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New here and so many questions!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello there!

 

I've been lurking for a bit reading some threads, and I think I'm ready to jump in and ask some of my own questions! :)

 

So, my DH and I are looking into domestic infant adoption in AZ. Not sure yet if we want to go through an agency or private lawyer, etc. We have a DD age 5 yrs that we had via gestational surrogacy (my mom was the surrogate!orngbiggrin.gif). We now are ready to explore adding another to our family. stillheart.gif

So...I am VERY overwhelmed with various concerns...the first one being that I worry our adopted child will feel inferior somehow, or less loved, because our first child was through surrogacy with my mom...I guess it's not much different than having a bio child normally and then adopting, right? But...the question of why did we do surrogacy for her and adoption for the other...well I just worry about it. Is this a valid concern?

Second...and I hate how this makes me sound but I feel very uncomfortable with open adoption. I just am not sure that I could handle my son/daughter in constant contact with his/her BM, I would feel like I am not the mom. If this a common fear? I dont want to deprive my child of knowing his/her past, etc but....sigh. What is the most common type of open adoption? The occasional letter? Phone calls? Visits?

 

Sorry if this post is all over the place, I'm feeling very confused about it all right now!

 

Thanks for any insight!

Anna

post #2 of 23

Are you a practicing Christian?  If so I have a wonderful AZ agency that we adopted through last year.  We have two biological kids and adoption has been a wonderful way to "grow" our family.  We also weren't comfortable with open adoption at first and that is why we pursued international adoption.  After several years of waiting we went the domestic route and 9 months later our son was born.  Through our training we become more open to open adoptions and now, ironically, I think we are more open than our birthparents want to be at this time.  We have great birthparents!  I truly find, in our case, that the openess we have is a very good thing.  We have pictures, emails and the birthparents know how he is doing.  Good luck!

post #3 of 23

PM me if you want more specifics.

post #4 of 23

Open adoption isn't usually as scary as it sounds. I've got two open adoptions (from foster care) and while each is different, I wouldn't change it for anything. Their birth parents are a part of them and I'd rather my kids grow up knowing their challenges and interests than to grow up wondering.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you! Excitedtobeamom- I sent you a PM!

 

So what are the different types of open adoption? What is common? I do not mind at all letters, emails, sending pics...but constant contact with my child just seems it would be confusing for him/her. I of course want to have answers for him/her when they ask, but until then....

 

Anyway, any experiences anyone has had, I'd love to hear!

 

Thanks so much!

post #6 of 23

Take things slowly. You'll likely have to take some classes/do lots of reading/watch videos that will help you make decisions before you ever are in a matching position. There's a Resource Sticky that might be useful to you, too. Adoptive Families Magazine is an EXCELLENT resource.

 

Open adoptions are rarely as confusing as you are thinking. Some work better than others but you are the day to day parent in the child's life.

post #7 of 23

Excellent explanation Polliwog!

post #8 of 23

If we adopt we will have an open adoption.  We have set up an email to share pics and updates, etc.  One of the dads will definitely get a supervised visit or two each year(court ordered as a condition of surrender), which we are very comfortable doing.  We'll probably offer an annual visit to the mom and other dad as long as they are appropriate.  It would be cruel, not only to the bios but also to the children, to just drop off all contact w/ their bios whom they very obviously love.  They've had enough loss.

post #9 of 23

We know a family who had twins through a surrogate and adopted a baby at the same time! (heres an article on them: http://www.out.com/out-exclusives/wedding-guide/2011/01/09/three-kids-two-dads-one-uncle).

 

There are all kinds of families and all kinds of children. You really can't say for certain how a child will feel about their place in any family... Born or adopted into. I think that its possible at times a child may feel not as special as a bio child... but parents who adopt know to look out for this and know to keep reiterating that the child is just as important and just as much a member of the family.

