Open Adoption Roundtable #22: Another New Year

Note: I decided to leave, so I’m out here on my own these days.

The 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.

One year ago many of us answered the question, “How will you be proactive in the area of open adoption in 2010?”

If you participated in the January 2010 discussion, revisit your post and give us the one-year-later update.

And whether or not you participated last year, tell us about your open adoption hopes or commitments in 2011.

In my post from last January, I said:

I could say that I’m going to work at getting letters and pictures out more frequently.

I sort of did. I sent 3 packages this year instead of 2, so I guess that’s progress, right?

I need to find a way to be honest with S.

That didn’t work so well. I relayed some of my concerns in a different Open Adoption Roundtable. S saw it, and was concerned that I might be getting too adult in my explanations. Since then, she hasn’t had her own phone number, and I’m not really sure what to say anyway. I pray for her and her children, because they’re not in a safe situation. I wish I could do something about that, but I can’t. Would being completely open with S help her or the kids? Somehow I doubt it.

On a very small level, I need to investigate the possibility of getting a photo of Jack’s birth father,

I did find out a bit more about Jack’s birthfather this year. It won’t be dangerous to contact him, though I still don’t know where he is to do so. Still, it’s good to know it’s at least an option at some point.

When we look for an agency for our next adoption, we will not choose one that discriminates against people. We will likely not choose one that discounts based on race…

We’re actively not using an agency that charges fees based on race. (I intend to write more about that odious practice.) We’re finding that our choices of agencies are limited because we want to adopt a girl, but also because we’re not churchgoers and because we don’t want to work with agencies that won’t work with GLBT individuals. One agency I talked to flies all of “their birthmothers” to Utah and has them induced for the convenience of the adoptive families. GAH! Another advertises that they make sure the birthmother is ready to sign the TPR. What does that mean exactly? Because when I hear that, I hear “coercion”.

I am also trying to get out of the realm of my experience, and learn more about the experiences of others.

I have been reading a lot more adoption-related blogs this year, including blogs by adoptees and birth parents. I still stay away from the anti-adoption blogs, because I just  can’t handle that kind of negativity and sometimes stupidity. But not all of the blogs I read are sunshine and roses, and I’m learning a lot. (I should probably provide a list or do a blog roll over on the right side of my blog. Another item for the to-do list.)

In 2011, I’m just going to keep trying to work on what I was working on in 2010. I really want to find a way to communicate with S and help her kids. I want to find an agency that supports all of the people in the adoption process, without discrimination or degradation. And of course, I want to learn more so I can be a better (adoptive) parent.

Photo Credit.

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