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With guest host Jane Clayson.
Open adoption. How one birth mother gave up her child for adoption and stayed in his life.
Open adoption – when a child, birth parents, adoptive parents are all in each others’ lives – is complicated. For Amy Seek, author of the new memoir God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother, it’s a dynamic fraught with complex emotions. One of having a child but giving up a child; being a mother yet watching her son’s life from a distance. Crafting of a new kind of family. Maybe, like yours. Up next, On Point: A woman, an unexpected pregnancy, an open adoption and an honest, courageous memoir.
Karen Cheyney, director of adoption services for Bright Futures Adoption Centers, a program of the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps.
From The Reading List
New York Times: Open adoption: not so simple math — "I spent the evening chatting with her while avoiding direct interaction with Ben for fear I’d show too much affection, or too little. Open adoption is an awkward choreography; I am offered a place at the table, but I am not sure where to sit. I don’t know how to be any kind of mother, much less one who surrendered her child but is back to help build a Lego castle."
Vogue: One writer on helping to raise her son in an "open" adoption — "On my most recent visit, standing in the kitchen eye to eye with a fourteen-year-old, I think, He is mine, wishing that meant I could grab him and squeeze him and make sense of him. I also think, He is not mine. Equally important, opposite realities. But he isn’t anybody’s. Though Paula hugs him and makes a playful show of inhaling him, she doesn’t get to keep him either. For all of us now, there are more pressing concerns. We are debating which high school he should attend and whether it is sensible for him to have a truck (it is not)."
Los Angeles Times: Amy Seek's "Confessions of a Birth Mother" explores meanings of motherhood — "In the adoption community the three parties involved in an adoption — adoptee, birth family and adoptive family — are referred to as the adoption triad. In our culture, the most underrepresented narrative in the triad is that of the birth mother. Until recently, birth mothers were often treated as a delivery vessel, physically and legally invisible. The birth mother's voice has long been silenced, both by redacted documents and by shame. As the ideas and laws around adoption shift, we are just now beginning to explore its emotional impact from all sides."
Read An Excerpt From "God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother"
This program aired on August 27, 2015.
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