 

In terms of open adoption... I think it kind of depends on the family and birth family. I feel confident that keeping a relationship with my kids birth mother will benefit them (even though she doesnt usually take us up on our offers to keep in touch... I think its important to my kids to know we tried) But their birthmom is also completely safe. If you do have an open relationship you get to establish the terms. You can definitely limit it to something your comfortable with (like once a year visit and twice a year photos).... trust me you will still feel like the mom!! And if the bio parent makes you feel threatened it is your right as the parent to discontinue the contact... most bio parents would NEVER do this, because they know that it could mean the end of their contact.

post #10 of 23

I suggest now is a time for research for you. Some people are just not cut out to be adoptive parents- and that is OK!   I highly suggest reading blogs from all three members of the triad- there are lots of opinions out there. Read birth mother blogs, adoptee blogs and adoptive parent blogs. I think that would get you more familiar with how these things work and the emotions and trauma involved.  Read here- the mamas are very open about whats going on in their lives a lot.  See if that is something you really want to sign up for?  It is ok if it is not.

Good luck to you.

I write an adoptee blog and there is a few people that read mine that are in open adoptions,,, love is not a pie comes to mind- she is also an adoptee...I also believe she has one bio child.

I for one was adopted then my parents had a miracle baby- ya know the silver spoon kind after me... it did cause me lots of grief and issues throughout my life but that is not the case for everyone- but the more intune you are about what you are getting into the better.

Babies are not a blank slate and adoption is a trauma to the child and birth mother there is no way around it- even when it is in the best interest of the child.

 

post #11 of 23

.


Edited by ChitownTracy - 4/17/12 at 8:40am
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone. I have researched and read pretty much non-stop since posting this, and I am feeling much more confident in moving forward. :)

 

Mom31- I am so sorry to hear about your experience. However, your post to me was somewhat off-putting. I do feel I am cut-out to be an adoptive mom, I am very much looking forward to it, challenges and all!

post #13 of 23

I did not intend it to be at all!!!  I just think it takes a very special person to be an adoptive mom- a mom who can accept the fact that her child has another mother is part of it- and I am sure it take much time to get to that place!  It is not something I think I would be good at.  When I was a little adoptee I thougth I would adopt a houseful- I would take in a friends child possibly but not in adoption sort of thing.

I don't know why some of us are wounded and some of us are not. I know sometimes- it comes later in life even... or after reunion when the loss cam be even more apparent... like you don't know what you lost till you found it sort of thing. I think some people ( as in all people) get better family situations than others.

I surely did not mean to offend. I try to be very careful when I post- but please be honest when I offend.

post #14 of 23
Code:

We would like to foster/adopt in North Carolina (Wake County) a infant or toddler. Does anyone know where we should start in our area?
post #15 of 23

NCfamily it might be good to start a new thread.

 

Mom31, thanks for your honesty. I really liked the way you said, "I don't know why some of us get wounded and others do not." That is so true. Everyone's experience can be so different. I think there are things related to temperament and inborn sensitivities, as well as things that happen. Thanks for being open to the many possibilities.

 

Purplegal you are in the right place to explore this!
 

post #16 of 23

About open adoptions: one thing to remember is that it's not just the bio mom that might be involved. In all 4 of my foster experiences the bio mom was not at all involved. The people involved were grandma, dad, aunts. I wish the mothers had been involved. I would have much prefered to return the children to their bio moms than these other relatives, but the law favors blood relations at virtually any cost... until adoption.

 

After adoption, the adoptive parents are the legal parents and they virtually cut all ties unless the adoptive parents actively keep the lines of communication open. We have an open adoption visitation agreement with some family members of our adopted son. Practically speaking, it's a toothless document. Our lawyer even said as much. She told us she would represent us pro bono if we ever wanted to cease visitations. So far, it's not necessary.


Edited by marsupial-mom - 10/25/12 at 5:08pm
post #17 of 23

Hi Purplegal,

 

My husband & I adopted two girls (bio sisters), in 2005, at the ages of 6 & 8 years old.  Bio parents were both incarcerated, so open adoption was not even an option.  They do have an older sister whom we were willing to allow contact with as long as it was positive for our girls.  Unfortunately she was into drugs, so it was not good for them.  I have sort of maintained contact with her over the years, but it is very on again, off again and NOT consistent at all.  I do send her pictures of her sisters, and she does show their bio mom, I am sure.  They have younger siblings that we did maintain contact with and we visit as often as possible.  So, like others have said, there are different levels of openness, but I felt the same way you do and I kind of do when it comes to the bio parents. 

