How to Avoid Being Gobsmacked by your 18 Year-Old Adoptee

I’ve long advocated for openness in adoption for the sake of the adopted person, the baby/toddler/tween/teen/adult who is gradually building their identity, their relationships, and their patterns for how they will move through the world.

But, as an advice column in Slate shows, openness can also save the adoptive parents from a world of hurt. Namely, of being gobsmacked by their son’s/daughter’s “sudden” interest in birth parents.

The Either/Or mindset that we inherited from the Closed Adoption Era is so strong and so prevalent. As a result of it, some parents cling to the hope that, to their child, they are the only parents. As if to confirm their bias, they assume that if the son/daughter isn’t talking about birth parents, that they aren’t thinking about them.

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Gabrielle Glaser on the Impact of Harmful Adoption Practices Then & Now

The agency branded these premium babies
that would go to premium parents.

But behind the scenes…none of those things
[the agency said] were true.

In fact, the agency routinely kept babies for at least six months in order to conduct a series of really horrific experiments on them, in order to produce the same matching I described earlier.

Gabrielle Glaser,
journalist and bestselling author
of American Baby

↑ Listen right here! ↑

Think of the Closed Adoption Era as the “Good Old Days”? Think Again.

“Closed” means a lot of things when applied to adoption. At its heart, it means that things were done in secret, realities were not faced, records were closed to forever separate original and forever families, and hearts and minds had to cauterize (close) around an unacknowledged wound.

My guest in this month’s podcast, Gabrielle Glaser, has written brilliantly about all of this in her new bestselling book American Baby.

With this Season 2 opener of Adoption: The Long View, Gabrielle and I talk about the various effects of closedness. During the Closed Adoption Era, adoption professionals were able to operate behind closed doors, in secrecy, wielding unchecked power in the dark.

Bad things can happen to vulnerable people when powerful people have that much cover.

Who Is Vulnerable in Adoption?

Certainly the “unwed mother,” cast out from her family and social circles.

Also the adopting parents, who so desperately want to build a family, often after being thwarted by infertility.

In both cases, desperation makes a person easy prey for a predator.

But perhaps the person most vulnerable in adoption is the newborn baby at the center.

Continue reading Gabrielle Glaser on the Impact of Harmful Adoption Practices Then & Now

Adoptive Dad Asks Advice from the Jordan Harbinger Show. Here’s How it Went.

I’m not sure how I got into The Jordan Harbinger Show, but I’m glad I did. He interviews fascinating people each week, each episode having the aim of honing critical thinking skills.

I listen to podcast host Jordan Harbinger and co-host Gabriel Mizrahi while I’m walking Dexter most days. The show puts out a lot of content, which Dex and my cardiovascular health appreciate.

I’ve listened to episodes on why people believe in conspiracy theories, the latest in cognition and bias, what it’s like to be a spy, and how to not fall prey to various types of predators. I’ve heard episodes featuring former criminals, military leaders, cutting edge scientists, brain hackers, funny people, and experts in fields I didn’t even know I was interested in.

I’d heard nothing to make me think that Jordan Harbinger had any direct experience with adoption, so I kind of yiked when I heard he was going to answer “Why did my adopted child leave?” on Feedback Friday.

Up and Left

Continue reading Adoptive Dad Asks Advice from the Jordan Harbinger Show. Here’s How it Went.

adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption