Category Archives: Open Adoption

What Carolyn Hax Could Have Said on Adoption Question

A recap of the situation a letter writer brought to Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax:

“Tell My Son” and wife adopted a baby born to a teenage niece. Now age 5 or 6, Jake has always known he was adopted. His parents showed him a photo of his birth mom, Tara, when he was old enough. They told him he could get more information about his birth parents any time he wanted.

At some early point the wife was advised to “never give Jake more information than he wants.”

Due to geographic distance,  Jake and Tara have seen each other only a handful of times, and the parents report that Jake has never connected with her picture. Tara is a little awkward during visits, and the letter writer says “she avoids us when she’s visiting.”

adoption adviceWith an upcoming annual visit, Tara would now like to begin to cultivate a more authentic relationship with her son. Her big ask of Jake’s parents is that they give Jake the truth about her.

Continue reading What Carolyn Hax Could Have Said on Adoption Question

The Adoption Split in “This Is Us” & How to Help Heal It

Did you tune in to NBC’s This Is Us last week? Randall brings up the Adoption Split.

And with this meme I reiterate a remedy I often talk about: openness. It’s with openness (not necessarily contact) that the grownups in an adoption can help their child integrate and heal.

randall on the adoption splitRandall Pearson, a transracial adoptee on the show, says, “My whole childhood I felt split. There were these people I lived with and then there were my birth parents who I never met. But I thought about them all the time…like a ringing in my ears. It quiets down sometimes…but then there are sometimes where it’s so loud.”

How to Help Heal the Adoption Split

The premise of my book is this: “Adoption creates a split between a person’s biology and their biography. Openness is a way to heal that split.”

Now. Who’s going to send a copy to Rebecca? (Randall’s fictional adoptive mom.)

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