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Open adoption seems to have many different definitions…

07 Oct

By TAO

I want to get back to the subject of open adoption and how the definition appears to be changing.   I came back to this subject after reading a comment made on a blog post by a first mother from the closed era who runs a closed group on FB and a website where she helps mothers with an adoption plan (who she calls birthmothers before they have given birth).  I’m not linking to the blog post, but the author of the blog may do so in the comments if she chooses.  That definition of open adoption in the comments was updates via the internet until the child becomes an adult.  Updates to me – is not an open adoption.

When I first became interested in how adoption worked today, the general definition or types of adoption were as follows below.  Understand the following definitions are my interpretation and is pretty broad, many small variations within each category exist depending on the people directly involved.

Closed adoption; no ongoing contact by any means, although they may have met briefly, and one, or both parties may also know the other’s names just like my era.

Semi-open adoption; ongoing contact by scheduled updates for a set amount of years, or until the child was an adult.  The child may (or may not) know the contact happens.  Often, the parents by birth do not know the last name of the parents by adoption or their address and phone number, they generally know the state they lived in at the time of the adoption.  On the other hand, the parents by adoption could have far more personal information about the parents by birth, and if updates weren’t sent through the agency, they may set up a post box for updates and/or contact, or use email or a private website.

Open adoption; includes visits in person and updates in between visits.  A relationship designed to be flexible and as the comfort level grows (or not), the relationship changes as well.  The family of birth may not know the address of the family by adoption, but contact is supposed to happen until the child becomes an adult.

So, the above was my understanding of the different types of adoption that I learned within the last ten years…that’s changing, and I don’t think for the better by any means if open adoption is supposed to be better for the child.  In my way of thinking the blending of open and semi-open into one definition means that if mothers don’t understand they are being offered a semi-open as compared to open, they won’t know that there is another version of open that may indeed provide more benefit to the child than semi-open.  Based on my belief that adoption practices should be created for the benefit of the child, not the parents, and knowing there are more people wanting to adopt than babies, the parents who are suited to whatever is best for the child should be the ones who get to adopt.  I know I said that badly, but I really don’t care, if you aren’t the right match for what is best for the child, the child’s best interests always supersede what you want.  And before I get a slew of comments about if the mother is using substances, and/or has mental health challenges, please don’t bother, just use your common sense and apply the basic premise that I am basing all of this on what is best for the child which obviously wouldn’t include any situation that would hurt the child.  Anyways, now that is said, I googled “who is open adoption supposed to benefit” to see if the child is actually seen as the person who open adoption is meant to benefit looking for articles and papers written on the subject.  That’s not what came up on the first page.  Following are the adoption agencies in order listed on the search page result, so no one can say I went and picked what supported my position.  As with everything, I am including other items that stood out to me on each website I visited.

First agency result was IAC.  The page that came up lists the benefits to the birth parents first, the adoptive parents second, third the adoptees.  They touch briefly on extended family by birth as well.  Benefits for the adoptee were touched upon in a well thought out way, yet, the information, or answers seems to be passed by the birth parent to the adoptive parent, to be filtered down to the adoptee.  There is no mention of direct in-person contact by the different parties anywhere within the article, not a single mention of visits.  Not a single mention of creating an ongoing relationship between the parents by birth and the adoptee.  In all fairness they do speak of visits in some cases on other pages.  They do not define a difference between types of openness, and in their FAQ’s, they use “Birthmothers” instead of the term Expectant Mothers, they are also mum on whether the open adoption is legally able to be enforced, rather, I don’t think they even mention the word legal.  Birth fathers seem to be more or less just a footnote.  I did not see any mention of what they offer, or what happens if the mother chooses to parent, instead of continuing with adoption.

Second agency result was The Cradle.  They wrote in bullet point form on the page that came up, hitting the obvious benefits.  They also, correctly in my opinion, identify the adoptee first, and as the primary beneficiary of open adoption, the parents by adoption second, and the parents by birth third.  They also don’t mention in person visits on that page, although they do note this under the adoptee category “Access to biological siblings, if there are any” which could indicate direct contact.  They don’t define different types of open adoption that I could see.  They correctly identify the mother as an Expectant Mother, and speak to her legal rights regarding open adoption with a link to the law in Illinois.  They speak to what happens if she parents, and that they also have cradle care in case she needs more time to make up her mind (I think all agencies should offer this option).  They are open about the father by birth, and that if known, he has rights that must be respected.  They also have a page for the adult adoptee regarding Illinois open records laws, and how to go about getting your original birth certificate.

