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spicy yin yang nature of open adoption

OA 101: Open Adoption in 50 Words or Less

What is an open adoption? a reader asks. She continues:  I consider it to be beautifully complex. How would you describe it?

My Answer: Open adoption is such a union of opposites. Over time my family has experienced open adoption as both easy and hard; broken and whole; hurting and loving; good and bad, happy and sad, salty and sweet, defeating and triumphant, connective and disconnective … and countless other polarities.

How would you describe open adoption in 50 words or less?


This is the third in the five part Open Adoption 101 series.


More Along These Lines

Other Posts in Open Adoption 101 Series

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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15 Responses

  1. To me it seems like a nightmare scenario where the adoptee can’t be honest with either set of parents. They will forever play the role to which they were cast and mask their true selves to spare the adults feelings.

    1. Without a strong sense of mindfulness on the part of the parents (tuning in to and resolving their own insecurities and fears), I agree that the adopted person would likely feel responsible for the feelings of the adults.

      In my mind, this sense of mindfulness is an essential ingredient in a healthy open adoption in which the parents value and cultivate authenticity in the family.

  2. Agreed, I love this “union of opposites” as a way to define it. I always enjoy that the complexities aren’t swept under the rug with these discussions, and that there is no easy answer. I also enjoy that you are so respectful to those who disagree with you.

  3. I too love the visual aid, and your description. Which, if I didn’t know it was about open adoption, could be about so many things. About life. Which is another reason why it is worth working at.

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