What is it Like Being Raised in an Open Adoption?
We speak with a panel of adult adoptees about the experience of being raised in an open adoption. What were the advantages? What were the challenges? All of our panel guests were adopted at birth. They grew up knowing they were adopted and all are in their 20s and 30s now.
All of our panel guests were adopted at birth. They grew up knowing they were adopted and are all in their 20s and 30s now. They experienced varying degrees of openness in their adoption, and of course, varying experiences with both adoption and openness.
- What did openness look like in your adoption growing up? Phone calls, exchange of emails/letters, visits (and how often). What does it look now?
- One of the major arguments we hear against openness in adoption is that it is confusing to children, or that children won’t know who their “real” parents are, or that they will feel torn between two families, or that it will make them feel different. Was this your experience?
- In your experience, what were some advantages of open adoption for adopted people?
- What is it like to be in an open adoption with a birth parent that struggles with addiction?
- What were some disadvantages or struggles with open adoption?
- What did your adoptive parents and birth parents do right in creating and supporting an open adoption?
- Where could they have improved?
- There are a lot of reasons why adoptions have moved to greater openness between birth families, adopted parents, and adoptees, but one reason it to provide adoptees with information and answers as they grow and to lessen the sense of not knowing or even the feeling of abandonment. Do you think openness in your adoption achieved this goal?
- I think that others believe that by opening up adoptions we take away any of the potentially negative feelings adoptees may have about adoption. What are your thoughts?
- How important are your sibling relationship with your siblings in your birth family?
- Was the relationship between both sets of parents (adopted and birth) easy or strained?
Music credit: Michael Ashworth
Image credit: fauxels