Thursday, July 29, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable #18

We each interacted with at least one professional during the adoption process (agency, lawyer, facilitator, consultant, hospital social worker, etc.). What was one thing that they did that was most supportive of open adoption? What one thing was least supportive?

Massachusetts is an agency state. Our agency was great. They had us educate ourselves a lot about openness and even required that we meet with some birth parents as part of our home study. We asked questions about how they felt about openness which really helped me learn what it was about and helped alleviate some of my fears about it. Our agency definitely encouraged openness, even if it was just in our approach to adoption. I really appreciate all that our agency did to help us.

Henry was born in Florida. We used an attorney down there. Her attorney has an assistant/paralegal. She was awful. I know another couple who used the same attorney. They also had problems with this assistant. What makes me really sad is that she, herself is an adoptive mom.

We were notified that CC was in labor at about 7pm on August 14. he was born around 10. We knew we'd have to get B-dog taken care of and set up flights, etc so we knew we wouldn't be able to leave until the next morning. We told the assistant this. She said something to the effect of, "Can't you get there sooner? Allowing the birth mother all that time alone with the baby to bond makes her more likely to change her mind."

This was not the only awful, horrible, terrible thing this woman said. I told our agency about our unpleasant conversations with the assistant. I'm sure she's still working there.

This lawyer does set up semi-open communications with birth parents. It's a requirement for them. So I asked if they could facilitate additional interaction with birth parents beyond the once yearly communication and the assistant said no. They didn't offer any help with any of this. I had to figure it all out on my own while dealing with being a new parent. I felt unsupported. It was disappointing.

I have heard from CC and O a few times before Henry was 6 months. I haven't heard from them for a while. It does make me concerned. But I will continue to email and send pictures via the attorney. I hope that at some time they'll be ready to talk to us again.


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