Adopting America – overheard conversation

I’m alone at the cinema waiting for the movie to start, half way through my first box of Raisinets when I hear the following conversation in the row behind me. .

Woman One: “You’re a saint, Sherry. Adopting that little girl no one else wanted. I am just so proud of you!”

Woman Two: “We’d have preferred an infant, but adoption’s so hard these days, especially when you’re older.”

The sound of popcorn munching.

Woman Two: “Just think what kind of a life she’d be facing if you hadn’t showed up! You’re a saint, Sherry!”

“Excuse me,” I say, turning towards them, “I’m sorry to interrupt you. I was adopted.”

They’re smiling at me. There’s nothing like an English accent at times like these.


“Yes. And isn’t it true that you are adopting a child because you couldn’t have children of your own and wanted a child very much?”

“Yes,” says Woman Two.

“Then you’re not adopting because you’re a saint, are you?”

“I suppose not.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, honestly I don’t, but I just think people should be honest about what they’re doing, that’s all. Raisinet anyone?”

14 thoughts on “Adopting America – overheard conversation

      • Are you sure you want a closed adootipn? It is, of course your decision, just be certain You want it closed. Whether it is open or closed, it doesn’t affect How it is handled. Closed adootipn means your information is not available and neither is that if the adoptive family’s.If you just don’t want access, you can still allow the option of an Open adootipn. My sons birth mother isn’t actively involved but I encourage it if she wants. We have an Open adootipn however she chooses not to enforce that option. Her and I do speak often but just doesn’t choose visitation.You will get slammed on here for sure. Just stay strong and try to research as much as you can with the facts.I hired the attorney, as all adoptive parents should, for my son’s natural parents. I would be happy to pass that info along to you.

        • Korey, hi. Alison here. Have you read The English American – the novel I wrote about an adopted English woman who finds her birth mother int he US? It’s a comic novel and commercial fiction – but the adopted heroine is authentic and it does show the affects closed adoption can have on an adoptee – even in really great adoptive family, like my own. Your reply is most interesting – do stay in touch! Best, Alison

    • When it comes to a closed adtooipn the legalities vary from state to state and agencies vary as well. I did a lot of research into this before placing my baby up for adtooipn. If you are worried about your baby going straight to a loving permanent home I would suggest looking into an open adtooipn. When you do a closed adtooipn you do not have any legal right to that information once you relinquish your rights to the child. Your child may initially go to a temporary or foster home until permanent placement can be found. In some cases children spend their whole lives in the system going from one foster family to another. In an open adtooipn you personally choose the family that your child will be adopted by. You look through portfolios or scrapbooks that the potential families put together for the birth moms so they can get some insight into the type of people they are and their background. This enables you to make sure that the baby is going to a secure and stable home where he/she will be properly cared for and loved. You can also decide if you would like your personal information to be available to the child once they reach 18 or in some cases 21 years of age. Personally I felt more at ease knowing that I interviewed the potential families myself and choose the family that I thought were the best candidates to raise and care for a child. I also have contact with the family and receive photos and letters which is completely optional to the birth mother. Some birth moms prefer to cut ties with the child and family after wards so they can go through the healing process and move on which is totally understandable. The choice is yours, You will have to live with this decision fro the rest of your life so if I were you I would do some research into closed and open adtooipns as well as adtooipn agencies before making any snap decisions. Neither is right or wrong just make sure your sources are legit same goes for any agencies or lawyers you may decide to use and make the decision between which type of adtooipn is right for you. Just do your homework on them before using them. A Guardian Angel Adoption Agency is a great agency to go through. The birth mom coaches and counselors are fantastic and are there for you every step of the way in providing assistance to you in all aspects of your life during this tough time.

  1. Good show, Alison! Only yesterday I overheard a conversation about adoption at the table next to mine at a restaurant. Three older gentlemen were discussing adoption. I felt that they had insufficient information and was about to introduce myself a an “expert” when I heard one say, “From what they tell me, I was left in a movie theatre.” Let’s get a grant to study the relationship between adoption and raisinets.

      • You need to ask the agency how that is hleadnd. Even then I wouldn’t trust them. I know that pre-birth matching gets a lot of bashing here but in that case the baby is typically taken home by the adoptive parents directly from the hospital. It completely avoids any interim foster care by strangers who will not be a permanent face in child’s life.This can all be done anonymously if you wish without exchanging names. If the agency or adoptive parents can’t go with that then find some who will. If this is what you want then you should demand it. If you truly are committed to placing your baby for adoption then you need to know that you hold ALL of the power up until you actually sign a relinquishment. Don’t let anyone, including the agency convince you otherwise. Ask for your own attorney to assist you in getting things done according to your wishes. You have more rights than you probably have been lead to believe.

        • Keep commenting – what you’re saying needs to be heard. Be well, Alison p.s. Not sure if you’ve read The English American, a novel I wrote about an adopted Englishwoman who finds her birth parents in the US? It’s popular fiction but it covers some of the things you are talking about. Which matter. Thanks for posting. Alison

    • In some ways the language is kind of the poltlicaily correct thing but at the same time we’re talking about a child here. This isn’t to say every adopted child is going to feel that way, but they very well might.And rescued’ isn’t necessarily the best lingo either. Rescued’ from what? It implies a lot of negative things about the birth family, which can cause negative feelings in the child (nevermind the issues if you have close contact with the birth family, which is likely in a domestic adoption). The child never had a choice in that rescue,’ so it may not feel like much of a rescue.The one that really gets me is calling your child out as adopted (or someone else doing it for you): This is their daughter Lexi and their adopted son Joe. Geez, could you single out Joe any more? You wouldn’t say, This is their oops baby’ Frank and their adopted daughter Jill. When the kid already has identity issues making them feel separate from their siblings doesn’t help. It also undermines the fact that once we adopt them, they are our child. There’s no distinction between Lexi and the new kid they’re both our real’ kids, they’re both our own’ kids, they’re both our natural’ kids. One is biological and one is adopted, but they are both full and complete and necessary members of our family. To treat them in any other way would be insulting, like calling someone illegitimate.Yeah, so there’s a lot to be aware of. And a lot to get wrong and be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Which is how I feel every time I sit down to write about it. 😉

      • Right. Keep writing Raquel – and do keep me posted. Not sure if you’ve read The English American by ALison Larkin- details on – miraculously it became a bestseller and will be a movie soon. The heroine is adopted and has a biological sister also – I have a feeling you might find it interesting and relate to a lot of it. Anyway – check it out if you haven’t read it. And keep me posted!!

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