Open Adoption Info

Updated on July 14, 2008
S.H. asks from Eugene, OR
32 answers

I am a first time Grandmother to a 5 1/2 mo. darling Grandson. My daugter has not bonded with this little guy and it is time to check into open adoption even though it is breaking my heart. I have been raising him since day one and hoping she would take over but she is being realistic and does not want to be a Mom at 19. Does anyone have info on open adoption, I know this little guy deserves a wonderful life with a family that will make him the center of their lives. Thank you.

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So What Happened?

Again, I want to thank everyone who sent me wonderful helpful advise. My daughter and I have just met the perfect couple for our precious little tyke and we are in the process of doing the private/open adoption. Best part is that I will still be Grandma and they are only 1/2 hr. away, they have all the outdoor fun toys so I know my Grandson will be raised with love, fun, and activities. He will grow with a father that adores him. I actually feel good about this. Thanks again.

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S.V.

answers from Portland on

Hello. I am adopted, and I placed my son for adoption when I was 16 years of age. The agency I used is based in Ft. Worth, Texas (I was living in Colorado at the time), and it is a non-profit organization called the Gladney Center. You can find information online, or call them at 1-800-GLADNEY. I found that they made an extremely difficult situation less painful for all parties involved, and offer numerous options (i.e. closed, semi-closed, and open adoptions) in order to meet the unique needs of each family. I would highly recommend this agency, particularly since the screenings for parents-to-be are so in-depth. My son is happy and healthy, and has a life that I could not have given him at that time in my life. You can pick the parents and meet them if you like, as I did, or not, whatever feels the most comfortable for you. I hope this helps, and good luck!

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A.H.

answers from Medford on

Dear S.,
I just wanted to say how much I admire you. Atlas supposedly held up the world, but in reality it is women like you. I am confident you will find the info you are looking for... these women are all like you, strong, giving, and caring.
Best of luck to you,
A.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

Have you considered adopting him? I was adopted by my dad's mother and it was the best thing that ever happened to me! It kept me around my family but with the best possible person raising me.

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J.F.

answers from Seattle on

Hi S.-

My husband and I just recently finalized the open adoption of our 6 1/2 month old little girl. We used the agency Amara (amaraparenting.org) but they are based in Seattle. I think that visiting the agency Open Adopt would be a great place for you to start. On their website (openadopt.org) you can even look at the information of some couples looking for a child. The number for the Eugene branch is ###-###-####. That agency is nation wide, so you could pick a couple from anywhere. If you want to be sure to get a local couple, try looking in the phone book for local agencies. I've heard good things about Heritage Adoption in Portland (www.heritageadoption.org).

Your daughter and the baby's father will have to be willing to terminate there rights. Then she (with your help, I'm guessing) will get to look at profiles for lots of couples and pick one/two. Then she/you will get to meet with them to make sure you like them.

With our agency, and I assume with others, we made a communication agreement before we took our daughter home. This document was filed in court so it's legally binding. The document details the type and amount of contact we will have over the years, and it can really be as much or as little as your daughter wants. Ours specifies letters and photos once a month, and meeting once a month for atleast the first two years of our daughters life. Though we have offered every month, our birthmom has yet to take us up on getting together, but we anxiously await the day she is a place to do so. And while the communication agreement is between the mom and us, we have also been able to stay in contact with our daughter's birthgrandmother and aunt. And I would hope if your grandson is placed for adoption that the adoptive parents would jump on the opportunity to keep you involved as much as posible.

I commend you for offering your grandson love and stability for the last 5 months and I wish you luck in making this incredibly hard decision. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you had.

-Jen
[email protected]____.com

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L.O.

answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,
We are adoptive parents to two beautiful girls. Both of our adoptions have been open. We have a wonderful lawyer that we can recommend to you: Albert Lirhus in Seattle. Please contact me with any questions: [email protected]____.com
Best wishes,
L.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.T.

answers from Portland on

Good morning S.

My partner and I have adopted two amazing boys both with Open Adoption Agreements. We used the same set of lawyers during both adoptions, and I wanted to pass on the contact information for one of them to you.

Her name is Marlene Findling and she is a very amazing lawyer. We trusted her and her judgement 100% during both of our adoptions. She can be reached at ###-###-####. While I am sure you are struggling with this decision, by placing the child up for adoption, you will make a dream come true for one very lucky family. Another option you have is Open Adoption and Family Services. They have offices in Portland and Seattle. They only do Open Adoptions, I am not sure what their policy is about working with a child already born.

I know that we are blessed to have open adoption agreements with both of the birth mothers. Not only did our family grow with two beautiful boys, it also grew with the addition of these amazing women.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Again, thank you for taking this option into consideration.

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S.B.

answers from Seattle on

We have adopted kids and our attorney is wonderful.
Mark Demary in Edmonds. Call him and he can help you with any questions.
God Bless,
S.

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J.G.

answers from Anchorage on

do you have any younger siblings that might take the child? it breaks my heart to hear this. what about your daughter's father? does he have any siblings that might take him?

but maybe it would be best to put him with a family if she has not bonded with him. It does sound like it is too much for you at this time in your life.

has she been to any counseling to work through this? she will need it for sure later on.. it could be even when she is your age.. it will catch up to her.

what about the baby's father?

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

S.:

You basically have two choices -- either adoption through an agency or private adoption through an attorney. One of the first steps you need to take is decide what adoption professional you would like to work with. You should be able to arrange an open adoption through either entity. You should also be able to meet "provisionally" with either one and get an idea of how the process would work.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that it is your daughter (and your grandchild's father) who will need to agree with the steps you are taking, as they are the parents and will be the ones who need to sign the parental rights terminations to allow the adoption to occur. I am sure that either an agency or an attorney can explain the details to all of you.

I am an adoptive parent and I worked with an area agency, an agency in Ohio, and an area attorney (but happened to match first with a birthfamily through the Ohio agency). The area agency I worked with was Journeys of the Heart (www.journeysoftheheart.net). The attorney I worked with was Mark Demaray. I would recommend them both.

You might also want to contact Open Adoption and Family Services given your strong interest in open adoption -- although they are based in Portland, they have a branch office here in Seattle. Finally, here is a link to the adoption section of RESOLVE -- they list many of the adoption professionals in this area. http://www.resolvewa.org/resources.php

Good luck and I do hope you can find the right professional to handle your grandchild's adoption.

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J.P.

answers from Seattle on

Hi, my friend has a wonderful little boy and they have an open adoption with the mother. It's worked out really well for all involved. They went through this organization:

http://www.openadopt.org/

They really work with birth moms and adoptive parents to make sure everyone understands their parts, etc. and what they want. Good luck!

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D.R.

answers from Portland on

I have a friend who has 4 children by open adoption. She would be happy to chat with you. You can email me for her contact info. I also have a friend from church who is looking to adopt a baby.
D.
[email protected]____.com

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R.R.

answers from Seattle on

We did adopt our grandson and sort of have an open adoption, you can e mail me and I will give you the info ect I have
[email protected]____.com
I am 54 and was looking forward to retirement , now that is a long ways off

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B.C.

answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,

Adoption is a huge step but I commend you for thinking about open adoption. I am an adoptive mother to a 19 month old son who came to us through the miracle of open adoption. (he was even born in Eugene, or!) We used Open aopt and family services and they are wonderful! They offer extensive counseling for birthparents, both pre and post placement. They are a wonderful resource for making sure that this is the right choice for your family. They are non profit so it would be a no pressure situation for you and your daughter while you are trying to make this difficult decision. The counseling is free even if she doesn't decide to place with them. If you have any questions please feel free to send me a message.

Good luck and I'm sorry that you are having to face this. Take care,

B.

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K.K.

answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,

I am a mother of two delightful adopted girls through open adoption. We share with their birth families, how they are doing, send pictures and keep them informed. Our daughters hold their birth mothers in high esteem for the gift they lovingly gave to us. Without those women, we would not have a family and we are so thankful for them.

Our most recent adoption was through a christian adoption ministry. It is a non-profit organization called Adoption Ministry out of Puyallup, Washington. They provide counciling for birth families, and for adoptive families. We adopted our sweet little daughter at age 4 1/2 months and she has now been with our family for a year.

Please consider contacting with this organization at adoptionministry.net or email Joy Casey at [email protected]____.com is a very kind and caring individual that works with both birth moms and adoptive families. Many families have been blessed both in making an adoption plan for their baby and building their families through adoption, with the wisdom and guidance of this agency.

