Friday, April 27, 2007

Pamela Kruger Weighs In

I've had the good fortune of hearing directly from contributor/editor of A LOVE LIKE NO OTHER, PAMELA KRUGER. She opens up about her own adoption and discusses the question "How open should your adoption be?", in response to Jenna Hattfield's contribution:

I stumbled across your blog and was delighted to see your thoughtful discussion of the essays in our book.

As a parent of a bio child too, I really related to your point about Bonnie's essay.
But I have to respond to the comments someone made to your other post about searching for birthparents and openness. I actually did quite a bit of research on this topic (before writing my essay for the book and before deciding whether to open up adoption).

The adoption literature clearly shows that the secrecy and shame of past generations was hurtful and damaging to adoptees; but it's not clear what impact openness--and all its variations--will have on kids. Open adoption is still an experiment, a work in progress.

The major longitudinal study on the subject--following children in open adoptions, and comparing them to a group in closed adoptions--has found that a lot of the fears about open adoption were unwarranted. But so far, it hasn't found that kids in open adoptions are better off emotionally. It seems that there are other factors at play.

As Dan (Savage's) essay shows, having an open adoption presents unique challenges. I've opened an adoption myself, so I'm clearly not opposed. But my feeling is that too often this discussion is filled with "shoulds." Adoptive parents should do this or should not do that.

What I wanted to show with this book--my essay, Dan's, and others--is that the situation is infinitely more complex.