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Differing degrees of openness for siblings - looking for advise

Hi all,

We have an awesome 3 year old and a very functional awesome open adoption situation (lots of in persons visits when we were in the same town, every 3 month updates/skype etc. now that we’re not). We’ve been trying for adoption #2 for quite sometime now, and are feeling that our hope for openness beyond just exchanging pictures has limited us. We’ve actually opted to not be considered for closed adoptions - but as the wait is progressing - we’re wondering if that is silly. That said, while we know that no two adoptions will have the same amount of openness - we worry about how one very open and one very closed will pan out years down the road. Would love to hear folks experience with varying degrees of openness and things to consider especially as kids get older. Thanks in advance!


We are in a similar boat and I just keep reminding myself the best way to get what we want is to say what that is, even though the wait is excruciating. We talk about doing Foster Care, but that is truly another path, since even if it is Open, it is not a path the is chosen by the birthfamily, but rather is chosen for them.

Posted by KJr on Oct 25, 2017 at 8:19pm

First, remember that some adoptions start out open and wind up closed, while others start out closed and wind up open.  And the degree of openness in an open adoption often changes over time.  I would recommend not focusing on the type of adoption, but on how you feel about a particular situation.  As an example, will you be comfortable telling your child, down the road, that she was conceived in rape or incest and that her birthmother was so upset that she wanted nothing to do with her baby? Will you be OK if a birthmother has a history of addiction and may or may not show up, sober, for visits, even if you have an open adoption agreement?

Second, every adoption situation is different.  Even if you have open adoptions with all your children, they may compare their particular situation unfavorably with that of their siblings.  As an example, one may say, “How come Billy has visits with his birthmother and his birthfather, but I have visits only with my birthmother?”  Another child may complain because her birthmother did not call or send a letter on her birthday, while her sister’s birthmother sent a card and a little gift.  Your job, whether your adoptions are open or closed, is to make each child feel loved and valued, and help them to understand that life may not always seem fair, but that they can do a great deal to make their lives meaningful and joyful. It is also your responsibility to teach them to have compassion for others, including members of their birth families.

All in all, while the open adoption you have may be wonderful, and while open adoptions, in general, are better for a child, not all open adoptions work as well as yours.  And just because a birthmother wants a closed adoption, you should not deprive the child of your parenting skills, and you should recognize that circumstances often change

Posted by sak9645 on Oct 25, 2017 at 11:47pm

If you want an open adoption, wait for an open adoption. We also wouldn’t accept closed or even semi-open situations for our second child. There are, sadly, more than enough families who don’t see the benefits of open adoptions who will jump at the closed adoption situation.

You might end up with inequality, simply because life happens. But I think there is merit in seeking out expectant parents who are like-minded - in this case, ones who will see open adoption as desirable and worth the effort.

Posted by rredhead on Oct 26, 2017 at 1:24am

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