Category Archives: Open Adoption

What Do I Do When She Lies to My Face?

open adoption adviceQuestion:  Our son’s birth mom has been telling lies about what happens at visits. She said we didn’t let our our 3 year-old open his Christmas gifts from her. He opened them right in front of her! (He was running around not really focusing on any one present). She also lied and said that we’ve cancelled previous visits and came up with excuses for not seeing her, neither of which are true.

This has become a nightmare. She’s cut us off, which is fine with us because we’re not crazy about having contact with someone who lies to our face. This isn’t what we thought open adoption would be.  — Jessica

Jessica’s initial message led to further email conversations.

Take Out The Adoption Charge

Hi, Jessica. I’m curious. How would you handle a similar situation if this behavior were coming from your sister or mother-in-law? If you think of it this way, you can distill your response to her behavior from the any emotions you may have around your connection with her via adoption (which can be highly-charged).

Continue reading What Do I Do When She Lies to My Face?

Yes, We DO Need Adoption-Competent Hospital Birthing Centers

Hospitals continually strive to improve so many aspects of patient care. What improvements are being made in the way we “do” adoption at the hospital?

Pioneered in Colorado at Parker Adventist Hospital, the Family to Family Support Network is going national in helping families create child-centered open adoptions from the very beginning, through adoption training in hospital labor and delivery wards.
is your hospital adoption competent?
Here is an interview with founder Rebecca Vahle on why she’s made it her mission* that more and more hospitals serve EVERYONE involved in a possible adoption situation more effectively.

Continue reading why this program is necessary for nurses, for adopting parents, for women and men in unplanned pregnancies, for babies, and for hospital administrators and stakeholders — and what you can do to bring it to your local hospital.

* I am so stoked about Family to Family’s mission that I have recently joined its board of directors.

baby born at adoption competent hospital

How to Have Openness in a Foster Adoption

open adoption adviceQuestion: Can you talk about open adoption for foster kids who have been abused? We are about to adopt Daughter through foster care and there has been severe and repeated abuse. Birth Dad was the abuser and is in jail for it, and we’re not sure how to proceed with Birth Mom. By court order, Daughter hasn’t seen her in months, possibly a year by the time the adoption is final. I’m concerned about Birth Mom’s lack of understanding of the severity of the situation and her lack of concern for the safety and welfare of Daughter.      — Kate

Guest advising today is Addison Cooper, LCSW, of Adoption at the Movies. Addison is a supervising social worker for a foster care/adoption agency, and he lives in Southern California.

Safety First

Dear Kate: It’s wonderful that you’re starting from a position of wanting to be open. In any adoption, the ideal and desired outcome is a healthy openness — to the degree possible. Continue reading How to Have Openness in a Foster Adoption

Boundaries: Our Adoption Agency Warns About Extortion

Question: My son came to me 9 months ago from a Caribbean island. He’s now 3 ½ years old and adjusting quite well.

When I went to get him, I met his birth family — his birth mom, half-sister, and paternal aunt. They love my son and wish him the best and I really liked them too during our meeting. They asked about keeping in touch, but I deferred to our coordinator and said I’d let them know. The paternal aunt is raising his half sister and would like to Skype. I would like my son to know all of his island family and I know it will mean a lot more as he gets a little older.

However, my agency says to be careful of extortion, because the birth mother has little means. She says it can start off with, “oh can you send me so-and-so because we don’t have it here” and then it could lead to requests for money. Continue reading Boundaries: Our Adoption Agency Warns About Extortion