Third agency result was Adoptions by Heart of Colorado.  Based on the page that came up and the title, it solely benefits the parents by birth.  To be fair, I went to the home page shown on that page to see what else they may say.  Adoptee’s aren’t even mentioned there, the only parties of note is the parents by birth and the adoptive families, nor is in person visits mentioned.  The only hint is this statement “Adoptive families and birth families mutually set the boundaries and frequency of contact after birth”.  So trying to be open-minded, I went to the Adopt a Baby tab which linked to a page Open Adoption Benefits Adoptees.  In their opening statement on the page, they note that there is a lack of empirical evidence to support either open or closed adoptions as better, but they support open adoptions (I personally think the longitudinal adoption study referenced as MTARP does a fine job showing it does).  There is no definition of the different types of open adoption, nor mention of in person visits, rather they list the adoptive parents ability to provide answers.  They refer to birth parents and birth moms, not expectant parents and expectant mothers.  It is also curious that I could not find a link or a tab on the home page, or additional pages – to the first page I linked to that came up in the search, there is no clear way I could see, for the adopting parents to see what they are saying to the expectant parents…

I’m stopping at the first three agency responses, your search results will likely show different listings, based on what google thinks you want to see.  I have linked to the agencies above so you can confirm what I said is correct because I’m not perfect.  If anything I’ve said above is incorrect I’m happy to fix it, and no, I’m not implying that they don’t spell it out when they meet with the mother, they very well may.  By linking, I am not recommending them, or saying they are doing anything wrong or right, I am simply using them to show how the definition of open and semi-open adoption seems to have become one definition.  My concern is in how broadly an open adoption is defined, instead of breaking it down between open and semi-open that was the norm just a few years ago.  The concern is two-fold, but primarily for expectant mothers, who are likely brand-spanking new to adoption, in a crisis, and I feel the website should clearly tell what options there are broken down into the two distinctly different types of openness, as well as what their legal rights are to either after they sign the papers.  Without a breakdown of what defines an open adoption compared to a semi-open, they may not know until it is too late, that they didn’t have all the facts at their disposal to make a true choice.  If adoption must happen (and you know I think it should be rare), it must be transparent from the get-go, and what types of adoption they offer should be clear on the website so the expectant mother can choose which agency to contact.

So, I’m asking what you think.  Should adoption agencies and professionals clearly define between open and semi-open on their websites, and whether openness is legally protected for the expectant mother after she has signed the papers?  Let me know in the comments and please understand this is meant to open discussion, not shut down by painting all with the same brush, you get my drift.

I’m also going to leave you with this question to mull on.  How can you have a truly open adoption when parents live in a different state if open means visits (yes, I know things happen and people move, but I’m talking about at the time of the adoption)…

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31 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Adoption

 

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31 responses to “Open adoption seems to have many different definitions…

  1. Stacey

    October 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    All these so-called ‘open’ and ‘semi-open’ adoptions aren’t worth the paper (or electrons) they’re printed (or posted) on – they’re not legally enforceable. The adopters are the ones will ALL the control/power.

    While I’m not adopted, I have three sisters who were adopted from US foster care via fully open adoption when they were nearly-17 (my BFF from age 4), 8 and 7 years old (her baby sisters) some 20+ years ago. They kept their names and in regular contact with their first parents, whom my fam’s known and loved since I was 4 (well before all 3 girls landed in foster care – during their parents 10+ year fight against drug/alcohol demons). I consider their first parents family, because they are family – we’ve celebrated all holidays with them for the past 16 years, since they’ve been sober, my kids call them auntie/uncle, just as they do their biological rellies. THIS is an open adoption… not what the agencies are trying to ‘sell’ as an open/semi open adoption.

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    • TAO

      October 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks Stacy – that is what open adoption is…

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  2. Beth

    October 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    My definition of Open is when the adoptee has an open adoption – not just their parents. When the adoptee has say in the matter, and has free communication with family members and friends, and possess documents to show all that has legally happened to the adoptee.

