Thursday, December 15, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #30

Do you remember the first time you heard about open adoption?

The first time I had heard about open adoption was when we started looking into adoption. The agency that we started out with supported closed, semi-open, and open adoptions. I had to look at what it would mean for all three and how they'd work or not work for us. 

We were pretty certain that we didn't want a closed adoption, but we weren't sure about the difference between semi-open and open. It wasn't until we were driving to our over-night workshop that I was convinced that open was the only way to go for us. 

I remember the conversation vividly and the emotion that followed. We were driving to Matthews, NC and were on one of the many back roads that we drove to get there. It was three-hours each way, so there was plenty of time to talk about everything imaginable. 

The deciding factor for wanting an open (versus closed or semi-open) was my own family. I thought about my niece Lily, who at the time was only a few months old. I had only met her once and fell in love the second I saw her. Steve and I are her God Parents and have a strong love and connection with her.

She's my twin brother's first child and that alone makes her so very special to me. My brother is not married to Lily's mother, they're engaged and we all consider Christie to be family, and for what I believe, she's family and has been for a long time. BUT the bottom line is that they're not married and there's nothing legally connecting them.

So at the same time that we were starting on our adoption journey, I had an epiphany where I saw things from the birth family's perspective. Not necessarily the birth parents, but their siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. And what I realized was if we had anything but an open adoption, all those people not directly involved, would miss out on the chance to know our baby.

The thought of my brother and Christie breaking up, and her taking the kids, and me never seeing my niece ever again made me so upset. It was that thought-process that helped guide me to the conclusion that we don't have the right to take our adopted child's family out of the picture. We said that even if the birth parents didn't want a close relationship with our baby, we wanted to leave it up to their extended family to decide to have a relationship with our child or not.

Thankfully, Gus's entire birth family (on both sides) love him, are very involved with him, and feel like an extension of our own family.


A Family of Love said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Open adoption is so wonderful! We have an awesome relationship with our son's birthparents and their families and I can't imagine it any other way.

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