Amy has been in an open adoption for a long time as first mom to Addie, born and relinquished in 1985. Amy’s reflection on the past 30 years highlights my hunch that even if you’ve got contact with your child’s other parents, there are so many other facets to consider in helping your child process her adoptedness and integrate her parts.
In fact, if you have contact between families but are not also parenting with mindfulness and attunement, you may be inviting in complexity (contact) without having ways to deal with such complexity (mindfulness and intentionality).
Amy’s points challenge me; they might do so for you, too. My suggestion is not to take Amy’s narrative personally. She is not commenting on or judging anyone’s adoption arrangement other than her own. If any of her points trigger you, stop for a moment to see if you can figure out why.
Continue reading 7 Things I Wish We’d Done Differently in Our Open Adoption
Question: Our son’s birth mom has been telling lies about what happens at visits. She said we didn’t let our our 3 year-old open his Christmas gifts from her. He opened them right in front of her! (He was running around not really focusing on any one present). She also lied and said that we’ve cancelled previous visits and came up with excuses for not seeing her, neither of which are true.
This has become a nightmare. She’s cut us off, which is fine with us because we’re not crazy about having contact with someone who lies to our face. This isn’t what we thought open adoption would be.
Continue reading What Do I Do When She Lies to My Face?
Question: Can you talk about open adoption for foster kids who have been abused? We are about to adopt Daughter through foster care and there has been severe and repeated abuse. Birth Dad was the abuser and is in jail for it, and we’re not sure how to proceed with Birth Mom. By court order, Daughter hasn’t seen her in months, possibly a year by the time the adoption is final. I’m concerned about Birth Mom’s lack of understanding of the severity of the situation and her lack of concern for the safety and welfare of Daughter. — Kate
Guest advising today is Addison Cooper, LCSW, of Adoption at the Movies. Addison is a supervising social worker for a foster care/adoption agency, and he lives in Southern California.
Dear Kate: It’s wonderful that you’re starting from a position of wanting to be open. In any adoption, the ideal and desired outcome is a healthy openness — to the degree possible. Continue reading How to Have Openness in a Foster Adoption