Whereas adoption was once a private affair cloaked in secrecy and sealed records, adoptions in the US today are increasingly open - that is, birth and adoptive families meet and become acquainted before the adoption, and remain in contact once it is complete. Experts agree that open adoption comes with many benefits for both birth families and adoptive families and their children, but what does it actually look like for families experiencing it, and what can we learn from those experiences? Open Adoption and Diverse Families reveals the strengths, vulnerabilities, daily struggles and triumphs of adoptive families today. Drawing on extensive interviews with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents, many of whom adopted transracially, psychologist Abbie Goldberg confronts the extraordinary questions that open adoption poses: How do adoptive parents feel about openness when they first learn about it, and why do their feelings change over time? How does contact unfold and evolve as a child grows? What types of boundary challenges arise between adoptive and birth family members, particularly in the age of social media and networking? How do adoptive parents talk about adoption with their children, and how does this vary depending on level and type of contact with birth families? Confronting head-on difficult subjects such as birth parents' mental illness and racial differences between birth and adoptive families, Open Adoption and Diverse Families chronicles the decisions and dynamics that adoptive parents sign up for when they pursue option adoption, and is a must-read for all families pursuing or experiencing this exceptional approach to building a family.
This is an outstanding and unique adoption resource for adoptive families, practitioners, educators and others who are seeking to better comprehend the multiple types of adoptions and factors that impact the openness experiences of a diverse sample of adoptive parents and children. The author includes amazing case examples from a 10 year longitudinal research study of the life journeys of 132 lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents. What a great contribution to the adoption knowledge base! - Ruth G. McRoy, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professor, Boston College School of Social Work Goldberg's insightful book on open adoption is based solidly in her research, yet is written in a clear and direct style that will appeal to a broad audience. Based on in-depth interviews with heterosexual and sexual minority couples, it effectively highlights how adoptive parents navigate complex decisions and dilemmas that emerge over time, richly illustrating this discussion with case material. This is a must-read for those considering adoption, those who have adopted, and those who serve adoptive families. - Harold D. Grotevant, PhD, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst