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Open Adoption Experience : Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families -

 

 

 

Open Adoption Experience : Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families -
by Lois Ruskai Melina

Two leading experts provide an authoritative and reassuring guide to the issues and concerns of adoptive and birth families through all stages of the open adoption relationship.

Ingram
Two leading experts provide an authoritative and reassuring guide to the issues and concerns of adoptive and birth families through all stages of the open adoption relationship, from making the decision through the child's growing years.


About the Author
Lois Melina is the editor of Adopted Child newsletter and serves on the board of directors of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of information about adoption and providing guidance for practice and policy change in the field. Melina speaks frequently about adoption to professional organizations and adoptive parents throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. She is the author of Making Sense of Adoption and coauthor of The Open Adoption Experience.

 

5 out of 5 stars Open adoption�A Rose Garden?, September 26, 2003

  Reviewer: Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald from USA

If I were adopting today and had read this thoughtful book, I would jump at the opportunity for an open adoption. The information on pre-adoption and placement aspects is persuasive for both adoptive and birth parents, especially since the author is non-judgmental. When you think about it, open adoption seems ideal for both parties involved. Really a utopia. I get goose bumps thinking about it. And yet. . . yet. . . The U.S. has gone from one extreme of adoption practice (secrecy) to another, openness. Unfortunately, the adversarial relationship between advocates and critics of openness in adoption is exacerbated by lack of empirical research. It is this lack of empirical evidence that should caution prospective adoptive parents about this new extreme practice. Lois Ruskai Melina�s book was published in 1993, but we have now at least one large longitudinal study on openness. Harold D. Grotevant and Ruth G. McRoy report in their study, Openness in Adoption, Exploring Family Connections (Sage 1998): �The clearest policy implication of our work is that no single type of adoption is best for everyone.� These authors warn that the long-term impact of openness for all parties in the adoptive kinship network is not known and longitudinal research is necessary to answer this question. We now have a generation of children who grew up in open adoptions, and we need to find out from them, now that they are adults, how they perceived the practice in their lives. We do not have such a comprehensive study of their experiences, but only anecdotal records. Even if some adoptive and birth parents like openness, this does not mean that the practice is good for the children. Some research also indicates that birthmothers who see their children suffer more than those who do not see them.
I am an adoptive mother of a secret adoption and was always opposed to secrecy, but since we met our wonderful birthmother 29 years later (she found us) I�m even more opposed to it, seeing what secrecy has done to her. I think I would have loved to have had an open arrangement with her, yet she says that she could not have coped with openness. It would have driven her insane to visit her baby and not be able to take her home. She would greatly have preferred a semi-open practice over a secret one. Incredible to me, our daughter, now age 34, would again have wanted a closed adoption because she does not want to think about the confusion her loving birthmother would have created in her child�s mind and heart. This issue drives one to distraction because one wants a clear answer to what practice is best, and there isn�t one.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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