Adoption Blog - Adoptimist
March 23, 2017

They Tell Us Open Adoption is the Way to Go

When I meet with people beginning the adoption process, they often say to me, “Everyone tells us we should do open adoption—that it’s the way to go these days.” I usually surprise them with my cautioned response, especially since it comes from an adoption social worker. “Yes, open adoptions can go very well,” I say, “But you can’t enter into adoption counting on or planning for openness. It is something that unfolds—or doesn’t—depending on the cast of characters, the circumstances, geography, and personality. It is not something that can... Read more…

February 2, 2017

The WIDE Open Adoption Conversation

A few weeks ago, I took my son Scotty to a friend’s birthday party. An acquaintance remarked at how Scotty has grown, and mentioned that her friend recently adopted through the same agency we used. We naturally compared my child’s adoption with her friend’s child’s adoption. Same agency. Same years of exhausting, hopeless infertility treatments. Same outcome: FINALLY, they brought home an infant. Then my friend said, “Their adoption is completely... Read more…

January 16, 2017

Bonding With Extended Family In Your Open Adoption

Back in 2010, I visited my son Scotty’s birthmother Kerri at her home. She “picked us” through our agency in January. Scotty was due in May. It was March; she invited me to her house. After six years of infertility treatments and eighteen months as a waiting adoptive mother, I was nervous. I was curious. I was concerned that I was getting too close, too excited, and too agreeable. Anxiety overcame nervousness when I spotted a basinet in Kerri’s mother’s room. Her name is Lynn. She was expecting her first grandchild, whom her daughter planned to... Read more…

December 22, 2016

Navigating Your Open Adoption During The Holidays

When we were waiting to adopt our first child ten years ago, we swiftly checked the “semi open” adoption box. We figured this was a safe and easy option, a compromise between closed and open. However, the day we went to court to gain custody of our first child, the cracked door swung open: We came face-to-face with our child’s biological mother in the waiting room of the court house.  Suddenly there was a face to a name, feelings to a stack of paperwork. Immediately there was an undeniable connection, Read more…

September 19, 2016

The Unbreakable Bond of Birth Families

Open adoption is an important topic these days, with many families opting for ongoing contact such as visits and phone calls. But what about those who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are unable to have an open adoption? How do you maintain a connection with your child’s birth family when no physical connection exists? The answer is easier than you think. When our daughter was born, her birth mom, D, requested a Read more…

April 22, 2014

Dear Child: Four Journeys To Successful Open Adoption

Dear Reader, We are four friends who found our babies through adoption. In our book, each adoptive mother describes to you, in her own honest and heartfelt words, an adoption journey that was startlingly different from the others. Three of us live in California, one in Colorado. We started trying to make families in our mid-thirties and, in one case, early forties. One of the four already had a child through a donor egg. We’re all married, with professional backgrounds. None of us ever dreamed we would adopt. The paths that led us to embrace adopting, and... Read more…

April 10, 2014

Spending Time With Birth Families Over The Holidays

The text came in one evening as I was on my way to a concert: “We found a great deal on Hotwire for a flight. We’ll be able to stay for eight days. Let us know if it will work so we can book it.” Gulp! Eight days! Would we all be talking by the end of it, I wondered? “Go for it!” I texted back, heart in my mouth. We opened my daughter’s closed adoption in 2012 when she was thirteen. A search, with the help of a friend who is a private detective, quickly revealed that her birth mother had relocated to Colorado from Utah, where she lived when she... Read more…

March 14, 2014

From Closed To Open Adoption: The Moments That Made My Heart Sing

My daughter Elizabeth gave birth to her second son last week. The morning he was born was filled with many delights - seeing him for the first time, learning his name, watching as he was introduced to his three-year-old brother, and of course my daughter’s radiant smile. It was a morning filled with magical moments! But the one that truly made my heart sing came later in the day when I returned to the hospital for a second visit. I walked into my daughter’s room to see Bob, her birthfather, holding his grandson.  I imagine that for many people who... Read more…

January 23, 2014

The Positives and Negatives of Open Adoption: Some Thoughts From an Adoptive Mother

In 1990 my husband and I adopted our son. While open adoption was beginning to be practiced as early as the 1980’s, it was not standard practice at that point. It was certainly more common in California than on the East Coast where we live. We were counseled in the usual fashion for the time: You can make arrangements to send pictures or letters from time to time to the birth family, but contact and openness were not encouraged beyond that. Adoptions were still primarily “closed.” In 1999, when we adopted our daughter, the shift to open adoption had... Read more…