 

Mom31, I am sorry you had a bad experience.  I also adopted two girls then became pregnant.  We were worried about our girls and how they would react so we decided to include them in everything.  They went to all baby showers and one wrote who got me what (the older one), the other picked what I opened next.  They helped pick out the baby's name, went to dr appts with me, helped pick out baby stuff we had to buy, went to the hospital with us (but left as I was in labor for over 30 hrs)... Other than me & my husband noone else had their pics taken with the baby until her big sisters got there.  They stayed with us at the hospital as long as they wanted, until bed time.  When we went home I would NOT let them do any work to help with her.  I told them they were the BIG SISTERS and it was their job to PLAY with her, not take care of her.  For the most part, we are pretty lucky.  There have been a few issues, but not many.  Our oldest is great, no issues with her.  She loves her baby sister to pieces and spoils her more than we do.  Our younger of the two has issues because she wants to be the baby.  She doesn't care that we had a baby, she says she would feel the same way if we adopted a child younger than her.  So, while your experience was bad, not everyone who adopts and then has a bio has a bad experience.  I can honestly say I do NOT love my bio daughter any more than my adopted daughters.  I am blessed to have three amazing daughters that all make me proud everyday!  joy.gif

post #18 of 23

Another thing about open adoption is that there are all levels of openness. The important thing is that you be upfront and honest about what you can do now, what you might be open to in the future etc.

 

Not all bmoms are going to want "constant contact" (not sure what that means exactly)...its a spectrum from emails/calls/letters all the way to the birthfamily being considered like extended family and included as such in all things. Most people probably fall somewhere in the middle of that.
 

post #19 of 23

Also, I am one of few "international adopters" I know of who have a true "open adoption". We initially didn't want ANY openness and that is why we chose international... only to be matched with our son who has a grandmother and very young aunt who we communicate with several times a month... now I can't imagine NOT helping him to continue relationships with the people that are in his life. And am personally really blessed/rewarded through knowing them and personally having a relationship with them! One of the previous poster stated, "It really isn't as scary as you think it might be..." I agree. I guess it could have been weird, but it isn't, because we are both committed to contact and also pursue it and allow our son to determine what he wants that too look like. We all love our son (their nephew/grandson) and care deeply that he is a healthy, happy and fulfilled little boy. We really have so very much in common despite so very many differences. 

 

It seems really sad to me to not allow or want that for your child, when that is a part of their past (and currently life). 

 

Our daughter in contrast, has NO opportunity to communicate with her bio mom, due to where she lives and her own willingness/ability to participate. We hope this might change in the future.

 

BUT I totally understand dealing with the fears of a parent thinking that some how "other people" would make you less of your child's "real" parent. I would evaluate what your potential child might want, if you were them and go forward trying to do the best you can knowing what would ultimately be best for their situation.

post #20 of 23

I am a mother who has an internationally adopted child. I would love for her to be able to have the chance to meet her birth family but it may never happen and this is tragic for her. I believe every child has a right to know their genetic heritage if they want to. My daughter  thinks about and talks about her birthparents often. They are always a part of her even though she does not know them. Not knowing them or why she placed for adoption are real losses for her. She grieves her losses.

It does not mean she is not securely attached to me. She is loved and loves us deeply and has expressed often how glad she is that she was adopted into this family.

 

I am not American. All adoptions in my country are open. There are no  private adoptions and no for profit adoption agencies. All adoptions are done by government depts.

You cannot legally adopt if you are not willing to do an open adoption.

Our adoption laws are more rigid so once a child is adopted, the birth parents no longer have any legal rights to the child.  No chance of the birthparents claiming the child back.The usual contact is once or twice a year with birthparents and other family members. Often grandparents want to know the child too.

 

I think open adoption is the child's right and adoption is all about meeting the child's needs. If a child grows up knowing their birthparents and why they could not parent, the child will not idolise fantasy parents and long for the parents they imagine. They will know the reality of their situation. They will grow up with a healthy self identity unlike adoptees of the past when adoptions were secret. I think we need to minimise the losses adoptees experience as much as we can.

I know kids in many open adoptions and it does not impact on their attachment or sense of belonging in their adopted family.

 

I am also a foster parent who has foster children who have access with their birthparents. It is not always easy especially if those parents have abused or neglected their child. So I can understand your fears around an open adoption. But it really is in the best interests of the child to know their birth family if it is safe for them to do so.

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