What is it Like Being Raised in an Open Adoption?

Radio Show

2

adult adoptees

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.

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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

21/02/2020 | by Radio Show | Categories: 2020 Shows, Adoption, Adoption Radio Shows, Radio Show | 2 Comments



2 Responses to What is it Like Being Raised in an Open Adoption?

  1. Avatar Angela Brunhart. MSW, APSW, adult adoptee, birth grandmother says:

    Thank you for presenting this topic in a factual and authentic process. I am an older adult adoptee (66) who was raised in a closed adoption. I searched for my birth parents in my early 30’s due to a medical issue and was reunited with my birth mother. We had a 29 year relationship until her death on October 11, 2019.

    I would be interested in a pod cast on caring for aging parents both birth and adoptive. As a social worker and a daughter I have participated in both. Professionally I have also participated in reunions between adult adoptees and elderly birth parents. These reunions can present specific challenges as well as wonderful relationships if done respectfully.

    I am also a birth grandmother and would be willing to assist in developing a podcast on this part of the adoption experience as well.

    If I can be of any assistance in developing a podcast on these topic, please contact me.

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Angela, thank you for sharing your lived experience. I think we adoptive parents (actually all parents) have a hard time imagining our children as older adults. I’ll contact you via email about your podcast ideas.

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