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The Open Adoption Experience - A Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families Paperback – November 17, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (November 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060969571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060969578
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lois Ruskai Melina is the editor of Adopted Child newsletter and serves on the board of directors of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of information about adoption and providing guidance for practice and policy change in the field. Melina speaks frequently about adoption to professional organizations and adoptive parents throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. She is the author of Making Sense of Adoption and the coauthor of The Open Adoption Experience.


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Customer Reviews

It really helped me to understand how open adoptiongs work.
missgirl
If you're thinking about adoption, even if you're thinking that open adoption isn't right for you I highly recommend taking a chance and buying this book.
Jo
And yet. . . yet. . . The U.S. has gone from one extreme of adoption practice (secrecy) to another, openness.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
When my husband and I first decided to adopt a child, our adoption counselor asked that we read The Open Adoption Experience. We felt that we were "prepared for anything" after reading the book and continuously referred to it during the adoption process. It helped us to forge strong bonds with our birthfamily. Our son, Thomas, was born four years ago. As he grows and circumstances change, I find myself referring to this book time and again. Just today, I picked up the book to find learn about issues surrounding the impending birth of Thomas' first birth sibling. Open Adoption has been full of WONDERFUL surprises. This book, takes much of the stress and fear out of the open adoption experience.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be extremely helpful in learning about all that is involved in open adoptions. I am a birthmother, and found that this book addressed the concerns and feelings of both the adoptive parents and the birth parents. I only wish I had read it earlier on in my pregnancy, when I had just begun to consider adoption, as it is a very helpful book not only for those already involved in open adoptions, but for those who are considering adoption also, as it contains a whole section on meeting and getting to know each other. Overall, a great book to read for all involved in open (and semi-open) adoptions.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lyn on September 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book really helpful, and wished that I had discovered it sooner. Besides just being a good primer on open adoption, it has very useful sections about "Readiness for Open Adoption", "Choosing Each Other", "Getting to Know Each Other" and parts titled "Birth and Placement" and "The Relationship Grows and Changes" - which discusses what to expect during the first year, and as the relationship grows and changes over time. It also discusses how open adoption affects the children in the families - adopted or otherwise. It also includes what to do/how to handle the situation when the Birthmom cancels the adoption plan. Overall, I thought it was a great book, as it had a good balance between the birth parents' perspective and that of the adoptive parents.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
If I were adopting today and had read this thoughtful book, I would jump at the opportunity for an open adoption. The information on pre-adoption and placement aspects is persuasive for both adoptive and birth parents, especially since the author is non-judgmental. When you think about it, open adoption seems ideal for both parties involved. Really a utopia. I get goose bumps thinking about it. And yet. . . yet. . . The U.S. has gone from one extreme of adoption practice (secrecy) to another, openness. Unfortunately, the adversarial relationship between advocates and critics of openness in adoption is exacerbated by lack of empirical research. It is this lack of empirical evidence that should caution prospective adoptive parents about this new extreme practice. Lois Ruskai Melina�s book was published in 1993, but we have now at least one large longitudinal study on openness. Harold D. Grotevant and Ruth G. McRoy report in their study, Openness in Adoption, Exploring Family Connections (Sage 1998): �The clearest policy implication of our work is that no single type of adoption is best for everyone.� These authors warn that the long-term impact of openness for all parties in the adoptive kinship network is not known and longitudinal research is necessary to answer this question. We now have a generation of children who grew up in open adoptions, and we need to find out from them, now that they are adults, how they perceived the practice in their lives. We do not have such a comprehensive study of their experiences, but only anecdotal records. Even if some adoptive and birth parents like openness, this does not mean that the practice is good for the children. Some research also indicates that birthmothers who see their children suffer more than those who do not see them.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1997
Format: Paperback
Melina and Roszia's book is a must-have for anyone interested in open adoption. Particularly helpful for professionals and the birth and adoptive parents involved in an open adoption, "The Open Adoption Experience" covers every aspect of an adoption in which birth and adoptive parents seek to establish and maintain ongoing relationships. I highly recommend it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
When we were first considering adopting, this book answered all our questions about openness in the adoption process. The book gave us the knowledge and the confidence to actively seek an open adoption. And now that our adopted son is almost a year old, it's advice is still as relevant as ever. The book explains in accessible language, with compelling real-life examples, how an open adoption can benefit an adopted child, and how adoptive parents can help to make an open adoption work. Indispensible reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By missgirl on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was a little hesitant about the whole open adoption situation, until I read this book. It really helped me to understand how open adoptiongs work. This is a well written and practical book. If you only read one book on open adoption, read this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ShafFamily on July 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book changed my life. My aunt, who worked on the board of an adoption agency, gave me this book when we knew we were going to be adopting. I put it on my shelf not sure if we would need it. Eventually our pastor introduced us to a young woman in our church who was looking for an adoptive family. I located the book and read through it quickly. It gave me a peace of mind about having such an open adoption where we would attend the same church and see the birth mom and some extended relatives weekly. There were several friends who were advising me against such an open adoption, but the book gave me the confidence to speak with some authority and not question my decision.

Six years later we no longer attend the same church but still get together at least 3-4 times a year. I do not regret our decision for an open adoption. I love my daughter's birth family and wouldn't change a thing.

Just as a side note: The WORST thing you can do is promise any form of open adoption and not follow through!
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