Roundtable #48: Why Has or Hasn’t Openness Worked for You?

OAB RT buttonThe Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.

Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

In her OAB blog post this week, Kat Cooley wondered if there is some way to predict whether (adoptive and first) parents entering into open adoptions truly understand the importance of openness and are really committed to doing what they can to make it work. She asked readers to comment on what drives them to maintain their open adoption relationships. It sparked some great–still ongoing–conversation in the comments section. I encourage you to read the post and comments for yourself.

Reader Racilous suggested that we continue the conversation in a roundtable, which I thought was a great idea. (And for those of you who left comments on Kat’s column, you already have your roundtable post started!). In Racilous’ words:

Why has or hasn’t openness worked for you?

If you are in a healthy functional open adoption, why do you think it’s working? If it doesn’t work, why do you think it stopped working? Do you think the success or failure was about education and expectations going in? Do you think it was that your personalities matched or clashed? Do you think there is something you do or did during the relationship that kept it going or was there a certain point that it changed the relationship from bad to good? Was it a mixture of all of these things?

Here is the HTML code for the Roundtable button up above, if you’d like to use it:

<a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a>

The responses:

Valerie (adult adoptee, first parent) @ From Another Mother
Susiebook (first parent) @ Endure for the Night
Racilous (first parent) @ Adoption in the City
Dawn (adoptive parent) @ Building Family Counseling
everyoneactdead (first parent) @ i miss you
Robyn (adoptive parent) @ The Chittister Family

About the author:
A mother by open adoption, Heather Schade is the founder and editor of Open Adoption Bloggers. She writes at Production, Not Reproduction.


13 thoughts on “Roundtable #48: Why Has or Hasn’t Openness Worked for You?

  1. Pingback: Roundtable #48: Why Has or Hasn’t Openness Worked for You? | Endure for a Night

  2. Pingback: OART #48 – Why has or hasn’t openness worked for you? | Adoption in the City

  3. Pingback: oart, and other thoughts on open adoption | i miss you

  4. Pingback: Open Adoption Roundtable #48: Success? | The Chittister Family

  5. I’m an adoptive parent who adopted through foster care and am having a hard time deciding on whether or not an open adoption is appropriate with the first parents due to the fact that they severely neglected my daughters and continue to use drugs. We have an open relationship with the paternal grandmother only. Thoughts? Similar circumstances, anyone?

    • I am neither adopted, nor an adoptive parent, but it seems to me that the issue here isn’t so much about adoption, as it is about abuse, or more specifically neglect. It seems to me to be a wise principle, that you do not re-establish a relationship with abusive people until you have convincing evidence of change. I think it is wise that you are only in a relationship with the grandmother.

      Having said that. There should be some way for the parents to earn their way back into a relationship. I think it should be gradual and carefully monitored. Perhaps one indication of change on the part of the parents would be how attentive they are to the grandmother.

      Also, I don’t think I would allow it without the advice of an expert counselor who knows your children well. My step-father died a couple of weeks ago. After I left home, he seemed to mellow out, and we have had a friendly relationship for 40 years. Still, I was surprised by the relief I felt when he died. When Facebook sent me a notification of his birthday, I realized that in his entire life, it had never occurred to me to send him a happy birthday note. I think those early experiences were having more influence on me than I realized. I don’t know if it is possible to get over the effects of early childhood abuse. I am not saying don’t do it. Just be careful and get your support team together before hand.

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