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I’ve tried a few time to write this post, my response to the latest Open Adoption Roundtable prompt:

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?

The thing is, I just don’t remember.  I had contact with three “professionals” during my pregnancy.  An adoption facilitator, the hospital social worker, and M&J’s lawyer.

I never saw the facilitator in person.  We had plans to meet once, but that day there was an earthquake (I wasn’t phased I’m from CA, but they STILL talk about it around here 9 years later) so our meeting was canceled and never ended up being rescheduled.  Instead she sent me profiles through the mail and we spoke on the phone a handful of times.

I don’t remember her ever telling me about open adoption, but she must’ve since I’m in one.  She must’ve right?

One of the things she sent me was a packet of papers to fill out and one of those was about my preference for degree of openness…Does that mean she talked to me about openness prior to sending those papers? I don’t remember.  I do remember the form, which I mentioned in a previous OAR (oh how i wish i had a copy of that form):

 

We were given a form to fill out which included boxes to check something to the effect of

Will you want pictures

A – for the first six months

B – for the the first year

C -for the first 5 years

D – I don’t know

Repeat for letters, phone calls, visits, etc.  I don’t remember the exact break down of time frames given but it was similar to my example.

 

After filling out the form I’m pretty sure no further discussion of openness was had.

As for the hospital social worker.  I’m pretty sure she was out of her element completely.  I met with her once VERY briefly.  To be fair I gave birth at a military hospital and I’m sure she was hired to deal with soldiers and the issues they may have not pregnant teens and their adoption plans.  I know we didn’t discuss openness because we barely discussed anything.

The lawyer and I spoke on the phone once and met in person once.  I remember the phone call was to inform me that we were super rushed for time since I was about a month away from giving birth and he usually like to have everything done by the time we were starting.  I don’t think openness was discussed, but again I don’t really remember.  The day he came to visit me in the hospital he informed me I had the right to my own attorney and I don’t remember anything else he said except for pointing out where to sign.  I was still heavily medicated following my emergency c-section.

So I suppose the most supportive act was the facilitator allowing me to fill out a preference form…and the least supportive thing would have to be letting that form be the only word on openness I got (that I remember).

We were given a form to fill out which included boxes to check something to the effect of

Will you want pictures

A – for the first six months

B – for the the first year

C -for the first 5 years

D – I don’t know

Repeat for letters, phone calls, visits, etc.  I don’t rem

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Comments on: "Open Adoption Roundtable #18: I Just Don’t Remember" (6)

  1. I want to smack that lawyer. And that stupid form.

    (Can you tell I’m feeling grumpy tonight?)

  2. I often wonder how brokers portray “open adoption”. I am curious, though? Did they tell you that open adoption is NOT legally enforceable? Time after time, I see the broken hearts of first parents who were lied to by their brokers about the myth of “open adoption”. It upsets me that it is presented as a “choice”, when in fact, it is not. They use the promise of open adoption as a tool to lure women into surrendering, when they (brokers) know it is not legally enforceable.

    • KatjaMichelle said:

      I can’t tell you if they told me anything about open adoption not being legally binding because I don’t remember them telling me about it at all. I don’t even remember them using the term “open adoption” the form I think referred to “ongoing contact” but it may have said “open adoption” and they may have talked to me about it. I’ve had 9 years to forget and repress. And I’m so very good at repressing…

  3. smacking and kicking with you.

    one thing that sticks out is that you were asked to sign anything while still recovering from birth and a c-section. so disturbing.

    thanks for sharing this.

    • KatjaMichelle said:

      My dad apparently just learned this bit. We were talking about a legislators reasons for wanting records to remained sealed and he asked, well DOES it say anything in the contract about privacy/secrecy/anonymity/confidentiality? And I told him I didn’t remember I was on serious pain meds when I signed. I remember being aware enough to make sure I read everything (just like daddy always taught me dont sign what you dont read) I remember the lawyer watching me as I read. I just don’t remember anything I read. Dad was shocked that I had signed while on meds.

      …then just to really shock him I educated him on putative father registries…yeah we had a nice tame dinner conversation last night lol

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