Openness

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Birth dad let our daughter down

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Openness doesn't always go smoothly--especially when a child was appreehended because of abuse or neglect.

Openness between the birth and adoptive parents of children who were in foster care because of neglect or abuse has become the norm. This sort of openness relationship can be very different to that between adoptive parents and healthy birth parents who made adoption plans for their children.

Mail brings unexpected connection

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Chelsea was adopted, her young birthmom gave a letter, photo, bracelet, and blanket to her daughter. At first, her adoptive parents sent letters and photos via their social worker. Then each family moved and contact was lost—until now.

When I was a little girl, I used to love to jump out of the car when my dad stopped by the mailbox because I wanted to see if I got anything. Eventually the excitement wore off because I rarely did, but it was still my job to check the mail.

Clever communication for adoptive parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Sugarcoating adoption can backfire. Be honest but positive with your kids about adoption, birth parents, and history.

Stop spinning

As adoptive parents, we often try to protect our children from the painful aspects of their histories. We wonder what to tell and what to hold back from our kids. According to the Child Information Gateway, parents need to, “Resist the temptation to make up information or to put a better spin on the truth.” We need to “Highlight the positive without denying reality.“

Open adoption for birth parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A guide that covers the basics of openness and adoption for birth parents.

Birth parents matter

Sometimes you might not feel like it, but you are important to your child. Even if you are not parenting your child, it doesn’t mean you can’t play an important role—you can. Kids usually want to know where they came from and who gave them their special characteristics. Your contact with your child will also let your child know that he or she wasn’t “given away” or “abandoned,” assumptions adopted children often make if they don’t know any better.

Adoption online

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Cyberspace offers the adoption community both opportunities and risks--we need to prepare for both.

Growing numbers of adoptive parents and adoptees use social networking to talk, to meet, to share, to find, and to learn.

Thanks to social networking we are now all potential publishers—we can tell our stories, we can rant, we can chronicle, we can learn. Not only is our potential audience massive, what we write can be widely shared and distributed by anyone who reads it. Therein lies the wonder and the worry around sharing our stories online.

Grandpa's adoption comes full circle

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Michael Reid didn't know he was adopted until he was 16 years old. As a result, he's glad his grandson already knows that he was adopted.

As a young man, I never had a strong desire to find my birth parents, or learn how I was adopted. That desire came later, at the persistent (but loving) insistence of my wife.

“Don’t you want to know where you come from?” she would ask. “Or what your heritage is? Or who your parents are? Or why you’re short?”

Navigating openness with birth family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

 

Social worker Kathryn Grant offers some thoughts for parents who are axious about handling openness with birth family.

Many parents are apprehensive about managing openness relationships that they fear could be harmful for the child or disruptive to their family.

The key to success lies in two strategies: putting yourself in the child’s shoes so that you can understand the strength of their need to keep connected with those they love, and developing confidence that you can deal with tricky situations.

Abandonment

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The experts claim that abandonment is an issue for all adoptees. How can parents help their children handle their losses?

We know that when a mother is considering whether she will be able to raise her child, the stress she experiences affects the developing brain of the fetus.

The gift of identity

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A unique travel company asks, "Do kids need to know the past?"

Perhaps the most significant thing about homeland travel is what kids are doing with the experience related to identity building. It is so interesting to see kids, country after country, doing the same kinds of things as they work toward understanding of self.

Finding family in the internet age: Boom or bust?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The Internet is everywhere. Toddlers can play games on it, and schools have made it an integral aspect of computer literacy. there is a growing need to improve child, youth, and parental literacy about social networking, and nowhere is this truer than in the adoption community. On one hand, social networking sites can be a boon to adoption workers seeking family members for waiting children. Yet, many members of the adoption constellation — particularly teens and their families — are experiencing ramifications of re-opening contact in an unmanaged way.

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