Open Adoption Roundtable #40: Reasons for Choosing Open Adoption

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. 

When S and I began our adoption journey, I knew that I did not want a closed adoption.  Most of my reasons are selfish.  I wanted, at the least, tangible bits and pieces of our future child's birth family.  I wanted to be able to share information about future child's family with her/him. 

However, I wasn't sure about a fully-open adoption either.  It seemed so scary, letting a brand new person into our lives, someone we didn't really know.  So, the semi-open approach, in which we shared information but didn't exchange identifying information seemed like the perfect compromise.  After all, we're both somewhat risk-averse and the whole adoption process seemed like a risk.

As we waited, and I discovered the blogging community, I started reading blogs like Write Mind Open Heart and Production Not Reproduction and learning more about open adoption. The more I learned, the more I realized that having a dialogue with the birth family may be the best path.  I slowly came to think that this was the path we should pursue.  After all, there's nothing like education to dispel myths.

And then Baby X arrived and one of C's requests was that we meet frequently.  It was easy to say yes.  Baby X should know his birth family.  C should get to see Baby X grow up.  She found herself in a position I can never fully understand, and who am I to stand in the way of her relationship with her son?

It's been easier emotionally for me to come around to the idea of developing a relationship with C, than I thought it would be.  We have communication issues for sure, and it's not going to be easy, but part of me feel like my job is to keep the communication between her and Baby X open.  I'm sure that hard questions are still going to come up, but my hope is that these can be answered by both us and C.  Whether that helps Baby X process his adoption, only time will tell.

Even if we lose touch with C down the road, or we are not able to have an open adoption with the next child's birth family, it is essential that we, as adoptive parents are open with Baby X about his story.