Monday, December 17, 2012

Screening Email in Dublin

Rob and I had planned a trip to Dublin, Ireland for this month, and had to deal with a few adoption logistics. First, we had bought trip insurance, something we had never done before, in case we ended up having to stay because of an adoption match (we almost canceled it when we got Ida - just hadn't gotten around to it yet) or leave early for the same reason.  We also had to think about how the agency could reach us in Dublin.

We bought an international calling plan for my phone to include texts, calls, and data, all within certain limits.  We chose a plan that gave us 200 minutes of calling, 50 texts, and 300 MB of data.  I figured that would be enough for all of the different communication methods and arrangements we would need if something popped up.

Jet lag is not something I've ever been good at handling.  I'm learning that I need to plan trips to the UK or Europe to be for at least two weeks because it takes me most of the first week just to adjust.  I spent a lot of time this past week in Dublin wide awake all night long.

On our second or third night, a friend of mine called (not realizing I was out of the country), and when I got up to see who it was, I saw that I had a screening email from the agency. I knew that our agency had started to reach out more nationally, but this one was actually brought to them by an Oregon attorney regarding an expectant mother in the southwest who was looking for an adoptive family for her daughter, to be born in January.

I called the agency and asked the questions I always ask - "Is she nice?  Does she want an open adoption?" and this time there weren't any answers to those questions.  The agency was still working to get information from the attorney, and had hurriedly sent out the screening email because of the short time-frame before the expected date of birth.

Rob and I had to really talk about this one.  It looked as thought the baby was going to be healthy, so that was great, but we really want an open adoption and we didn't know if the expectant parents wanted that or even how that would work with the geographic distance.  Ultimately, we ended up asking for our profile to be shown, but we did it with a "we'll cross that bridge if we get to it" attitude.  We figured tons of families would be shown to the expectant parents, not only from our agency but from many other sources, so the chances we would be picked would be extremely slim.

We still haven't resolved that issue, though - what would we do if we were picked by someone who didn't want an open adoption?  


chittisterchildren said...

Hi, I'm Robyn, and I found your blog through the Open Adoption Interview project. I'm not sure if the question at the end of this post was rhetorical or not, but my husband and I had to think about that too when adopting. This is what I thought:
It seems that a lot of expectant parents go into adoption either not knowing anything about open adoption or thinking that open adoption is not good. They think it's harder, and in some ways it is. However, research has shown that, over time, it's actually better for birth parents than closed adoptions. Some people go in not knowing they can ask for updates, letters, or even visits. When they find out, they jump at the chance.
A person may initially want a closed adoption, then change his/her mind a week, a month, a year, or more later.
For those reasons, we didn't rule out expectant parents who didn't want an open adoption. We knew their wants could change.

stardustlane said...

Do you know how flexible it can be, though? I was worried that if it was truly closed, there wouldn't be a way to open it back up later. I was a product of a closed adoption, and we could only get identifying information when I turned 19, and only if both parties requested it.

We both thought that it was unlikely that an expectant parent who wanted a closed adoption would choose us anyway (our profile documents are obviously pro-open adoption.) But we still don't know what we would do if an expectant parent really, truly wanted it to be closed. Would we turn down a baby on that basis? I'm not sure, but I really want our child to have the benefits of an open adoption.