child to adoption, was not only a result of choices she had made in her life. It was also a result of unearned disadvantage, of being a black unmarried economically disadvantaged woman situated within a web of similarly raced and classed family and friends, who despite perhaps having care for her did not have the resources to help her keep and care for her daughter. It may not be the only dynamic, but it is certainly a real one. "
Heather (adoptive parent) @ Production, Not Reproduction: "It has pushed at our pre-conceived ideas about what a flourishing open adoption looks like. The most important pieces--mutual respect, honesty, trust--are there. But then there are all the things you might expect a good relationship to include: maybe sharing pictures, chatting frequently, spending time together in person, exchanging presents. There's an assumption of a heck of a lot of stability on both sides there."
DrSpouse (prospective adoptive parent, former foster parent) @ What am I?: "We are very much hoping that we'll end up in an open adoption with some direct contact with some members of our child's birth family. I have no idea how money will enter into that relationship - but I know I've been in a slightly similar situation before."
Luna (adoptive parent) @ life from here: "Money was certainly a factor in our ability to adopt (or not), and also in the type of adoption we would choose. We were on a budget and knew what we could afford in a given situation. Because we wanted a fully open adoption (e.g., with regular visits), we limited outreach to our state and a few others we were likely to visit regularly."
Barely Sane (adoptive parent) @ Infertility Licks!: "Money.... the root of all evils. And in my case, the very basis for how we made so many decisions regarding IF and adoption. I think it would be fair to say it effected every aspect of our ttc journey and was a huge factor not just in our decision to adopt but on where to adopt from."
Spyderkl (adoptive parent) @ Evil Mommy: "I know that the times when M was out of work were times that we didn’t see or hear from her. I know that now when she’s been working regularly, we have seen more of her. Which is a good thing, honestly."
Deathstar44 (adoptive parent) @ A Woman My Age: "We did apply for local adoption, but no one seemed to think that was going to work out that way. Apparently in Canada, adoption is not the huge industry that it is in the States. Not that it doesn’t happen, but the wait can be closer to 5 years. Our social systems support people who choose to keep their children (that is not to say that the US system is not equipped to do the same)."
My Name is Andy (adoptive parent) @ Today's the Day!: "Living in Canada, and specifically in Nova Scotia, adoption is much different then what some bloggers are familiar with in the US. When we adopted Liam it was made very clear that NO money or gifts could be exchanged before his mother had signed the final termination papers. The only costs to us were what we paid to have a social worker do our homestudy (about $1000) and then 10 months later the lawyer fees to finalize the adoption in court. Because of our awesome health care system, there was no cost to “K” to give birth or for any of her pre or post natal care. As well there was no cost to either her or us for the 17 days that Liam was in foster care."
Michelle (adoptive parent) @ Four Gardners and Me: "Our decision not to accept any subsidy to adopt Maya is one that I am glad we made. We have developed a fully open adoption.... Had we accepted the subsidy, I would have felt guilty in Nikki’s presence. It would have weighed upon me that I was receiving money that Nikki so desperately needed to raise the daughter that the government callously took away from her."
Tammy (adoptive parent) @ You Just Never Know Where Hope Might Take Ya: "I was so, so sad as it hit me that one of the reasons I was able to be Mom to Bug was that I had "stuff" and supports of family and friends to do it. And that my generational privilege was so different that it made it possible for me to get the privilege of living the way I did. And that she didn't. And it made me sad and angry and I wanted to fix it by loading up stuff to take to her."
Jenna (first parent) @ The Chronicles of Munchkin Land: "One thing I learned from my panic-stricken pregnancy was something I carry with me to this day: making permanent decisions regarding temporary situations should be done with careful, well-researched precision and the help of others who have been through similar issues."
Rredhead (adoptive parent) @ Adoption.com: "I really do think that money permeates every part of life. We make decisions based on what we think we’re capable of, and sometimes what we’re capable of comes down to what we can afford."
Nicole (adoptive parent) @ All Grown Up: "In addition to our immense joy and thanksgiving, we felt tremendous sadness and guilt. WE had Tulip because WE could afford to & her first parents, whom we have come to know and love and respect tremendously, could not. This was a very unsettling reality for us."
Tracy (adoptive parent) @ My Minivan Rocks: "As I mentioned in my first post about Colin’s open adoption and in my first post aboutsearching for Zoe’s birthparents, this power makes things more comfortable for us, the adoptive parents in an open adoption. I really do not say this to be crass or unfeeling, because that is definitely not the case. I have completely opened my heart to open adoption, but I would not be honest if I did not acknowledge that money and power allow me to protect myslef and my children."
Lavonne (adoptive parent) @ Eyes Opened Wider: "Our agency wasn't completely forthright with us about the entire cost of an adoption through them. (They used 2006 numbers in their paperwork). We had no idea it would get so expensive. But once you're in the process, you're in it for good. At least we were. We had to readjust our expectations and in the end just live with the fact that this adoption would require more money than we anticipated. And how can you put a price tag on building a family?"