I was matched with Katja Michelle who blogs at TherapyisExpensive. Here are her responses to my questions:
1. What is your connection to adoption?
I am a birth mom 11 years into an open adoption. Yes, I know some people don’t like that term, but I do and I explain why here, http://therapyisexpensive.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/visit-highlights/ and here
I am also a social worker who provides comprehensive options counseling to those facing unplanned pregnancy, which occasionally leads to me advocating for my clients during the adoption planning process.
2. How do you feel about adoption?
I have a wide mix of emotions about adoption depending on the aspect as well as the moment in time. Personally I love it for providing my son with so much I couldn't and I hate it because he's not with me. On a wider scale I also have mixed emotions. Adoption is a flawed practice, but does have its role. So I suppose the shortest answer is I feel conflicted about adoption.
3. How much time do spend thinking about adoption?
I'm not sure I can quantify it. It's part of my personal life, it's part of my job, it's a topic I research. However, that doesn't mean that every thought of every day is adoption related. I do think about it probably daily prompted by various things.
4. How often do you write about it on your blog?
I would say most of my posts are adoption related, even when it may not seem they are.
5. How many books on adoption have you read? What was the last? What is your favorite?
Again I can't come up with a number, but I can say a lot. I'm currently reading The Third Choice, by Foge and Mosconi. Or rather I’m reading bits of it, specifically the chapter on grief and loss. I have a stack of adoption books waiting to be read or that I’ve read parts of and need to go back to to finish.
I have a few favorites. Gritter’s Lifegivers is one because it shifted my thinking and inspired some of my research questions The Girls Who Went Away is another and I recommend it often even though it was a difficult and emotional read.
6. If there was something you could change about adoption what would it be?
There's a lot I think needs changing, I outline some of those things in this post:http://therapyisexpensive.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/i-dream-of-reform/ in short I think it needs to be child centered, regulated, and ethical
7. Do you think adoptees have a right to their original birth certifctates? Why or why not?
Of course. I think people should be able to access all documents that pertain to them. Birth certificates, adoption decrees, any paperwork the agency has should be given to any adoptee that requests it with absolutely no hoops to jump through.
8. Do you think mothers that relinquish have a right to anonymity? Why or wny not?
No, no one gets anonymity from their child(ren). It's an absurd concept. I often equate it to a preemptive restraining order. If I went to a judge and said there's this person out there who may or may not try to find me can you issue a restraining order and keep my identity from that person just in case I'd be laughed out of court. But these laws 1 assume we want that 2 assume adoptees and birth parents aren't reasonable people. As a reasonable person if someone from my past approaches me I can say either hey longtime no see how you been? Or I can say we parted ways for a reason and I'd rather you not contact me again. As a reasonable person the other party would respect my wishes. But in adoption we aren't given that chance. It's assumed we want to be "left alone" and it's assumed the other party won't do so if they do make contact. I’ve blogged about this here: http://therapyisexpensive.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/promises-promises/
9. What do you think of open adoption?
I think it can be great. I think I'm one of the lucky ones it’s working out for. I think it's not a panacea. It doesn't eliminate the grief or loss. I also think its better for the adoptees than a closed adoption. I think it's not well understood nor is it always well executed,
10. What do you think of international adoption?
I really don't know enough about international adoption to speak about it.
11. The child adopted by Timothy and Jennifer Monahan was kidnapped from Guatemala, though they did not now and thought the adoption perfectly legal. Guatemala has revoked the adoption an dordered the child returned. What do you think should be done? What would YOU do if it was you and you found out the child you adopted was kidnapped?
Yes I've read about this case. I think the child needs to be retuned to her family. I think it would be a traumatic experience for all involved but its still the right thing. I think professionals need to be consulted to ensure the best transition plan for the child as well as counseling provided upfront and after the transition home for all involved.
If I were in that situation I hope I would be the kind of person who'd do the right thing despite the inevitable heart break...and then I'd sue the hell out of the agency or whoever was responsible for this, because let's face it SOMEONE knew.