I know there a several excited and loving families awaiting with anticipation for the baby that will bless their home with laughter and joy. This organization will help your daughter and yourself through the transition process of placing your sweet grandson with a forever family and keep the communication open with your grandson as he grows up, so you can choose the amount of openness you desire.

If you have any questions or unable to connect with the links I provided please let me know and I can try and assist you in any way I can.

I wish you the best for you, your daughter and your grandson,

adoptive mom, Kimberly

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S.B.

answers from Portland on

Hi S.,

My husband and I are currently waiting to adopt through the open adoption program at PLAN, an agency in McMinville, Oregon. The agency has been wonderful in providing support for us and the birth moms. We really like that PLAN focuses on working with adoptive parents and birth moms in Oregon. We chose open adoption because we value the relationship we and our child will have with his/her birth mom and other birth family. Knowing that the birth family will also be in Oregon means that relationship can be even closer. I only wish the wait was shorter, as we are ready to be parents. But we know we'll adopt the child we're meant to have.

Best of luck to you and your daughter. This is a difficult decision.

Warm regards,
S.

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B.B.

answers from Portland on

Hi S.,
I am a birth mom who gave my daughter through open adoption to a wonderful family 6 years ago. We have a great relationship and this is the best thing that I could have done for her. At the time of her birth, I was single and not in any place to raise a child. Her adoptive parents couldn't have children and I was able to give them that gift. A blessing for all of us. Did it hurt? Yes, but I knew what I was doing was best for her. I know this decision must be incredibly hard for you but just know that you are giving a gift to this child and to the parents who will be blessed with him. I went through an awesome attorney, John Challey. He is in Portland. Please let me know if you need any support through this process. I have walked this road before and would feel blessed to walk with you through it. I will keep you in my thoughts.
B.

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J.J.

answers from Portland on

Hi S. - I commend you on your unselfish concern for what is best for this child in the long run - not an easy thing to do. I am going to offer you some advice that is very counter-culture but I hope you will accept it in the spirit in which it is given. I am BOTH an adoptee and an adoptive mother so I can speak from both sides of this issue. I absolutely do not believe "open" adoptions are in the best interest of the child, especially when they are young. It is too much, too many directions, instability and confusion. This society wants to go on about people having "issues" and needing therapy - in my opinion this adds to the childs chances of having issues later if absolutely everyone (and I do mean *every* one) is not 100% on board for only the best interests of the child. Selfishness can often mess up the "perfect" scenario and now the child has competing interests, two moms, (or more with marriages, divorces, etc) two or more dads, grandparents, etc. Visitations with whoever is "real" and whoever is not becomes confusion and frustration. Give the child who is already at a disadvantage having a disconnected birth mother the advantage of a stable home with a mom and a dad and a future. There are lots of couples out there with a baby room ready, a college fund and lots of love to give with a normal homelife. Make the information available so when he is old enough, and if he is interested, he can choose to add birth relatives to his life. Give him that, give him a choice and his own voice as to what he wants to add in his own life. It isnt the easiest decision; makes it harder to let go, but it is the most compassionate in the primary interest of the child. I know what I am saying will not be popular with the masses, but it does give the child something he deserves to have in a situation he hasn't chosen for himself - a chance to choose for himself how he wants to structure his own birth/adoptive family relationships.

A different perspective, but I've lived it and it works.

My thoughts and prayers are with you,
Sincerely,
J.

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D.

answers from Portland on

So sorry for your heartbreaking situation. My friend who adopted through open adoption offered this website and info:
www.openadopt.org
Contact attorney John Challey (in Portland, OR). He specializes in open adoption and can refer you to someone locally.

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L.M.

answers from Yakima on

There is a family waiting out there for this little guy. Do you belong to a church where there may be a family waiting for a baby to adopt? My sister and BIL have all four of their children raised with 6 grandchildren. My husband's brother is a police officer in the town where they live and when he would stop parents and have to take the children to a group facility it would break his heart so he talked my sister and her husband into being foster parents...well needless to say in the five years that they have been doing it...they have ended up adopting through open adoption two little boys. They were infants when they got them. They still take the one little boy for visitation with his father every three months...the father lives quite aways away or I am sure it would be more often.
Has she ever thought of putting him in a foster home first before making the final step of adoption? This would give her time to make sure that she is making a decision that she is not going to regret, and there are good foster homes out there despite the reputation of some. I sure could have my sister check to see if she knows of one near you. she keeps in contact with several through her 7th Day Adventist church group. She may even know of someone wanting a little boy through open adoption. She lives in Washington State. Please let me know...she may be able to help you.
We raise three of our grandchildren...the first one has graduated this year and is attending college at University of Indiana...we have the other two still at home...we have had them since 3 mos and 22 mos...they are 16 & 17 now. we got them when our youngest was a junior in high school...she is more like an older sister to them.

