Open Adoption: Does He Know?

September 1st, 2011

nellieIt truly amazes me as I look back, how much one child changed me life forever. After receiving pictures in the mail from the adoptive family today and secluding myself into my room I really looked at them. As tears slipped down my cheeks my only thought was this: Does he know how much he is loved? I may not be an immediate part of his life, but I am the one who carried him for 9 months, and held him as my own for four days , when he was really never mine to begin with. I loved him for our four days, with such depth that I lost sleep, just to squeeze every minute out of the hospital experience. I loved him, and… [more]

Open Adoption: My Journey

September 1st, 2011

mountain_roadWhen I was a little girl, I never dreamt I would become pregnant and place a child for adoption. I didn’t understand until I saw the caseworkers walk out the hospital door with my newborn son Phoenix, the finality of my decision. It was heartbreaking and for awhile I struggled with where I was in that. The great part of my story, the part I reflect on when times are hard is the perfect family he became a part of. I didn’t have a family picked out. He was going to a foster family, whom I knew nothing about. When I met the foster mom, I asked her how my baby was doing. When she replied, I was blown away by her authenticity… [more]

Know Your State’s Laws Regarding Open Adoption

April 30th, 2009
Categories: Open Adoption

Last year I did a series on the birth parent blog regarding all 50 state's laws as to how they treat open adoption contracts. In case you are not aware: open adoptions are not legally binding in all states. When I placed my daughter for adoption, I was not given that very important bit of information. I have since made it my goal to make sure that all expectant parents considering placement know that they might not have any legal recourse should the adoptive parents choose to close the adoption. So, what does it mean when I say that an open adoption is not legally binding in all states? It simply means that once the adoption is finalized (or, in some states, as soon as the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) is… [more]

Co-Parenting and Eating Cake

February 28th, 2008

If you are considering open adoption and are being vocal with this consideration or doing any research, you may see (if you are reading online) and hear from others various myths about open adoption. One of those common myths is that open adoption is comparable to co-parenting. I’ve even heard some people go as far as to say that open adoption is a glorified form of baby sitting or that open adoption is “having your cake and eating it too.” First of all, let’s look at the definition for co=parenting. Co-parenting is defined as: An arrangement in which parents share legal and physical custody of a child or children. - Source Co-parenting situations are typical in cases where custody is shared between two sets of parents… [more]

Open Adoption Advice

February 17th, 2008
Categories: Open Adoption

Are you considering an open adoption plan for your unborn baby? I remember when I first heard of open adoption. Charlie’s adoptive mother, A, was actually the person who explained open adoption to me. There was so much I didn’t know about open adoption and honestly, I’m still learning things about open adoption. We kind of figure it out as we go along. I’ve been living in an open adoption for over six years now. We’ve done some things correctly and we’ve made our share of mistakes too. Over the years, I’ve also gotten to know other birthmothers and adoptive parents who are participating in open adoptions too. I’ve seen some open adoptions work out pretty smoothly and sadly, I’ve seen some others fail. Before you… [more]

Post Adoption Contact Agreements

April 10th, 2007
Categories: Open Adoption

If you are making an adoption plan, something that you may want to start thinking about is a post adoption contact agreement. What is a post adoption contact agreement? It is a written communication agreement between expectant mothers and/or fathers and prospective adoptive parents that detail contact between them after the finalization of the adoption. Detailed and child centered, post adoption contact agreements can lay out the future exchange of pictures, emails, phone calls, visits, etc. and include the frequency. Typically, these are prepared and written before finalization. Are post adoption contact agreements upheld by law? No, post adoption contact agreements are not legally binding but written in a “good faith” style. What are the benefits of having a post adoption contact agreement? They can help you… [more]

A Word of Advice about Post Adoption Contact Agreements

March 4th, 2007
Categories: Open Adoption

In Faith’s recent post in the Hoping to Adopt blog, she talked about how both adoptive parents and the expectant mother (or parents) that are making an adoption plan together need to try and lay out boundaries and ground rules before the baby is born. I totally agree and have conveyed this in previous posts such as Post Adoption Contact Agreements. There is one important point that I don’t think I stressed enough and that is: Leave room for flexibility. You don’t know how you are going to feel once you become a birthmother until you actually become a birthmother. You can think about how you might feel and what you think you will feel once you sign relinquishment papers, but you… [more]

Ongoing Contact in Your Adoption

February 13th, 2007
Categories: Ongoing Contact

If you are considering making an adoption plan for your unborn baby, you may be considering open adoption with on going contact. In open adoptions you will actively participate in making one. You will begin to think about openness and the amount of openness and contact you may want in an adoption plan. There’s a lot to think about! When you are in the midst of making an adoption plan it can be overwhelming and your mind may skip over some of the details. An ethical adoption agency or adoption professional should go over all of this with you and the prospective adoptive family to make sure you are on the same page as far as contact goes. If there is a major… [more]

Open Adoption = No Pain

December 18th, 2006
Categories: Open Adoption

Blogger’s Note: It is not my intent with this post to create a “pain game” amongst birthmothers of varying degrees of openness in their adoption situations. We all have pain and I recognize that and don’t think it is necessarily easier for one birthmother over the other. I do however, wish to analyze, how at times open adoption maybe portrayed as having little pain to expectant mothers considering adoption. Have you noticed on agency websites, brochures, adoption websites, etc at times paint open adoption as a rosy picture? That it’s almost as if they are saying, “If you choose open adoption, you will have little or no pain.” That getting to see your child is a compensation for the loss of your motherhood? I think that in unspoken words, they… [more]

Open and closed, part 2

October 18th, 2006
Categories: Open Adoption

(continued from previous post) Basically, birthparents in open adoptions are dependent upon the goodwill and continued commitment of the adoptive parents. In that sense, OA puts you in a highly subservient position, given that you must abide by the adoptive parents’ wishes, even if they don’t coincide with your own. At times, this can be one of the more uncomfortable parts of living out an open adoption. Now, the adoptive parents in my audience may protest, because sometimes it does work the other way. I have talked to some very sad and bewildered adoptive parents who truly believed in the principles of open adoption, and trusted that their child’s birthfamily would always be there, only to have the birth family decide that contact… [more]