    If the state still has sealed records, to the adoptee, and the only way the adoptee can know they are adopted or anything about it is up to the parents to tell them – How can it be called Open?

    I still think most agencies use “Open” as a slippery sales pitch to expectant mothers.
    Buyer beware.

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    • TAO

      October 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      I was going to add a note about the fact that the original birth certificate is still sealed away so not really open – but did you see how long this post was, surprised anyone reads to the end and figured I was already pushing my luck…

      I agree with you on both points Beth…

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  3. iwishiwasadopted

    October 7, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    As an adopted adult, I don’t see the benefits of open adoption for the child. Having my mother visit with me, and then leave me time and time again would have been heartbreaking. Watching her raise my half brother would have been even worse. It’s cruel psychological torture. Then again, so is closed adoption. I don’t have an answer to what to do with children whose parents truly don’t want to raise them. For all the women who want their babies, I think
    They should receive all the support they need to remain the parents of the children they bore. No names should be changed, no records should be sealed. No adoption as we know it.

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    • TAO

      October 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      I think open is better than closed but not a I’ll ask the question and then paraphrase the answer back to you with what I want the message to be…no, not all would do that but it will and probably does happen.

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  4. Dannie

    October 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    IMHO no adoption as we know it is truly open, I would argue 99% are semi open with some of them actually having visits. There are many reasons for this. I can’t list them all on my break however agencies should not sell it like a dangling carrot. There should be warnings including the fact that even if both families live in same state life happens, people move, people divorce and remarry, life gets messy. That signing away ones parental rights and agreeing to adoption means one loses the child to life’s happenstances. Mothers should be aware of the whole truth.
    Foster care to adoption is slightly different in that many situations will end up closed for safety reasons, true safety reasons, however, one always has to think of the benefit to the child in what a family does or doesn’t do after adoption

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    • TAO

      October 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      You are probably right Dannie, I just think everything should be clearly spelled out in advance…

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  5. Yan

    October 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I don’t know what’s better growing up, but not having had to search would have been better for me as an adult.

    BUT I will agree 100% (1000%) that clear and honest communication from agencies to prospective parents on both sides of adoption is sort of the bare minimum required for “the good of the child.” Tell adoptive parents that adoption is trauma and they will have to deal with that. Tell expectant parents what’s legally possible, not “figure it out as you go.” Honesty seems hard to come by because adoption is hard and complicated and people want an easy blank slate of a newborn.

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  6. katoas

    October 8, 2014 at 12:13 am

    I was raised in a truly open adoption as defined here. Visits, phone calls, letters etc. i even spent weeks during my summer with my bio family. Here’s how it worked out for me: by the time I was 6, my anxiety was at an all time high. by 8 I was thoroughly exhausted by life. By the teen years I felt there was absolutely no hope in life & completely deteriorated. I will never know how I managed to survive repeatedly being lefy by my mom & siblings. All I ever wanted was to be with them, but I was busy dealing with the reunion issues most adults don’t even know how to navigate. I will never say open NOR closed is better/worse. The only “better” adoption is one that is avoided completely.

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    • Amy

      October 8, 2014 at 5:03 am

      Yes, yes, yes! You could be my (birth)child. Totally open adoption since she was 9, and what you describe is what she’s been explaining to me recently. She is 29 now, and is in pain and having much difficulty with life in general. She knows it’s adoption related, and can’t speak to her a-parents about it.

      In an open adoption, I fear we are asking CHILDREN to deal with reunion issues! I was explaining this to someone the other day. I, as an adult, couldn’t cope, so how could I expect my daughter to??! A-parents refused to think our situation was anything but a fairy-tale. Once my daughter was an adult, I cleared that up IMMEDIATELY with the a-mom who wanted to “go public” with our happy dappy open adoption story. I couldn’t keep the secret pain bottled up, but my daughter STILL is. It’s too much for them to bear I fear. Open adoption is most definitely NOT the answer! Neither is closed…so it’s best avoided altogether.

      katoas, your voice is very needed! We need the adult adoptees who have experienced open adoption to tell their stories, and confirm or deny if “open adoption” is the answer…which I do not believe it is. To me, it was torture. I believe it was to my daughter as well. Watching your mother, father, and “kept” siblings walk out on you (it wasn’t the case, but that’s how I would imagine it’s perceived) repeatedly. Isn’t that horribly cruel? To force a mother walk away from her child repeatedly sure is.