Their Mom is doing well now but she lost her first three to us and her second marriage she had two boys that she lost to her ex-husband...(it was due to drug use) she finally married a third time and has two boys that she is doing a good job raising with her third husband, but she is more like a friend to the kids or an aunt. She has been clean and sober for over 6 years now.
The kids have a relationship with her but she never crosses the bounadary of us being their parents. It can be done and they can never have too many people to love them.
If I can help you please let me [email protected]____.com L.

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A.S.

answers from Eugene on

Dear S., It breaks my heart too, hearing about your grandson. It is wonderful that you want what is best for him. Lots of good suggestions here. I agree with the first response, from Jerri W. Please make sure your daughter gets all the help she needs and is willing to accept, to help her either bond with her baby or become really clear that she is ready to relinquish him (and yes, the decision ultimately needs to be made by her and the birth father). I am wondering whom he has bonded with, if anyone? Since you are working so much, who has been mostly caring for him? Is there any way that you could continue to raise him as his primary "mom", with some input from your daughter as she is willing and able? Do you have or could you assemble a support system to help you (as in "it takes a village to raise a child")? There may be people in your community who would be delighted to be a part of his life, who could be like grandparents to him.

If your daughter does decide on open adoption, I agree that the sooner it could happen the better, so that he can bond with his new parents. It would be best for him if the change could happen gradually, spending lots of time getting to know the new parents while in his familiar surroundings with his familiar people, and to keep it really open so that you and other people he knows could continue to be an important part of his life. It would be very important and helpful for him and the new parents to have some professional help with establishing a good attachment, since it sounds like he may already have challenges about attachment (especially if he has had several main caregivers and changes while you are at work). Wishing you the best.

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P.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,

I am the mother to a beautiful 3 1/2 year daughter that my husband and I adopted at birth and have an open adoption with both our daughter's birth mother and father. As part of the agency that we went through we put together a 'Dear Birth Parent' letter that included pictures and letters about us, our family etc. Our daughter's birth parents then chose the family that they wanted their daughter to be adopted into from the letters that they received. Following being chosen from the letter we then flew to Nevada to meet birth mom and birth dad, we have had a wonderful relationship with them since day 1. We are in contact with them via email, phone and snail mail plus they will spend some vacation time with us again this summer. At this time they have both not told any of their relatives of the birth of their daughter when they decide to do so they will be part of the family as well. We have all been very respectful of everyone involved with our daughter's adoption as all that we do and her birth parents have done is in her best interest. Our daughter is so very blessed to have so many people in her life that love her. We would do this again in a heart beat. If you would like to know more about open adoption and how very wonderful it can be feel free to contact me. I am sure that you have lots of questions.

Warm regards,
P.
[email protected]____.com

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L.W.

answers from Medford on

Hello S.,

My husband and I have adopted and there are several different ways to go about it. We are currently waiting to adopt again ourselves. We would like our 2 yr old son to have a sibling.

Your daughter can go to state adoptions and relinglish her rights to a family that she has picked or they can help her pick a family in her area. She can request that her and her family have an open adoption.

OR

There are several adoption agencies that can help as well.

She will be able to pick the family that she would like to have raise her child and set up some type of open adoption plan with the family.

This is a hard decision and all of you should be commeded for doing the right thing for the child. I hope that all goes well with you and your family. My prayers will be with you all during this time.

Sincerely, L.

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J.S.

answers from Boise on

Dear S.,
What a wonderful grandmother you are to think of the best interest of your grandson. We adopted our little boy from Ohio. He is the joy of our lives. Anyway, we went through LDS Family Services. They offer free help to the birth mother and do what's best for the birth mother and her baby. They do NOT push adoption on anyone. They are there to help do the right thing for the mom and the baby. The birth mom that had our son was 19 and she knew that she needed to place her son for adoption to give him the best life possible. Afterall, it's not about anyone but the child. God bless you, your daughter, and your darling grandson.
J.
By the way...you don't have to be LDS to use their services to place a baby for adoption. I like what they say, "Adoption...it's about love."

