Saturday, February 27, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable # 14

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 part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list 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.

Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking
back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.


For this round Lori of Weebles Wobblog reached back through time to a post Heather wrote lo these many months ago after spending an afternoon with her daughter's first mom. In it, she wondered aloud if there was a common definition of a successful open adoption. Is it even possible to define, given the myriad factors involved? Here's how Lori poses the question:

If there's one thing we all might agree on, it's that we'd like our open adoptions to be successful. But what does "success" mean to you, when speaking about open adoption? Do you think it may mean something else to the others in your triad?




Wow, this is a tough one.  One thing I can say for sure is that our open adoption plan for Liam's adoption is definitely NOT successful.  He's never met his Mom, his brother or his sister.  We no longer have contact or updates from K.  By definition his adoption is closed.

For me, the success of an Open Adoption lies in how well the needs, wants and desires of the adoptee are being met. After all, adoption is supposed to be about them (us), right?
  • Can the adoptee contact their first family when they want to?  
  • Does the adoptee have the type of relationship with their first family that they want to have?
  • Does the adoptee feel that it's okay to be in contact with their first family and not pressured by either  family to chose sides?  
  • Are there no secrets or lies surrounding the adoption?
  • Does the adoptee have access to medical history, their genetic background, their heritage?
  • Does the adoptee consider the open adoption a success?
If the answer is YES to these questions, then I would say that the OA is successful and working for the people involved even if the adoptive parents and the first parents felt that it was not successful by their definition. Because it's not about them.
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