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      • TAO

        October 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks for adding the flip side 🙂

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    • TAO

      October 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Kat, I was on my way to bed when you commented so sorry for the late response. Of course no adoption is the best one – I can’t imagine anyone saying otherwise. Your voice needs to be heard. What is interesting though is the timeline, the stages, are the same ages that closed adoptees seem to also start understanding and the feeling the loss side, different feelings, perhaps direct opposite feelings of each other, but loss permeates both. You don’t need to answer this if you don’t want to, I won’t take offense if you don’t. If you could go back in time and could not prevent being adopted – would you have your life structured differently in open, or, would you chose to have a closed adoption knowing the outcome of ever knowing who you were was unknown? (I know, it would be speculation on how you would feel in closed, but we all speculate.)

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      • katoas

        October 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

        Thank you for the response. I did have the impression that you were saying open is better than closed from your reply to iwishiwasadopted. For me, I cannot imagine the torture of growing up hearing about my family for whom I have absolutely no details. The void that would leave seems like it would be an absolute torment and I think for me personally, I would have been left in a world of daydreams of ‘creating’ what that family might be like.
        In reality, all of the above was true for me as well, except I had the faces to place on the characters of my daydreams. The void was there for me as well. I knew I had sisters who were busy in dance classes or at the beach while I was alone with my Afam. The void was where I lived too. I knew the details of names & personalities but did it really make a difference? Recently my bio sister said, “I know we grew up knowing each other. But what the hell difference did that make? In the end, it didn’t.” I’d agree with her.
        I realize this probably didn’t answer your question. For that, I’m sorry.

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        • TAO

          October 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

          Kat, I do think open has to be better than closed, but I am under no illusion that it is a panacea, and everything is just ducky and the adoptee dances off into the sunset. I think the same issues will still need to be processed, and again at different points in life. For me there was no family to talk about growing up, what mom and dad were told was at best four sentences and was probably three, female, unwed, pregnant, were the only facts that were true, the what she did and with whom sentence was false about my conception – what is there to talk about with that info. There was no social history, eye color, hair color, height, nationality, what she did for a living, what the family was like. Even the medical history was blank although in my unsealed court records I received in my 40’s, I did find out that she was in excellent health and my father was in good health, that sounded good until I found out she had already passed…to me, anything has to be better than that, and my story is not unusual, except for the fact that the judge approved the petition for good cause.

          I don’t think they can ever design an adoption that doesn’t have the core issues adoptees have to process and reprocess, it isn’t possible, I do think how we deal with it is both our personality and how our parents reacted when we are young, I think they can help or hurt the process…

          Thanks for responding…

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  7. BeeMom

    October 8, 2014 at 3:52 am

    TAO, thank you so much for addressing this. I made an “adoption plan” in 2000 and semi-open was mentioned but it was not really defined. Today I have noticed the same trend you have. I was told that after I signed TPR the adoptive family was under no obligation to communicate further but was also told that rarely happened (which I now know to be a lie). The ONLY reason I went through with the adoption was because I was promised my daughter would know us, her family, and I was told how beneficial that would be for her (and yes, for me). What makes me so angry is that she did not grow up knowing us and has suffered for it. Yes, I get pictures and updates, but I have had to start from scratch in regards to her learning about us. I was finally able to directly communicate with her about a year ago via snail mail. My very first letter was all about what we were like (I am married to her father and she has 2 siblings from us). Honestly, the adoptee is always the last one thought about in adoption because they have no voice at the time. And that is tragic because the whole reason adoption is supposed to exist is for their benefit. You said it beautifully. If my presence in her life would ever cause her pain or harm I would never want to be a part of it, even though it would hurt. If anyone would care to read the blog post mentioned above it is here:http://musingsofabirthmom.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/birth-moms-today/

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    • TAO

      October 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks BeeMom – wasn’t sure if you would want it linked or not. I think it should be spelled out without fluff and words to make it seem like it is rare for an adoption to close.

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      • BeeMom

        October 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        I agree, TAO. There is way too much fluff in the adoption industry and not enough hardcore truth.

