10 Things I’ve Learned In 10 Years Of An Open Adoption

This guest post is by Leah Outten, a birthmother.

what-ive-learned-about-open-adoption

My birthdaughter’s 10th birthday is coming in just a few weeks!   As her parents and I have been on this journey with our daughter at the center, here is what I have learned in 10 years of being in an open adoption:

Communication is key

Just as it is with every relationship, communication is essential to a positive and successful open adoption.  This is key from the first meeting and well into the years later!  Both sides need to know about what they are or are not comfortable with openness wise.  Both need to know the boundaries of either side.

Will there be letters and pictures twice a year? How often will we visit? What is it okay for your birthchild to call you?  Is it okay to share pictures on Facebook?  This can mean a lot of tough conversations, but it is so helpful to know where each other stands. Continue reading

How To Write An Adoption Profile In 9 Easy Steps [Infographic]

Writing an adoption profile isn’t easy. It’s hard to know what to put in and what to leave out.

To make it easier for you, we’ve broken down the writing process into nine easy steps. We hope this will demystify it for you and make it less frustrating and time-consuming.

Infographic: How To Write An Adoption Profile

If you like this infographic, there are three things you can do.

1. You can share it on your social networks. This will help you do it on Twitter:

2. You can let us know — on our Facebook page — what’s missing from it or what advice you have for others.

3. You can check out our adoption profile plans.

Good luck with your adoption journey!

After An Open Adoption Match: The Key To Building A Relationship

ChainedI had a great time talking to Tim Elder at the Infant Adoption Guide the other day about online adoption profiles. We covered a lot of ground during our hour-long interview.

Among other things we discussed the benefits of using an online adoption profile service, the unique features of our service and the recent changes we’ve made to our website to help adopting families and prospective birthmothers find a match even faster and easier.

One topic we didn’t get to is the next stage in the open adoption process: What happens after you’ve found a match with a prospective birthmother? How do you keep things moving forward? What can you do to build a strong positive relationship in the period between connecting with an expectant mother and the birth or relinquishment of her baby? Continue reading

What To Put In Your Adoption Profile — And What To Leave Out

what-to-put-in-adoption-profileIn the 13 years that I’ve helped hopeful adoptive parents parents write and network their adoption profile, I’ve been asked all kinds of questions. But there’s one question that pops up again and again: What should I put in it?

As someone who once asked it myself, I understand where they’re coming from. For many waiting adoptive parents, adoption networking is a new concept, and writing a profile is one of the most important — and challenging — parts of it.

Knowing what to put in your profile, and what to leave out, will not only save you time and effort down the road. It will also increase your chances of getting chosen by prospective birthparents. Continue reading

15 Things I Wish I Knew About Private Domestic Adoption Scams

Private domestic adoption isn’t for the faint of heart. I can’t say we weren’t warned.

But the idea didn’t really hit home until we were a few months in our journey, after we had sent out our adoption profile in the hopes of connecting with an expectant mother looking at adoption for her baby.

That’s when we found ourselves in a place we never imagined we’d be: at the receiving end of a private domestic adoption scam.

“I have some good news for you,” our facilitator announced one day, setting in motion a chain of events that would become one of the darkest chapters in our adoption journey.

She said she had just gotten off the phone with, in her words, “the nicest birthmother” and that this “birthmother” wanted to meet us. Continue reading

What Placing My Daughter For Adoption Taught Me About My Own Placement

This guest post is by Jori Reid, a birthmother.

jori-reidIn a milion years I could not have imagined being in the same shoes as my birth mother.   As a teenager I was angry, hurt, heart broken and even resented her for placing me for adoption.

How dare she not want me — an infant so small and frail! Whatever I did to deserve to be given away was something I could not comprehend — until I placed my first born daughter for adoption.

I learned how horribly wrong I had been. I prayed for peace and for the Lord to soften my heart towards her.

I don’t believe in coincidences, nothing happens by chance. There is a reason for everything, even if we do not know what it is at that moment. Continue reading

Why A Birthmother Picked Us To Adopt Her Baby

Look at the window“Here, take a look at these,” our adoption worker says, handing us a stack of adoption portfolios. “They should give you some good ideas.”

Each one is handmade, delicate and eye-watching. Created with care and love.

Later, in the security of our home, my wife and I carefully leaf through them, page by page, searching for clues that will help make our own portfolio come alive and build our family.

We have just completed our home study and have moved to a new phase in our open adoption journey: creating a parent profile. Continue reading

How I Created A Successful Relationship With My Son’s Adoptive Parents

This guest post is by Courtney, a birthmother. Read Part One of her story here.

birthmother-babyPlacing my son, Benjamin, for adoption when he was four months old was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I knew it was the right decision for him and for me.

I was already parenting my three-year-old son, Jack, and I knew that while I could give Benjamin what he wanted, I couldn’t give him what he deserved. So I chose a couple named Drea and Jason to be his adoptive parents.

Transitioning Benjamin to their home was a gradual process. At first, they took him every other night. The first night he was gone, I felt utterly empty. I wanted to call Drea and insist she bring my baby back, but I didn’t.

The day before the placement Drea and her sister took the boys and me to the zoo on my birthday and then she and Jason took me to dinner. It was by far the best birthday I’ve ever had, it meant so much to me. Continue reading