Thoughts on Open Adoption

Open adoption has become a sore spot in my family.

For those that are new to my corner of the blog world, welcome. I'm Lauren Maruki and I have been writing about all the bumps in my road from living and travelling internationally to infertility and now adoption of our first child.

Hubby and I both have adopted cousins. Hubby's cousins are now adults, and mine are all under the age 12. Open adoption was a topic of discussion a couple weeks ago at a family event. To our surprise, my mother discovered that my cousins do not have an open adoption with their birth family. I had wondered if that door was shut. Now I am wondering if it was accidentally shut or purposefully shut.

I want an open adoption. I want to continue to learn not only about the birth mother, but the birth father, the birth grandparents, the aunts, the uncles and all the crazy cousins. Those people make up my child. Those people have traits that my child will possess. The traits will be the key to personality, illnesses, actions, and looks. Those extended family members made my child who they will be and it's my duty and honor to uphold these people in my child eyes.

It wont be easy. Sometimes open adoption evolves into something worth keeping. Other times it is toxic to children and yourself. But giving open adoption a chance to organically grow is best.

It not my right to close to door on my future children's extended family.

I spoke with a great friend back in February about her open adoption with her first child's family. She explained how her family visits both the birth mother, the birth grandmother and the other siblings. It has been a rocky road but they relationship she has now is worth keeping. She explained a few tips and places to make the relationship grow organically (I can share with you guys in the future).

Ellen Galzer over at Adoptimist wrote an excellent post on open adoption. I encourage all adoptive parents to reach out into their community (beyond their agency) to find adoptive parents with both an open and close adoption. Find out what made them keep the birth family close or at bay. The reasons for both are often similar. But it will display the truthfulness in open adoption, your willingness to accept the unexpected.

I look forward to learning about my future child's family. I will progress with optimization and love. I respect the choice that my future child's parents have to make and I hope that keeping contact with them shows that respect.


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