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The Adoption Experience (Pt. 2/3)

Failed Adoption and Placement

· Adoption Stories

by Gabe McAteer

In Part Two of our Adoption Experience Series, we are going to continue our conversation with Ashley, an adoptive mother from Colorado. In Part One, she discussed her experience working with her agency, Colorado Christian Services, and what it was like to go through the home study process and build an adoption profile. In this post, we'll speak with her about placement and what that experience was like for her and her family.

Tell us a little bit about placement and your initial thoughts about the kind of post-adoption relationship you wanted to have with a birth family.    

We waited a little over a year before getting placed and we actually placed twice, unfortunately, our first placement was a failed adoption. Our first birth mother wanted a closed adoption but we were able to spend time with the child for three days. After the initial three days, we got a call saying that the birth mother had changed her mind.

That is rather common and can be pretty tough for adoptive families. Did your feelings about open adoption remain the same after the failed adoption?

We were always enthusiastic about the idea of open adoption, despite not knowing what kind of a relationship you are going to have with this person. But in the end it is up to the birth mother and we were willing to accept the her conditions regardless of our own agenda. However, after the failed adoption, we were devastated and very apprehensive going forward. Luckily, the turnaround time for our second placement was relatively quick and we were able to have an open adoption with our second birth mother, Rachel.

What was it like meeting Rachel for the first time? Were you anxious?

Oh my, we were both incredibly nervous! But, so was Rachel. In a sense, it was relieving because we had an understanding of our relationship going forward and a level of comfort that both parties respect.

So, it sounds like you have a healthy open adoption relationship?   

Absolutely. We have a very constructive relationship with Rachel, there is plenty of communication between the three of us.

We waited a little over a year before getting placed and we actually placed twice, unfortunately, our first placement was a failed adoption. Our first birth mother wanted a closed adoption but we were able to spend time with the child for three days. After the initial three days, we got a call saying that the birth mother had changed her mind.

That is rather common and can be pretty tough for adoptive families. Did your feelings about open adoption remain the same after the failed adoption?

We were always enthusiastic about the idea of open adoption, despite not knowing what kind of a relationship you are going to have with this person. But in the end it is up to the birth mother and we were willing to accept the her conditions regardless of our own agenda. However, after the failed adoption, we were devastated and very apprehensive going forward. Luckily, the turnaround time for our second placement was relatively quick and we were able to have an open adoption with our second birth mother, Rachel.

Thanks for reading the second part of our Adoption Experience Series! We hope that it has proven to be valuable for you. Please check back in on Friday, November 3rd for the third and final installment of this series.

If you're interested in sharing your story with us, please feel free to contact Colin or Gabe with the subject line - Adoption Story to Share.

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