Updated for a New Paperback Edition, the Definitive Guide to Open Adoption, by the founder of the Open Adoption Movement The exploding popularity of open adoption today underscores what adopting parents, birthparents, and many adoption experts now maintain: Open adoption is the healthiest, most humane, and fastest method available. It's better for the birthmother, because she (not lawyers or social workers) decides the future of her child. It's better for children, because they're raised without the shroud of secrecy and stigma that accompanies most closed adoptions. And it's better for adopting parents, because it dramatically shortens the time it takes to obtain a baby, from an average of seven years to under one year. As director of one of the country's leading open adoption agencies and founder of the first nationwide network of open adoption organizations, Bruce Rappaport has facilitated thousands of successful open adoptions and acquired an intimate understanding of the most common and heartfelt concerns of parents seeking to adopt a baby. Interweaving personal stories and real-life experiences of adopting parents, birthparents, and adopted children, he answers the questions clients most frequently ask:
* What is an open adoption? How does it differ from traditional adoption?
* Will I ever feel like a real parent if my child's biological mother knows I'm raising her child? Will she interfere?
* What if the birthmother changes her mind after the adoption?
* How long will it take to get a child?
Documenting answers with extensive personal experience and research, Dr. Rappaport paints a reassuring yet realistic picture of the open adoption process. The result is a highly informative, deeply moving book that will help many people realize the greatest joy life can offer.
Introduction: The Promise of Open Adoption 1
1. Why Is Adopting a Healthy Infant So Difficult? 13
2. Open Adoption: The Revitalization of Adoption 27
3. Infertility and the Medical Treadmill 51
4. Birthparent Stereotypes and Realities 66
5. The Surprising Bond Between Adopting Parents and Birthparents 84
6. The Ongoing Relationships Between Adopting Parents and Birthparents 109
7. The Lives of an Adopted Child and Adoptive Parents in an Open Adoption 127
8. The Vital Role of Counseling in an Open Adoption 152
9. The Joys of Parenthood 179
Appendix: Open Adoption Centers 183