I’ve been slowly making my way through the Open Adoption Blogger interviews. I found a blog I’d never heard of before, Living Through Today. I read a few subsequent blog posts, including “Do the Right Thing When Nobody’s Looking.”
To summarize, someone asked the blogger if she had any ideas, during the match period before the baby was born, that the adoptive parents would more or less close their adoption. The blogger cited a couple of indicators, including the fact that the prospective adoptive mom didn’t accept her Facebook friend request.
Facebook and adoption is a big topic. Many prospective adoptive parents are advised not to become Facebook friends with expectant parents. Personally, I look at it like friending your boss or even your current co-workers. There are some things that neither of you need to know about the other. For example, I post really random stuff on my Facebook status. I also post a lot of political topics. Cassie’s birthmom tends to rant in her status, which is one reason why Facebook is there. Jackson’s birthmom doesn’t always have computer access, but she tends to post prayer requests and mini-rants. If Laine and I had been Facebook friends before Cassie was born, and she had seen that I had signed a petition to specifically ban bullying of gay teens, would she think I was some wacky California liberal? If she had seen me complain about how Jackson had behaved atrociously at dinner, would she think I regretted adopting him? On the flip side, what if she had wanted to post something about her life, but felt like she couldn’t because I was reading? Neither of us would have been free to be us on Facebook because we were still getting to know one another.
In a reply to a commenter, the blogger wrote:
But as a sweet adoptive mother I know once told me, “There is nothing more threatening than a well-balanced birth family.”
Another commenter responded:
As an adoptive parent with a stable birth family it’s the biggest blessing.
Amen! I would love my children’s families to be stable! Especially Jackson’s birthmother… I worry about her so very much. She was just in a better place for the first time in a long time, but has gone back to not being in a good place. I would love her to be in the place that this blogger is in, in terms of her family life.
Then, a commenter who has had her adoption (wrongfully, I believe) closed wrote that she should have known what kind of parents her son’s adoptive parents were when they declined her breast milk. She offered to ship it to them at her own expense, and they said no.
I would have said no too. I don’t buy all the breastfeeding propaganda. If either of my children’s birthmothers had wanted to breastfeed while they were in the hospital, sure, why not? (Remember, in the hospital, the babies are theirs. Some people forget that.) But once we were home and doing the formula thing, why? It’s just not that important. There are better things to do with that time and money. I’d rather have something my kids could hold on to, like a favorite book of theirs or a blanket.
I’ve long had a post planned on exactly how I feel about adoptive parents who close adoptions for no good reason… I should write that someday… In the mean time, if there are PAPs or expectant parents reading this, the best way to get a feel for someone is to TALK TO THEM. Ask the tough questions, even if you have to do it in a roundabout way. Don’t be afraid of openness. Offer/ask for an open adoption agreement. Even if they aren’t legally binding, you’ll find out how the person feels about openness by his or her response to that question. Communication is the key, I believe.