Saturday, January 22, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #23

This OAR comes from reading another blog and answering the seven questions that she has posted about open adoption. Here's the blog that the questions come from:  Ignorant Questions About Open Adoption.

1. If open adoption is so great, why do so many people suck at it? By this I mean, not honoring commitments, closing the adoption, telling the other family they’re not “doing this thing” correctly or playing the “for the sake of the child” card?
I think the reason that open adoption is so difficult is because you're dealing with children, and people who have put themselves out there and are vulnerable. I think adoptions come with a lot of emotion and you're involving yourself with someone that under other circumstances, you might not associate with them. As an adoptive mom in an open adoption, I can say that it takes effort and not everyone is willing to do that. We keep our eyes on the bigger picture and try to remember that everything that we do is for our son. 

2. From the standpoint of first parents, open adoption sounds like something that could prolong suffering. Could this suffering potentially outweigh the good of knowing where your child is? Who helps the first parent?
I think it depends on the situation. Some "first parents" don't want to be parents. Some have no desire to raise a child and the idea of placing their baby in the arms of a family who will love them, raise them with a solid foundation, and will also keep them in the loop and share pictures with them, is a win-win.

As someone who has never been able to conceive, I can't imagine what it'd be like to get pregnant, not want to parent, and decide to place it in the arms of another person. However, if I had the option of knowing as much as I could about this baby and seeing pictures/videos, and possibly seeing it and being apart of its life, or not having anything to do with it at all, I think I'd pick an open adoption.

I think "first parents" need as much support as they can get and adoption agencies usually provide support to the birth mothers. In the case of adoption, it's not just the birth mom who loses a baby. The extended family and the birth father (if he's aware) also lose. For that reason alone, we wanted an open adoption.

3. I’m guessing kids are not hung up on how many relatives they have. Tell me that the thing that hangs up the public all the time about open adoption and other unconventional relationships—two mommies, two daddies, three, four, parents—is the least of your worries because it seems to me it is.
It's the very least of my worries. The more people that love my son, the better.

4. Do you ever feel like you should give this child back? Does the thought ever seize you totally as you watch your child with her bio-family: “ooops?” (OR for f-parents: Do you ever feel as though you need to take this child back? That nothing is stopping you beside an agreement that feels false? Does that feeling go away?)
Maybe we got really lucky on this one, but I have never had any feeling that said to give my son back to his birth mother. I cannot wait for them to see him at his first birthday and love on him and enjoy the boy that he is. We are in debt to them and are enthusiastic about sharing his milestones and big events with them. I can't wait for my son to get old enough to understand that he has a birth family that loves him very much, and to have them be apart of his life. He's so very lucky to have so many people who love and care about him!

5. How do children ever cope with knowing they could not be kept? When they see their natural parents having more kids, what do they think? Who helps the child in this situation? Both sets of parents?
My son is only eight-months-old so I haven't experienced this yet, however, I think it'll take a lot of communication and understanding on our part to help him deal with this. I think it's my job as his mom to help him understand his adoption and to make sure that he knows he is loved by many. When his birth mom and dad have additional children (which I'm sure they will-- they were both minors when he was born), we'll share the information with him and explore his thoughts and feelings and help him understand and cope as much as we can. Through constant communication from birth on, he will always know that he's adopted, and will know that his birth parents loved him so very much and weren't ready to parent anyone. They loved him so much that they placed him into our arms.

6. Can you say comfortably that some surrendering mothers could not cope with an open adoption or do you think that it should always be the standard?
The only way an open adoption can work is if everyone involved agrees and is on the same page with the expectations of the adoption. It should NOT be the standard because not everyone can handle an open adoption. I would hate to enter into an open adoption with birth parents that were forced into it. It would make the whole thing uncomfortable and hurt the child in the long-run. If a surrendering mother wanted to place a child for adoption and wanted it to be closed, that should be her choice. I'd be afraid that if it was mandatory to have open adoptions, more women would choose abortion.

7. Is there ever a reason (aside from extreme/illegal behaviors) to close an adoption totally?
Does this mean it was open and then closed? I think if there's anyone involved and they do not feel comfortable with the open adoption, it should be discussed honestly. I don't think it's right to enter into an open adoption and then close it without both sides being in agreement. I think if the birth mother decided to close the adoption and not want anything to do with the child, it'd be easier to deal with than if the birth mom wanted the open adoption and the adoptive family decided to pull out and close it. I think that'd be more painful for the birth mother.

What a great prompt and it really made me think!!! I'm eager to hear what others think!!


Lavender Luz said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really like what you say in Q3.

And also this: "We keep our eyes on the bigger picture and try to remember that everything that we do is for our son."

Thanks for answering!

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