Choosing Open Adoption When You Were Adopted

Janie’s mother realized a few months after she was born that she wasn’t ready to be a parent after all. Janie went into foster care before she was adopted around her first birthday. It was a closed adoption so that was all she knew about her birth mother.

At 17, Janie found herself pregnant. She was a good bit younger than her birth mom had been but felt she was ready to be a parent. That is, until she gave birth. She immediately fell in love with her little girl but realized she wasn’t ready for parenthood. The idea of being a mom versus the reality of it changed everything.

“I wasn’t even out of the hospital yet when it hit me that I couldn’t give my daughter what I knew she needed. I thought about my parents – my adoptive parents – and how they were ready and able to take me in as their child, and I realized I wasn’t ready myself,” Janie shared.

Janie explored adoption while still in her hospital bed; and, thanks to the pregnancy center where she’d taken prenatal classes to prepare her for labor and birth, she’d already heard about open adoption options.

“I suddenly understood something about my birth mom that I had not before – that she loved me and did what she felt was best for me and for herself. I used to think it was only about a decision she made for herself.”

Now Janie had a new perspective on the difficult but loving decision her birth mother made for her. In fact, because her adoption was closed, that helped Janie decide on an open adoption so that her daughter would have more answers than Janie ever has.

With her parents supporting her no matter the decision she made, Janie truly believed her own daughter would find capable and loving parents just like she had. She knew she could choose to parent and she’d have people around her to help; by the example her parents gave from the perspective of being adoptive parents, Janie opted to move forward with her open adoption plan.

“It’s been almost five years and I still believe this was the best for my little girl. I see how her parents love her and take care of her, and at the stage of life I was in, it was my own love for her that led to giving her a better chance with another family.”