- Family and Parenting»
Open Adoption through Foster Care
Both of my children, my daughter & my son, have open adoptions.
Yes, you read that correctly. Both of my children, adopted through foster care, from different biological families, have open adoptions.
You may be thinking, if they were taken from their families and put into foster care, why would you want or allow contact with those same families?
I have many reasons, I have my children's best interests at heart, and I am extremely secure with the fact that, regardless of biological ties...
I am their mother
Would you want to grow up wondering why you looked like no one in your family? Or have some health scare pop up and not know if anyone in your family had something similar? Or feel guilty as a child or adult about hurting your adoptive family and wondering if they'd disown you for searching for your biological family? Or grow up with a feeling of missing something but not quite being able to put your finger on what that something might be? Do you want to find out as an adult that your biological family members have passed on without you having a chance to know them?
I bet you've answered with a resounding NO to each of those questions!
I've made sure that my children will not grow up wondering and waiting.
They know, they've always known, that they're adopted.
They've personally met their biological mothers and have interacted with them one on one.
They've personally met extended biological family members and have interacted with them also.
My kids deserve to know who they are and where they come from. I'm not afraid of losing them to their biological family. I know that they know that I am their mother, and I'm secure and confident in my role as their mother.
I'm not saying it's easy, it was difficult at first, very very difficult .
I was not secure in my role as mommy in the beginning. The adoption papers said that I was, but my head was still wrapping around the idea, even though my heart was there immediately.
I did have a 6 month no contact rule in place after the adoption was finalized. I had minimal contact with their other mothers but the children had none. This was needed as an adjustment period. You can't just expect someone to jump out of mommy-mode and expect someone else (me) to jump into mommy-mode with the other mommy still around much of the time. We all needed time to re-learn our roles in these children's lives. It was a hard learning process for myself and both other mothers. We ran into issues, we talked them out. We got into arguments, they passed and we worked through them. Communication is vital to having an open adoption.
Not only does open adoption give disclosure to the children as they grow, regardless of the silly sealed court documents, it gives their birth mother the piece of mind of knowing that their child is okay, they're being taken care of and happy and allows them to move on with their life, while still remaining a part of their adopted child's life.
The other mother's I've dealt with have been children themselves basically. One was of adult age, but we all know that your early 20's are still a mix of time between being a teen and becoming an adult. The other was the young age of 15 when she gave birth. I couldn't turn my back on either one of them without feeling as if I was throwing away part of my children. They came from those familys, they are a part of them, a part of their history and with open adoption, a part of their present.
There are varying levels of open adoption. My daughter's adoption has an entirely different amount of openness than that of my son's adoption. She's spent quite a bit of time alone with various members of her biological family including her grandmother, uncle, cousins, etc. My son has not spent as much time with his biological family, but he has met his younger siblings and grandmother.
My kids will never have fantasies about who their biological parents are... they already know.
Bottom line, the more people to love and care for a child, the better in my opinion. As long as there is no danger involved or undermining on either parties side, I can't imagine a valid reason for having a completely closed adoption. I simply don't understand how a completely closed adoption benefits the child.
I'm not an adoptee, so maybe I'm missing something, maybe there are valid reasons that I'm not aware of? Feel free to fill me in within the comments section if you'd like to share.