Making Room in Our Hearts:
Keeping Family Ties through Open Adoption
By Micky Duxbury
Routledge Publishing ISBN: 978-0415955027
Adopted children and adults face challenges as they struggle to answer the most basic question: Who am I? The hope of open adoption is that they will develop stronger identities if they have the opportunity to develop healthy ongoing relationships with their families of origin.
Adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years with birth and adoptive parents meeting during the adoption process and many continuing contact. Increasing openness has benefits, but concerns persist: will the child be confused or have mixed loyalties? Is this shared parenting?
MAKING ROOM IN OUR HEARTS answers these questions by presenting the stories of birth and adoptive families who share the joys and challenges of maintaining open relationships. Over 150 birth and adoptive family members, adopted teens, and national experts were interviewed. No other book describes how important openness is from the child’s perspective.
As one 19 year-old put it, “I would be a completely different person if I had grown up without knowing who I was and where I came from. Open adoption has allowed me to be the person I was intended to be – with a connection to all of the people who have made me what I am.”
Whether you are an adoptive parent, an expectant parent with an unplanned pregnancy, a birth or adoptive family already in a relationship or wanting to open a closed adoption, the families in this book want to speak with you. They want to speak about their challenges, their disappointments, and most of all, about their hopes and dreams for their children.
For the sake of their child’s ability to form an integrated sense of self, they have taken risks they never imagined they would take, opened themselves up to people they might not usually befriend, and formed ties that often last a lifetime. Theirs is a commitment that understood that for children to have permanent, secure and loving homes, they did not have to lose their connection to the people who gave them life.
Micky Duxbury has counseled birth and adoptive parents as they navigate their relationships. She has led adoption support groups, presented at many conferences, developed a course on the Psychology of Adoption, and is a proponent of ethical and child-centered adoption practices.
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