1How do you feel about having an open vs. a closed adoption?
Blake: If I were in a closed adoption, I feel
like my parents might try to hide it from me
and, when I figured it out—because the kid
will inevitably figure it out—I would feel like
I didn’t belong, like I wasn’t supposed to be
there. (With open adoption) I don’t have to
go on this soul-searching journey to find out
who my parents are, where I’m from. I already know. It’s laid out for me. I know where
I came from and I know who I am now.
Taylor: Having an open adoption means that
there’s not a part of you that’s missing. I have
all my pieces. I’m not missing anything.
Gabriel: I am very much in favor of open
adoption because the relationships I’ve had
with my birth mother and siblings have really enriched my life. I don’t think I would
have gone on a quest to find my birth mother.
That’s just not the kind of person I am. I am
still very glad that I know who she is and
that I can see her and talk with her, basically,
whenever. I don’t feel I would’ve turned out
all that differently if my adoption had been
closed, but I would definitely be missing
something from my life.
Darcy: Closed adoption leaves space to make
up stories or reasons why you were put up
for adoption because you wouldn’t have the
answers. You could think that you were just
left there because no one cared about you.
What I learned from asking my birth mother
is that she cared for me and she wanted me
to have a good life. If I hadn’t known that, I
probably would’ve thought the worst. I’m incredibly grateful for having the opportunity
just to talk with the people who created me
and tell me the reasons behind it. Open adoption benefits the kid and all the parents.
Justin: I don’t think closed adoptions are the
right thing to do and should be avoided. I feel
strongly on this because I was raised in an
open adoption and I definitely think it’s the
right thing to do. I mean, if kids turn 18 and
find out only then that they’re adopted or are
only then able to contact their birth parents,
it can rock their world and confuse them.
They might question their childhood and
their upbringing, and I’m glad I didn’t have
to go through that. I’ve known my whole life.
2Have you always known about your adoption?
Claire: Yes, I have always known. My adoptive parents did a great job of telling me the
details of my adoption and keeping me in
contact with my birth mom from day one.
Gabriel: Yes, it was never a hidden subject at
all. My parents have always been very, very
open about the part adoption has played in
my life, and it’s been the same for my sister,
who’s also adopted. It’s never been a secret
or anything terrible, nothing hanging over
your head. It’s actually always been an added
bonus to our lives, instead of something that
we’re ashamed of.
Taylor: I’ve always known that I was adopted.
I grew up knowing my birth mother and visiting her. My parents never hid it from me.
They always welcomed her into our house.
“With closed adoption, it’s like you’re
putting up a wall between the child
and her birth parents, and people
always want to climb over walls or
bust through them. Open adoption is
more like a gate.” —DARCY, 15