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      • BeeMom

        October 11, 2014 at 2:51 am

        I totally agree TAO. I understand there is a need for adoption. I think that need is grossly over estimated. And adoptions that do happen need to happen ethically and honestly. I was told it was rare for an adoption to close when I placed. That was a lie. They didn’t even have enough statistical knowledge in 2000 to know if they were lying or not. They still don’t today because, like you pointed out, who is defining open adoption?

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  8. Mimi

    October 8, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I agree with your concerns about the merging of terms. Racilious’ blog Adoption in The City really opened my eyes on how agencies aren’t very clear with expectant mothers about what open adoption means, what options they have and how things may change in the future. This seems to benefit PAPs more than anyone because it allows us to say we are open and be on the positive side of the trend without actually living it.

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    • TAO

      October 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Mimi, there will always be a need for some to be adopted – I just want everyone to be extremely honest up front so that adoptions that don’t need to happen – don’t and that can only take place with the first parents knowing the total of the reality. That’s really not going to happen when a business only does adoption because paychecks have to come from somewhere, something needs to change because adoption is based on loss even for the adoptees who feel they were helped – if that makes any sense. Loss of your family is loss, processing that will be different for all, but all will have to process it, sooner or later, it happens. Thanks for adding to the discussion…

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  9. TAO

    October 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Can I just say I’m surprised at how many have managed to read all the way to the end of this incredibly long rambling post? I was too tired to cut out all the bits that weren’t needed. Thanks to all who read to the end… 🙂

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  10. Tiffany

    October 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I am 100% in favor and a strong advocate of legalizing open adoption agreements. I was the one who told our daughter’s mom that they are not easily enforced ( we live in CA, one of the few states where you can file an Contact after Finalization Agreement). I said that it was very important to us that we keep the adoption open for L (our daughter), and that we had agreed a while ago that we wouldn’t even entertain the idea of a closed adoption because we believe adoptees have a right to know their families. But, she had to take just our word for it because it is not easy to enforce. I made sure she and the father understood that. Given their situation, it didn’t change their minds although I could see it concerned her. Almost three years later, and I believe I have kept more than my word as we are very open and they decide the amount of contact themselves.

    I will say posts like katoas and Amy and the blog Sisterwish always give me pause. I absolutely do not think my daughter is living a fairytale to be able to see her first parents. I believe it is making the best of an imperfect situation where she never should have had to be separated from them in the first place. But her parents are still together, and it does concern me that, as she gets to the age of awareness, this is going to be a problem for her. I know it is already hard for her mother to relive saying goodbye every time she she’s her, and that is what has likely led to the contact tapering off dramatically on their side. I am hoping and praying that open hearts, no pressure, no insecurities, and a desire to do whatever is best for her will help our daughter navigate through this. My personal biggest issue with open adoption is the lack of a roadmap. Our children are living this social experiment, and that concerns me a lot.

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    • TAO

      October 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Tiffany – the whole thing about adoption is lack of a road map and social experimentation…

      Of the three types – I can see deep flaws in each. I don’t see anyway around it – if the child needs to be adopted. And other solutions like guardianship come with the same problems as well. No easy answers…

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  11. Beth

    October 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve been wondering if adults who have survived open adoption, and are willing to talk about it now, run across strange or offensive comments from others about it, especially from closed adult adoptees??

    I ask this because, holy cow, I Almost said something to a tween adoptee yesterday, who is in an open adoption. I could not believe this almost came out of my mouth – I know better and I certainly don’t believe it. She had gotten a letter from her mother, her excited mom showed it to her in front of me. Her anxious stuck in the middle response I saw plainly, and understood. I could tell she was embarrassed, anxious and annoyed. I could tell there were hurt feelings in her, just from holding the letter. She covered it all well in front of her Mom, too easy for me to see, to “get”. I was a bit shocked how clueless her very happy dappy positive mom seemed to be. But part of it I think was her bragging? or showing off for me – she was being an “open mom” (well, more like a semi-open mom, they have no visits) like I pressured her to be from the beginning.

    So I reminded her I was adopted too, and don’t worry about me judging you or anything, geez, who am I? And fussed at her Mom a bit to be more discreet with personal matters, geezzz moooom

    So, being a dumb old lady, and trying to find something comforting to say (I should really stop attempting that!) I come up with; Wow, that’s pretty special tho, that letter, I had to wait 40 years to get a letter from my mother. And your letter has stickers too, I am jealous!

