Open Adoption Roundtable #18: Professionals

This post was originally published on on August 3, 2010. Republished here with permission.

Conference tableThe 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. This month’s prompt:

We each interacted with at least one professional during the adoption process (agency, lawyer, facilitator, consultant, hospital social worker, etc.). What was one thing that they did that was most supportive of open adoption? What one thing was least supportive?

As I tend to want the bad news before the good news, I’m answering the second question first.

S wanted us at the hospital, so we were there. I saw how terribly the hospital treated her. She went for an “emergency” C-section, and Jack ended up in the NICU. No one would let us see him. S’s mom was only allowed in for a few moments. We were worried about him, so worried. Even though it was 1 am in California (we were in Missouri) we called our contact at the facilitator we were using. We explained the situation. My husband asked what our resources were at this time. She said, “Your own inner strength and your personal faith in God.”

I think that’s when my husband became an atheist.

We asked her to call the hospital and figure out what their policies on adoption were. Instead, she called S and literally chewed her out for not signing the paper that would allow us into the NICU. (The hospital didn’t actually have a policy on adoption, so only one “parent” could be allowed into the NICU, and that was S, of course.) Fortunately, my husband was there to hear S’s end of the conversation, so our entire relationship did not immediately disintegrate, no thanks to them.

I think that our lawyer was the most supportive professional we encountered. He treated everyone with respect, including S, and was generally upbeat and personable. He gave us some perspective, I think. More than any one thing he did, he was just a nice guy who did his job – and some other people’s – well.

You can find more posts from wonderful writers at Open Adoption Roundtable #18.

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