When deciding which type of adoption to pursue, some would-be parents choose international adoption because they tend to be by their very nature closed. First parents are presumed unknown and not in the picture (which may not always be true). Closedness is part of the allure to some; an open international adoption with birth parents in the mix is rarely possible.
But sometimes an open international adoption is possible. Jessica O’Dwyer is a mom who was determined to find and connect with the birth mothers of her children and cultivate ongoing contact with them over the years. Here’s why and how.
Jessica O’Dwyer on Open International Adoption
Growing up, I didn’t know anyone involved in an open adoption. Granted, I’m old, and back then nobody talked about adoption, much less expanded their family configuration to include first mothers. When my husband and I started the process to adopt our daughter Olivia from Guatemala in 2002, we never discussed reuniting with her birth mother. I hadn’t known it was possible. And even if I had known, I’m not sure I would have rushed in to participate. My thoughts about reunion mostly were based in fear. What if her birth mother said the adoption was corrupt (a possibility in Guatemala)? Would they take my daughter away? What if Olivia loved her other mother more?
My friend B. Gabeler, who, like thousands of other American parents, adopted her now teenage daughters from China in the early-2000s, attended a special screening of the documentary One Child Nation this week. Not yet released, the film is already quite controversial in some adoptive parent forums, and B. was eager to be among the first to see and review it.
A proponent of truth and openness in parenting, here is B.’s review of the film and her thoughts about the contention and anxiety swirling among adoptive parents in anticipation of the film’s premier.
News came recently of Adam Crapser, a married father of two who was detained last month and sits in a cell in Tacoma awaiting deportation to Korea , a land he hasn’t seen since he was adopted from there 40 years ago, in 1976. His crime is not his own, and his life in the US can be summarized in four chapters, each its own tragedy:
Abused by adoptive family #1, as was his biological sister.
Separated from his biological sister when Child Services got involved.
Adopted again by a new family, without his sister. Abused and tortured again.
Today I offer guest post that reveals injustices around how adoptees are treated in the United States. Adam Pertman, founder of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, tells of previous cases of adoptee deportation — Adam Crapser’s is not an rarity — along with what you can do to help make things right. Continue reading On the Crime of Being Adopted→