When it comes to adoption, I tend to go by feel and Dawn Davenport prefers to go by data. *
Dawn founded Creating A Family, a rich resource for those impacted by infertility and those interested in adoption and other family-building methods. Its Facebook community is cross-triad, which means the group tends to keep itself in check more intentionally than groups made up of only adoptive parents or only first parents or only adoptees.
I was thrilled, then, to have the chance to talk with Dawn during a recent podcast/radio show. Regarding open adoption myths, I just know in my gut what is and isn’t true, and she knows by staying on top of research.
It was validating to hear through the course of our conversation that so much of my inner knowing is backed by hard data and research.
* Truth be told Dawn and I both go by both intuition and research in varying measures.
Open Adoption Myths & Truths
Here are some of the preconceived notions about open adoption that Dawn and I cover. Are they myths or truths?
- Open adoption is basically co-parenting.
- Open adoption will make me feel less like the mom/dad. I will feel like I’m competing for the role of mom/dad.
- Open adoption is confusing to kids.
- Does open adoption mean I have to adopt the whole family? Really I only want to adopt the baby.
- Open adoption is messy and complicated.
- Open adoption is not worth the trouble.
More Pressing Open Adoption Issues
We also talk about common issues adoptive families face.
- How to maintain an attitude of openness.
- Is contact exclusively through the adoption agency or adoption attorney?
- Helping extended adoptive family members come to terms with openness.
- How to handle if your child says “you’re not my real mom.”
- The Slightly Annoying Grandmother Rule.
- The importance of birth siblings.
- How to honor the spirit of openness even without contact.
Which open adoption myths were/are you most concerned about?
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.
Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute.