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 listed at Open Adoption Bloggers 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--please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Publish your response--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.
Awhile back I read a summary of a workshop held for prospective adoptive parents who were exploring their options. During their survey of different sorts of adoption, the speakers said that, at its most basic core, "Open adoption is about information sharing."
"Hm," I thought when I read that.
I turned that one over in my mind for quite some time and now I'm turning it over to you. Generalizations are a tricky business. Relationships are too diverse, too complex for blanket statements to cover them all. But generalizations certainly make for good conversation starters--and an interesting exercise in thinking about what we each would say is the foundation of open adoption...
"Open adoption is about information sharing." Share your reaction to that statement. How well does it match up with your experience of open adoption? If you disagree, how would you finish the phrase, "Open adoption is about..."?
(You can find out when a new prompt is up by following @OpenAdoptBlogs on Twitter!)
Prabha (adoptive parent) at Baby Steps to a Baby Dream: "Open adoption is about accepting your child and his or her family as is --- warts and all."
Spyderkl (adoptive parent) at Evil Mommy: "If we were having a mere exchange of information, M, C, J and us would have been done with each other years ago."
Jenna (first parent) at The Chronicles of Munchkin Land: "Open adoption is about relationships and the sharing of lives and family."
Robyn (adoptive parent) at the Adoption.com Domestic Adoption blog: "Information sharing is what makes a relationship last."
Michele (adoptive parent) at Gotcha Baby: "My reaction to that statement is that the professional sharing it was giving prospective adoptive parents the least-scary, most basic, most general definition of what Open Adoption is."
Limbo Mama (prospective adoptive parent) at Limbo Land: "As a waiting, potential adoptive parent, my perspective is colored by an almost certain naivety that comes from hoping for (and working towards) an open adoption, rather than navigating an actual living, breathing open adoption relationship. Regardless, to me open adoption is more multi-faceted than simple 'information sharing'."
Katjamichelle (first parent) at Therapy Is Expensive: "Open adoption doesn’t start and stop with the sharing of information it thrives with the creating of memories and the building of relationships."
Brandy (first parent, adopted adult) at Our Life in the Desert: "Open adoption is about sharing – just like marriage is about sharing and family is about sharing – relationships are a mixture of give and take – AKA, sharing."
Dawn (adoptive parent) at This Woman's Work: "I’d say that open adoption is about openness. Sometimes that’s limited to information sharing (it’s all I got when it comes to aspects of our open adoption) and sometimes it’s a lot more (like sharing, you know, the kid)."
Leah (first parent) at Sturdy Yet Fragile: "For me, however, when I first read 'open adoption is about information sharing' I thought, YES! Exactly!"
Lynn (adoptive parent) at Open Hearts Open Minds: "From my perspective, open adoption is a complex process, based on evolving relationships...relationships that many 'outsiders' seem to find hard to understand. But (at the risk of sounding corny), I think that, in essence,open adoption is -- and should be -- about love."
Cindy (first parent): "Open adoption is about keeping the connection between my son his beginnings, a basic right for every person."
Kristin (adoptive parent) at Parenthood Path: "For me, the best way I can describe it is as an 'attitude.'"--and an interesting comparison to diversity.
Barely Sane (adoptive parent) at Life of the Barely Sane: "Because it’s just words on a computer screen or a paper. It’s not a real connection, a real relationship. I know about these people but I don’t truly know them. To me, an open adoption should have both of those things."
Ginger (first parent) at Shattered Glass: "If you remember that everyone is different, then you don’t have to irrationally fear someone because of their role in adoption. Bio-parents are just as guilty of fearing a-parents irrationally as a-parents are of fearing b-parents. An open adoption might be about information sharing…or it could be about family by choice."
Susiebook (first parent) at Endure for a Night: "I want to say that in general open adoption is about relationships, but that in our case—at least for me and the Mister—it’s about trying to make up to Cricket for the relinquishment forever."
M (adoptive parent) at Letters to a Birthmother: "Obviously, sharing information is a great place to start in open adoption. I think its a way to Have Some Openness in the Adoption, though I think to make this an all-encompassing statement sure could limit a person in their thinking as they are launching into the adoption world and all the decisions and complexities it entails."