This episode of the New York Time’s Modern Love podcast is about open adoption. Open adoption is an option arrangement where the child remains in contact with his or her birth parents in some capacity. Actress Sarah Paulson beautifully performs a 2010 essay by Amy Seek. Seek talks about what it’s like to have given her son up for adoption, and the ramifications of the terms of his open adoption.
Amy's words allow us all to get a glimpse into something I think most people can’t relate to. For most, giving up a child is hard to understand. Adopting a child and wanting to keep that child’s mother around might be even less relatable.
Amy talks about the pain of the choice to give up her son when she was 23 and alone, but also the relief and opportunity it has given her. She talks about how her son’s adoptive mother Holly makes an effort to include her. “Openness for Holly does not mean merely letting the birth mother know about her child; it means cultivating a real love between birth parents and child.”
After Sarah Paulson finishes reading, Amy joins the podcast to talk about how things have changed in the time since the essay was published. Her son is now 15 and they’re still close.
You can read Amy's full essay here, but I really suggest listening to it as Sarah Paulson’s reading really brings the story to life.
Bonus info: For more about open adoption check out AdoptiveFamilies.com resource guide, Open Adoption: A Reference Guide for Families. The guide walks potential adoptive parents through an open adoption, from meeting with the mother, to questions they should ask, to setting boundaries for visitation.