Ashley's Moms, and I'm comfortable with her being the adult-in-charge for either of my children. She's been to my house; I've been to hers. She has attended school events. She has my cell phone number, my work number, and our home number.
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But it's important to note that we did not start out this way, and when I talk about open adoption in foster-adopt situations, this is not at all what I am recommending for others at the outset.
Each situation is different and every family will need to figure out for themselves what level of privacy protection is needed. In some cases, protecting the safety of the child will be a bigger concern than in others. Open adoption does not mean you have to bring the biological parent physically into your home or open up all areas of your life to them. Rather, it is more typically a limited relationship that takes place in a structured, controlled environment, with the adoptive parents setting the boundaries.
In our case, we started with a legal agreement stipulating that my husband and I would maintain a P.O. Box where Erica could write to us and/or Ashley. That was fine, but e-mail is easier so early on I set up an anonymous e-mail address. (Initially, we didn't reveal our last names.) Our early visits occurred in public places. At first, Erica was the only biological relative involved in the visits; later, we brought in Ashley's little brother Tyler, followed by other relatives (grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins).
The agreement that my husband and I signed prior to the adoption gives Erica the right to at least one visit per year. (Obviously, we have decided to do visitation on a much more frequent basis.) We have the choice of supervising the visits ourselves or of having them supervised by a third party (our area has centers where supervised visits can take place). We chose to supervise the visits ourselves and this worked out great for us. The first visit following Ashley’s adoption finalization took place at a roller rink and involved Erica, Ashley, and myself. At a later visit, Ashley and Erica got pedicures at a local salon while I waited in the lobby. Currently, "supervision" is no longer an issue for us -- we are comfortable with Ashley having time alone with Erica -- but we got to that comfort level by getting to know Erica over time.
We started with a bunch of protections in place and dropped them one by one as we became aware that they were not necessary for our particular situation. Erica's recovery and current level of stability has made it possible for us to move into a level of openness that would not have been possible otherwise. If her situation had been different, we still would have wanted to maintain some level of connection with her, but we wouldn't have the same level of openness.