Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Coming Out

Last week, I had an odd experience. I was asked to speak to an adoption class. This was a class of a dozen or so couples who were preparing for adoption. The person who asked me to come speak had been very helpful to me during my reunion, so I thought the least I could do would be help out.

I wasn't the only one there. There was a birth mother and an adoptive couple. I spoke last. And listening to the birth mother and the adoptive mother speak, I realized I had little idea what they were talking about. Both had been through their experiences in the last six years. They were talking about what I've come to think about as adoption 2.0. I went through adoption 1.0. (Adoption beta is worse. My adoptive paternal grandmother went through something like what I think of as the beta version.)

Adoption 2.0 might not be better than 1.0. It has dangers and problems that we probably can't really see yet. But the kind of education and openness that seems common today seems to be an improvement over what happened forty years ago. (There were some odd things that came out. The big book of potential parents for the birth mother to look through to pick out parents for her child just struck me as odd.) Who knows, however, how these kids will feel when they are adults?

But the problems of 1.0 are pretty obvious. And that's what I tried to talk about. I stressed, as much as possible, that, whatever arrangement they decide for their child (whether open or not, and if so how open), they need to be open with the child. They need to find out as much as they can about the birth parents. Because their child is likely to want to know at some point. And if they don't have any information, their child is going to make something up.

It felt weird to talk as openly about my adoption as I did that night. Outside of my support group, this blog (which has focused more on reunion than on other issues), and a few extremely close friends, I don't think I've been that open about my experience. It went well, I suppose. But I hope I gave the potential parents issues to think about.

On another note... Given things going on in my head lately, I'm going to try to be more consistent about this place. I don't want it to die on the vine, as it were. So keep checking back. I'm not going anywhere.

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