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J.V.

answers from Seattle on

LDS Family services is very good at open adoptions. they have all kinds of counceling services available also. You do not need to be mormon to go there. They are wonderfuland are located in Renton. they give you files of couples that are hoping to adopt and you can choose which one you like best and the amount of openness that you choose is between you and the adoptive family. I know there are so many couples out there who whould do anything for a baby of their own. you can go on their website and look at waiting families. I have adopted five children and know the great blessing that adoption can be for all involved. good luck and God bless. J.

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J.B.

answers from Portland on

The most important person in this process is your grandson and doing what is best for him. Holt International Children's services has a domestic adoption program and works with the Boys and Girls Aid Society of Oregon. They have tremendous resources and they operate under the protocol that they find families for children, not children for families. Ideally your grandson will be placed in his forever family as soon as possible to lessen his chances of developing attachment disorders.

I can give you the name of a social worker at Holt if you would like a specific person to call.

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C.L.

answers from Portland on

S.,
My husband and I are currently working with a local agency called PLAN (Plan Loving Adoptions Now). Someone else has already provided there contact information. The agency has been wonderful to work with. It is people like yourself and your daughter who make dreams of parenthood come true for those of us who are not able to conceive.
C.

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A.R.

answers from Seattle on

LDS Family Services has a great open adoption program. They are willing to answer any questions that you have. You can view profiles of the prospective adoptive parents so you know who the people are that are adopting your grandson. It is a great program I know several people who have used it and felt like it was a good fit for them. Much luck. I know that this is a hard decision. They also have counseling to help with coping.

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N.J.

answers from Anchorage on

Dear S.,

i read your email and was very moved by your ability to try and support your family.

My family has talked about adoption of a son we have two daughther and don't want to conceive anymore but would like a son guy to complete our family.

I would be interested in getting somemore info if to help you if you choose to go the route of open adoption.

Sincerely,

N. j.

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Adoption is a big, no a huge step. Has your daughter seen a counselor yet? Has she been evaluated for post-partum depression? Where you have been raising this baby, did she ever go home to her house and have the responsibility of the baby or did you do it all for her? If you took responsibility for the baby then she didn't have to, she really couldn't. You all need to exhaust all these options for her as well as the baby before placing him up for adoption. It would be a huge heartache for the potential adoptive parents to make their emotional and physical investment only for your daughter to come to the realization that she truly is a mother and wants her son. Give her the opportunities and the professional help necessary to become a good mom, doing whatever is best for herself and her child. Don't make her decisions for her. This is her's, not your's.
I wish you all well.

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S.W.

answers from Seattle on

I have a 15 month old adopted son that we had an open adoption with. I would recommend talking to Mary Kooistra who is a lawyer in Kirkland she specializes in this field and is a very wonderful, nice lady. Hope this helps!

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R.L.

answers from Spokane on

Hi S.,

Good questions and I think it is a wonderful idea. My husband and I adopted our son when he was newborn and it was an open adoption with the mother. The father was no longer in the picture. I was 41 and my hubby was 44 at the time. Our son is 2 1/2 now and our only one and the joy of our lives. There are wonderful people out there looking/waiting for a child to love and raise. All you need to do is get an attorney and it won't cost you much. Actually, if you find the couple, on line, they can get the attorney and spend all of the money and it won't/shouldn't cost you/your daughter anything. The baby deserves that. He deserves to be the most cherished little guy in the whole world. Great job on taking the initiative and I hope your daughter follows through on it. If you just look on line, there are so many great families looking to adopt, even in your local area, and many are willing to do it opening so there can still be contact. We still remain in contact with the mother and our son will always know that everyone loved him and his mother just chose and gave us the honor to raise him for a few short years, but we all love him.

I hope this help and please do it sooner rather than later. There are such important months for him to bond.

Good luck.

R.
(mother to Kaleb)

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K.L.

answers from Seattle on

We have two beautiful children through adoption. We have open adoptions with both of our birth families. I LOVED The agency we worked with. The name is Adoption Connections. We worked with Anne Moody and Patti Beasley. They are wonderful, caring women who have worked in the field for a long time. I highly recommend them. The number is ###-###-####.
I wish you and your family the best. If you have any questions, please email me and I will give you my phone number.

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