Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Your Adoption is Unique

by Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
email me at
(please do not copy & paste this post onto your own blog)

Because of all of the different circumstances that surround an adoption, no two adoptions are exactly alike.  Some people try to [negatively] compare an adoption that happened 30+ years ago (or even 10 years ago) to one that is happening today.  Comparing those are like comparing apples and oranges.

When people say negative comments (ie: "All adoptions are bad." or "Mine was a bad experience, so yours will be too."), you should use that opportunity to educate them about your adoption.

When people try to tell us that our adoption will turn out badly- just like another one they know of, sometimes I will say something like "I am not [the name of the person they're talking about], so the outcome will not be the same.  We all have different circumstances and we all deal with things in different ways." 

Here are some of the many variables that make each adoption unique.  These factors also shape the perspective people have about adoption:

  • Where you fit in the adoption triad (big factor!)
  • The year the adoption happened  (big factor!)
  • Open or Closed Adoption (big factor!)
  • How the adopted child was raised (big factor!)
  • Level and degree of openness between the adoptive family and the birth family
  • International Adoption
  • Domestic Adoption
  • Interstate Adoption (ICPC)
  • Same-state Adoption
  • Trans-racial Adoption
  • Special Needs Adoption
  • Foster-to-Adopt
  • Infant Adoption
  • Adoption of an older child
  • Adoption of a sibling group
  • Adoption of a child to an unmarried parent
  • Adoption of a family member (i.e.: step-parent adoption or adoption of extended family member, etc.)
  • State laws regarding parental relinquishment, placement of the child and finalization of the adoption
  • Wait time that the adoptive family endured before placement
  • Some adoptive couples have been scammed or have experienced failed placement(s)
  • Adoptive Parent application process
  • Counseling
  • How everyone in the adoption triad dealt with the grief
  • The distance between where the birth parents live from the adoptive family
  • Health of the adopted child
  • Birth mother's reason(s) for choosing adoption
  • Birth mother's reason(s) and criteria for choosing her baby's adoptive family (how did she tell them?)
  • The age of the birth parents at the time of the adoption
  • Involvement of the birth father
  • Involvement of the birth mother
  • The amount of adoption education/counseling that the adoptive family has received
  • Contact and openness the adoptive couple experiences with the birth family before placement
  • The age of the child when he/she was adopted
  • Support of family members of the ones directly involved in an adoption
  • The circumstances surrounding the actual placement of the child (was it at the hospital, home or agency?  Were the birth parents involved or was it done by state or agency workers?)
  • The child's contact and relationship with the birth family
  • The adoptive couple's contact and relationship with the birth family
  • In later years, did the adopted child initiate unwanted contact with a birth parent or vice versa?
  • Involvement of extended members of the birth family with the adoptive family 
  • If there was a contested adoption
  • Use of the internet, pass along cards or other tools in the "finding process"
  • Use of an adoption agency (each agency is different)
  • Competency and experience of adoption caseworkers involved
  • Use of an attorney only (in lieu of an agency)
All of these factors make it nearly impossible to compare adoptions (especially in a negative way).  And I hope, because of that, people will learn to put aside their own issues and celebrate when good things come of an adoption.  Even if it's not their own.

No comments:

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House