Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable #6: Naming

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You can find out more over at Production, Not Reproduction. The new prompt is: Write about names/naming and open adoption.

This prompt comes from a post by Heather a while back, talking about the naming of her adopted children. I found it so interesting! At first I didn't quite know what to think, but it's been rolling around in the back of my brain for awhile now.

My son's adoptive parents named the baby while I was still pregnant. They asked for my opinion, and for the father's opinion, but then THEY chose the name for the baby.

I didn't realize until reading Heather's post and the comments on it that there was another way to do things.

A few days ago, I went through and read the journal I kept through my pregnancy. I haven't read this journal since I closed it three and a half years ago. It was overwhelming, the emotions contained therein. I had forgotten a lot of things that happened--probably repressed a lot of them, in fact.

One interesting entry was about this very issue. I wrote about how Sean--my baby's father--was really agitated about the naming issue. He wanted so badly to have some say in what the baby's name was. I wrote how I felt similarly, though less strongly than Sean. I wrote how Jen and Joe consulted us on what they had decided to name the baby, and how I felt just the slightest bit of regret that they hadn't listened to the names that Sean and I liked.

Please don't mistake me. Jen and Joe chose a wonderful name, and it fits him perfectly. Looking back, I certainly wouldn't change his name just to suit what I liked and preferred at the time. I think they did try to include us--but in the end, he is their son, and it was their decision to make.

I guess the conclusion that I have come to is that how WE did it worked for US, but I can see how others would want to go about it differently. I appreciate the love and respect that many adoptive parents show to birth parents by including them and honoring them through the naming process. I am grateful to all adoptive parents who seek to treat birth parents in such a manner. And in the end, I believe that was the intent of my adoptive couple as well. Regardless, I love them to pieces. =)


  1. Great blog! Our daughters birthmother wanted us to name her and didn't have anything really to say about it. We have a closed adoption at her wishes so I often wonder if she was happy with our daughters name!

  2. so interesting that you wrote about this in your journal at the time.
    there is power in feeling like you were heard.