Thursday, October 6, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable

I am not sure where I heard of open adoption first.  I have known about adoption since I was small I had many family members and friends who were adopted.  All of them were foreign adoptions or through the foster care system.  I've always wanted to adopt a baby even as a small child.  My cousins and friends that were adopted were so special and amazing, unique and loved. 

As a result adoption was always part of our original family plan though we are not following the script.  DH  had never considered adoption but I was able to convince him that I was willing to carry one child then we would build our family from adoption. (I want three kids DH only wants two... thats to be debated on another day).  When we were unsuccessful at creating a child on our own we moved directly to adoption.

I think I had a slow exposure to open adoption so that when the agency presented open adoption I finally had a name to the experience. My experiences with my friends and cousins with closed adoptions seemed like something was missing.  Juno and Teen Mom also had brought adoption to pop culture with varying levels of openness.  The idea seemed neat to me and I know I spoke to my cousin that was adopted from foster care after watching Juno. He indicated that he didn't want to know anything more about his mom then he already knew from his case file.

When open adoption was presented to us I needed to help my husband understand why having interaction with the birthparents would be an amazing opportunity.  Once the fears and questions are answered it seems like- why would you keep your child away from people that love them?  It will help us raise our baby with double love and we will have real answers to real questions from the source.  This isn't about family medical histories (you can get that from paper) this is about having a connection so the birthfamily knows their baby is loved, and our baby knows they are loved.  

Our agency starts with the requirement of a meeting prior to placement and a meeting post placement with the birth family.  Our state does not mandate that open adoption agreements be upheld which I feel is like kidnapping (why promise something you wont uphold).  I hope that our birthfamily is open to meetings, I hope to set up skype, and online photo albums.  I worry that our placement will be out of state which will mean that in person meetings might be less then once a year but my dream is at least yearly visits and frequent communication.  I hope not to scare off our birthfamily!

Often after drug exposures, the idea of open adoption is what people "warn us" about.  With any relationship there is always risk of breakdown- not everyone is compatible.  We are not moving in with our birthparents we are establishing a relationship that is what is best for our children.  If the best doctor in the world had the worst bedside mannor would you choose not to see him?  Probably not.  From what I have seen on other blogs; most open adoptions work because birthparents pick families that they relate to, and thus there is already a connection.  I'm more worried about what I'll do the first time my baby gets a fever then I am about open adoption "horror stories."

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