Opening up to Open Adoption

Here is an excerpt of a blog post from North Carolina hopeful parents Ethan & Angela. They write about their journey from skepticism regarding openness in adoption to welcoming the idea:

Ethan & Angela: waiting parents

When *A* and I first started researching adoption, we had a couple of notions in our heads about what the adoption process and raising an adopted child might be like.  Collectively, we’ve known a few people who were adopted, and have known at least one family who adopted.  Prior to cracking a few books on the subject of adoption, we didn’t have a whole lot to go on, other than the always reliable media (*snort*) and any other information we’d managed to gather for ourselves over the years.  Undoubtedly, unless you and/or your family have a specific tie to adoption, this is probably how you came to your understanding of the process, too.  The topic of adoption is certainly discussed by lots of people…but the information we all  gather from how it’s discussed is usually pretty fragmented.  Paste the fragments together—and you end up with a sort-of outdated idea that’s generally not all that accurate. In fact, what you “learned” as “fact” (substitute air quotes here to lighten the tone at your will)  might have actually be downright derogatory and/or offensive to adoptive parents, to adopted children, and to birthparents.

Since we made our decision to adopt, we’ve become super-conscious of how adoption is talked about, especially after we talk about our own hopes and the way we’ve chosen to go about the process. Everyone has an opinion and a hairy, scary story of someone’s aunt’s-brother’s-cousin’s-nephew’s-friend’s-next-door-neighbor-and-her-husband, and advice on how we should be careful.  Media representation ranges from snide remarks about celebrities adopting because it’s the “in” thing (?!) to refrences to various Lifetime worst-case-scenario movies.  These instances are no help at all, but they have informed our thinking to some extent, so to counter-act them, that’s another reason we’ve been reading like mad (more book reviews to come, don’t you worry!) about open adoption, specifically.   I have to admit that I’ve been avoiding this post because I wanted to make sure I could fully articulate what open adoption means for all parties involved.  I’m by no means an expert–keep that in mind as I stumble through an explanation about the adoptive parents’ side of open adoption.

To read the rest of their story, visit their blog: The Littlest Brooks-Livingston

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