Category Archives: Open Adoption

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

Does Open Adoption Work?

My last post touched on the debate spurred by publicity for Amy Seek’s new memoir, God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother. I started with a courtroom scene but decided to go this route instead. (You don’t have to have read that book to get this post.)

Rorschach Test

I see the debate about God and Jetfire as a sort of Rorschach test — people see in it what they bring to it. If you think adoption is a blessing, you think Amy Seek was brave. If you see adoption as abhorrent, you think Amy Seek made an unnatural choice and that she’s paid the consequences through regret over the years.

does open adoption work? it's a rorschach test.

And if you see adoption as infinitely complex, Continue reading Does Open Adoption Work?

Open Adoption on Trial: Amy Seek’s “God and Jetfire”

Note: Though tempting, please do not comment on the headline only, without reading the full post.

Recent publicity for Amy Seek’s new memoir, God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother seems to have put open adoption on trial.

Amy Seek, a landscape architect and writer living in London, gives readers an account of her unintended pregnancy 15 years ago, her selection of parents for her son, and the complex — even competing — emotions she experienced during and after placement with her son and with his adoptive parents.

At first I’d envisioned this post with a courtroom-type presentation of the two sides. It might start something like this.

amy seek's god and jetfire: open adoption on trial

Amy Seek’s Vogue Article: Defending Open Adoption

Court is now in session *gaveltap*. The defense may present its case [we switch things up around here].

Defense: Your honor, we call  the first witness —  a Vogue article, adapted from God and Jetfire — titled  “One Writer on Helping to Raise Her Son in an ‘Open’ Adoption.” Continue reading Open Adoption on Trial: Amy Seek’s “God and Jetfire”