    Like that wasn’t bad enough, then on the tip of my tongue, it almost came out, I was in total shock, I could not believe I was about to say it… LUCKY. I almost told this sweet girl straight out that she was lucky to have that letter in hand.

    I have been banging my head against the wall since, I am still shocked that this thought would go thru MY head and nearly come out of my mouth. I get why I projected and mentioned my 40 year wait, but to almost say the dreaded word ‘lucky’, I really can’t believe I almost said that.

    So, if I almost said this, and I consider myself someone in the know and definitely someone that knows better – I have to wonder and imagine that other open adoption adoptees have heard things like that themselves.

    Curious to hear how many old ladies you may have wanted to punch in the nose during your Open stint, and what people may have said.

    I’m going to go crawl under a rock where I belong now!

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    • TAO

      October 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Awe Beth, I’m sure your instinctive gag reflex would have kicked into high gear if you had not checked yourself and started to tell her she was lucky…you always find a way to make me laugh. Sorry for not responding yesterday, just having a bad week.

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  12. Robyn C

    October 12, 2014 at 5:39 am

    You are absolutely right that open adoption has a broad definition, and that some agencies are selling semi-open adoption as open adoption.

    Open adoption doesn’t mean visits, though. It just means direct contact. The birth parents and adoptive parents know each other, have identifying information, and have direct contact with one another. We’re in open adoptions with my son’s birth mother and her family, and with my daughter’s birth mother and birth father. We all live in different states. We communicate by text and phone, and we’re Facebook friends. When finances allow, I would like to bring my son to visit his birth family, as he has asked to do so. How can I say this is fully open when we don’t visit? My son can (and does) call his birth mother and birth-grandmother whenever he wants. He can “see” his relatives on Facebook. He knows he has two moms, and he knows that doesn’t bother me (much). My daughter’s only about to turn three, so, she has less direct contact, but she can see pictures of her birth parents and her siblings, and she’s beginning to kind of understand who they are. Her birthmother asked if she could visit this summer, and I said “sure!” but then her plans changed. Her birth father has said a couple of times that he’d like to come visit if/when he visits his brother out here, but, again, that hasn’t happened.

    If you have a chance and any desire to understand another pov, I really do recommend the book “The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption” by Lori Holden. It explains how one can have openness without visits, or even contact, and how one may have visits, but not have true openness.

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    • TAO

      October 12, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks Robyn, I defer to your definition. I’m sure Lori’s book is great. I fear though that lines are being blurred by those who aren’t open to understanding. Being open, truly open about adoption, our other families, etc., could then define my adoption as open because of how mom and dad were – if that makes any sense. We need clearly defined definitions so we don’t end up back with what is really a closed adoption, but make the adults believe they have an open adoption. Perhaps people need to get rid of the myth that closed means being adopted is when no one talks about it. I know, I’m rambling but selling semi-open as open is the trajectory back to closed with the caveat that – hey we have openness because we talk about adoption…

      Sorry for the delay in commenting – having an unwell week.

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      • Robyn C

        October 15, 2014 at 5:49 am

        I totally agree that we need to standardize definitions. I know a lot of people on both sides who were told that open adoption is letters and pictures through an agency, which is really semi-open. I’m hoping that as more research comes out about truly open adoptions, more parents will become aware of their options.

        I also didn’t mean to imply that Lori’s book says that even adoptions without contact are open, just that openness, in terms of talking about adoption and being open to listening and really hearing your child, is important in all adoptions. It’s the difference between having an open adoption and being open about adoption, both of which are important for the adoptee. I hope that makes sense.

        I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. Hope you make a recovery soon. 🙂

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        • TAO

          October 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

          I’m a process oriented (driven) person that needs things defined where there can’t be different conclusions, and realize everyone is not the same way. I also think we are on the same page but need to be very clear for others… 🙂 , as to not being good, I’m like you, it’s an ongoing thing…some weeks are better than others, it is what it is…

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  13. onewomanschoice

    November 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Great post Tao. Yes, I agree that “open” is very broad in open adoption and yes, it should be defined to the expectant mother beforehand and then to both parents once the openness is established and I believe it should be enforceable by law. If the relinquishment is enforceable then an open adoption agreement should be enforceable as well. If one parent became unfit, as with parenting parents, then the courts may decide to alter the openness.

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