I don't want to start any fights, just am interested in some opinions about closed vs. open adoptions. How did you do it?
My baby brother was adopted from Korea in the early 80's - his adoption was obviously closed as open adoptions were unheard of.
My sister has adopted 3 children in the last 7 years, all as infants, all domestic adoptions, all closed.
The idea of an open adoption scares me to death! To let the birth parent(s), who may have caused many of the child's emotional issues, to have continued involvement in the child's life seems irresponsible...However; I admit that's because this is NOT the way I've experienced adoption in our family.
Has open adoption worked for you? Was it your first choice or was it the path of least resistance to get a child? Would you change anything? etc.
Again, I'm not trying to start a fight over what's better or worse... I just want more information into how this has actually worked in practice - not just in theory.
Hey! I don't know much about adoption but it is definitely something I want to look into when the time is right for me. One very good person to ask is Sidney Gaskins. Have a look at her blog: http://www.enterprisinglife.blogspot.com/ There is a lot of info there.
Hope this helps!
Florence Bernard, $1 Parenting and Schooling e-Book and more Free resources on www.betteratschool.com
One of my friends has two children through closed adoption and one through open (followed by three naturally!). The oldest daughter is 13 years old and is in the hospital as I write. It is an ongoing problem that the doctors have had great difficulty diagnosing. After much searching and a bit of luck, this past summer my friend was able to identify and contact some of this girl's biological relations. Not much was gleaned that was helpful, but you can see the benefit of knowing the potential for genetic problems that could occur throughout the child's life.
As for the open adoption: that child's biological parents don't have any real access to the child. Pictures and letters are occasionally sent. The lines of communication are open- but the adoptive parents are the PARENTS and in complete charge of all decisions regarding her. There isn't any visitation rights held by the biological parents.
I think I would prefer to pretend that child had no other parents but us, but realistically I feel that it would be in their best interest to know their "roots".
Just my opinion.
I think both options have pros & cons! It can be better for the kid in the long run that you know the biological parents & keep in touch for medical reasons. I think it is nice if you are willing to share photos & updates considering they blessed you with their child. However, I do understand not wanting your child to know about everything, but at the same time I don't see how them knowing they were adopted would change anything either.
So, I guess it just depends.lol.
*TTC CYCLE #40*
I am a birth mother who now is a mother to 2 kids of my own. I have a semi-open adoption. I know the adoptive parents first name and the state they live in and they know my first naem and the state I am in but that is it. We went through an agency. So if they ever need to find me all they need to do is call the agency and they will contact me. The adoptive parents used to send pics/letters to the agency and then the agency would send them to me. I would have never wanted a completely closed adoption just because if my child ever wants to find me she can. And I would never want an open adoption becuase I could not bare seeing my child with her "new" parents.
The arrangement we have is a semi-open adoption. Our sons are 4 and 2, and their adoptions were facilitated by a local agency. Both birth mothers asked for the semi-open arrangement, in which we know one another's first names and in what states we live, but not last names or any other personal information. We send letters and pictures on a regular basis, which they can choose to receive through the agency. Both they and we were very comfortable with that arrangement. I want our boys to be able to find their biological families if they want to someday, as long as their birth mothers are comfortable with it. They each have 2 older siblings, and I can imagine that they might be very interested in meeting those relatives at some point.
Our 2 year old was just diagnosed with asthma, and suffers quite a bit with it (hopefully much less with the new medicines). If we need to find out some kind of medical history that his birth mother didn't share with us or the agency, I am relieved knowing that there IS a way to contact her. What if either of my children had some other illness or condition that was hereditary? Having that point of contact is very reassuring for my wife and me.
And I want their birth mothers to know that they are healthy and well cared for, to be able to see them as they grow, and what they look like. Both actually resemble their birth mothers a good deal, and my 2 year old strongly resembles his biological older brother. In a closed adoption, the birth parents don't even know if the child is living, let alone healthy, well-cared-for, developing properly, etc. If I had needed to relinquish a child, I don't think I would be comfortable with that at all.
At least for our families, adopted and biological, this is the best and most comfortable solution. It's definitely worth considering and asking about.
I knew a girl in college who had adopted her child out when she got pregnant in high school. What she liked about the open adoption is that she first got to read letters written by the different potential parents and choose the family she preferred for her son. The first year I think she got several update photos, every year after that she got a birthday photo and short letter letting her know what he is doing now. Other than that she has no other contact, but it is emotionally beneficial for her, not wondering what ever happened to her baby. My understanding is that open adoption law is still extremely protective of the adoptive family.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!
As a mother of 4 adopted kiddo's and have an open adoption with the fathers, but as for their mother, she is allowed no contact with them at all. The fathers respect our place in the lifes of the children and understand that we are the parents and support us in our decisions. The mother, however, is mentally ill and the emotional conflict that is stirred up in their tender lifes is not worth her being a part of their life, nor does she respect our decisions or us as their parents. At this time we send her pictures of the kids and that is all the communication. We want to keep contact so if there is a time in their lifes that they want to meet their mother or have questions, we can provide answers. It is not an easy decision that is made concerning adoption, bottom line is what is in the best interest of the kiddos, they have a right to security and stability and as their legal parents that is our responsibility to make that decision. And parents who have resended or had their rights revoked have no rights.
I'm writing this from the birth mother perspective, so hopefully it gives you a little insight to the "other side of the fence".
I'm sorry that closed adoptions have been all you've known. Open adoptions can be scary, but can also be very successful. I placed my 2nd born daughter for adoption with a loving family that goes to the same church I do because they couldn't have children of their own. I made my decision after my relationship with her father fell through when I was 6 months along. It was the hardest decision I've ever made in my life, but I knew that I could not raise her on my own. I didn't make enough money nor did I have enough time to give her everything she needed & deserved. While I still miss her, and have a special place in my heart for her, I'm glad I made the decision I did. Her adoptive parents are wonderful people who live in a beautiful home & have a large family that surrounds her in love.
I, personally, wanted to know what type of home my child would be raised in. I had them come to some of my doctors appointments and they got to hear the baby's heartbeat which was a unique bonding experience for all of us. They were at the hospital during the birth, but didn't come in until after she was born. We've kept communication strictly to emails, to keep things uncomplicated. And I'm happy with it; I get pictures & updates on how she's growing & the new things she's doing & learning. During holidays & birthdays, we send eachother gifts. It's like an extended family, in my particular situation. It's been very successful, I don't remember there ever being a time where things were akward between myself & the adoptive parents. We set up the boundaries from the get go so there were expectations off the bat, there was no way either party could be let down or feel disappointed. No "stepping on toes".
I hope this helps. I know it isn't from YOUR side per say - but I hope it opens your eyes to the possibilities.
I personally think open adoption would be the way to go. I attended an adoption informational presentation once and got the impression that if you go with open adoption the children are typically infants (here in the US), so they are not bonded to any adult yet, which makes things easier for you to get him/her to bond to you. I also got the impression that closed adoptions can be any age child, and are typically (but not always) from other countries. I have a friend who was adopted, and she has all sorts of conflicting feelings as an adult as to whether she should try to find her birth mother or not (would it be disloyal to her adoptive mother or no?). She has lots of questions as to why she was given up (because her mother loved her and thought she deserved better, or because she was just plain unwanted, or something in-between?), and as some others have written here, there can be problems knowing the biological family's medical history if there is no way to make contact. Somebody mentioned a semi-open adoption, and if you want access to information in the future while maintaining controlled contact, that sounds like it would be the way to go. Whatever you choose, good luck to you!