I’ve seen this quote floating around on Pinterest on other folks’ adoption boards. I like it, in terms of thinking of my future dad-hood. But it has especially resonated with me this week because of a post I came across on an adoption forum a few days ago. This post was against open adoption (vehemently so) and was singing the praises of the old-school adoption system that granted their family the security of their child belonging to them, and them alone (in other words, they could rest easily in the anonymnity of their adoption – without fear of birthparents popping out of the bushes to snatch their child away). Belonging is a problematic concept, and this particular post was troublesome to me, maybe more so as I recount it here (out of context) because I don’t know the situation these folks came from, or whether they had to negotiate the ups and downs of infertility prior to deciding adoption would be how they would expand their family.
Those excuses for these people aside, *A* and I have also felt (and feel) a lot of insecurity because we’ve yet to be in the situation of working with birthparents, but I think maybe the underlying thread in that adoption forum post was that somehow biological ties are much, much stronger than any love adoptive parents have to give their children. So much stronger that this adoptive family felt justified in their defense of closed adoption as the only “safe” way to adopt. I just can’t get behind any of that. Partly because I’m a hopeful adoptive parent, but primarily because we hope to build a good relationship with our child’s birth family. We want to do this because we know it’ll be better for our kid. And maybe that birth family will involve a birthfather who also wants to build a relationship with us and our (as in shared belonging) kid. But that relationship will not change my ability to be a good dad. To me, dad-hood is much, much more than a handful of similar genes.