We Don’t Want an Open Adoption But We Do Want a Baby Fast

I am publishing this brief letter that was recently sent to me not to lambaste the asker, but to help her — and others who may google similar search terms — to see a deeper way of looking at infant adoption.  Respectful comments are welcomed. Comments that shame are not.

Question: After talking it over quite a lot, my husband and I are not open to open adoption. I am concerned because we are almost in our 40s. Do you have any tips on doing a fast adoption regardless of the costs?       ~~ Cyndi (pseudonym)
open adoption advice

Fast Can Too Easily Compromise Ethical

Dear Cyndi:
I don’t have any such resources to offer you. We hear from adoptees that openness (which isn’t the same as contact, and is more about seeing from the adoptee’s perspective than from the adult’s) is crucial to their being able to re-integrate what is split at the moment of relinquishment — their biology and their biography. In other words, the grownups need to confront and resolve their own fears and triggers so the adoptee can deal only with hers and not her parents’.

We also know that fast can too easily compromise ethical in adoptions. Adoptees — including your future child — want to know that they weren’t a commodity to be “gotten” and that the situation was about finding a home for a child and not for finding a child for a home (in the words of Dr Joyce Maguire Pavao).

how to adopt a child fast

The Adoption “Wedding” vs the Adoption  “Marriage”

I have two reading suggestions if you’re open to them. One is The Lost Daughters, which offers voices of adoptees. I implore you to start listening to them as a prelude to parenting one of them. The other is my own post about nudging closed people toward openness.

I get the panic that comes when approaching the end of your 30s. And it’s perfectly normal at this stage of your family-building journey to be concerned mostly with becoming parents as quickly as possible — planning the metaphorical wedding.

But it’s wise also to begin seeing things from the perspective of your future child along the entire parenting journey — the metaphorical marriage. Getting to the altar of parenthood ends one intense journey and begins another enduring one.

See also:

Dear Readers, what say you?


About this Open Adoption Advice Column

  • I may occasionally call on others to help with answers, to tap into group wisdom.
  • I am not trained as a therapist. Please do not rely on words in this space to make your own major or minor decisions.
  • Readers are encouraged to weigh in thoughtfully and respectfully. I ask everyone to remember that this is a teaching endeavor rather than a shaming endeavor, and that we aim to bring light rather than heat. It’s my belief that people do the best they can with what they have to work with, and our goal is to give folks more to work with.

Send in your own open adoption question. I’ll either offer an answer or find someone who can address your issue.

Tummy Mummy: What’s Your Opinion on the Title?

On a recent open adoption advice post, the term “tummy mummy” came up in the comments section.

I admit, there was a day when I would have embraced that phrase as a term of endearment for the then-unknown women who would make me a mom. And I will also say that neither of those women would oppose the use of the term.

But since that day, I have immersed myself in Adoption Culture. Or at least I’ve tried to learn as much about Adoption Culture as a single person can (seeing as how it’s a huge an amorphous thing that a person can pursue but not ever attain). I’ve learned that some don’t like the term — either because it is anatomically inaccurate or it is reductive of the first mom. And I’ve also learned that some adore the term.

This short poll asks your opinion on the term, as well as your position in the adoption constellation (if you have one). Unfortunately, the rudimentary tool I’m using  is not capable of determining if there is a correlation between the two.

Please take a moment to chime in, and share this post with your adoption-related communities and friends so we get a decent-sized sample.  If you have strong thoughts about “tummy mummy,” please explain in the comment section of this post. This way your opinions will remain available here no matter what happens to the poll site.

As always, please be respectful of others’ opinions, viewpoints and reasoning as you state your own.


This post is part of #MicroblogMondays? Whazzat? A post that’s not too long. Head to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

Open adoption parenting & mindful living