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 about privacy, blogging and open adoption: Where do you draw the lines--on your blog and in your personal life--and why? What, if anything, don't you tell?
Very interesting. This is something that I've debated about for a long time, to very little conclusion. I've thought about asking Jen for her thoughts, but it's just never happened. Maybe I should!
I've noticed that a lot of birth parents and adoptive parents use nicknames on their blogs--rather than naming anyone outright, they protect the children and sometimes even adults by referring them only by a nickname. That's something I've thought about doing--but first I'd have to come up with clever nicknames for everyone I mention. *sigh* If you start seeing nicknames retroactively applied, you'll know which direction THAT decision leaned.
I don't post pictures of Ian [insert new nickname here?] on this blog. I have my one profile picture over there, but it's over three years old and I hope it's safe enough. But I've made it a point not to post pictures of him here. Jen has a blog for Ian--which is private--and I respect her decision as a mother to protect pictures of her child. Besides, that's not what my blog is for--I'm not a proud mother showing off her baby. I'm a proud birth mother, talking about adoption in my life and general adoption issues.
I also try--on my blogs and in real life--not to discuss too much of their personal life. Sometimes I talk to my mother, but she's Ian's birth-grandmother and cares about him very deeply. But other than that, I pretty much keep it to myself. Maybe I'm just selfish that way--I treasure each tidbit of news about Ian and his parents.
But as far as other forms of privacy, the line is vague. I feel like I have a sense of what is appropriate. I don't talk about inherently private issues on my blog, but I couldn't say specifically what those things are. I think there are a few times I think to myself, "Would Jen object to me posting this?" If I think she would, I don't post it. If I think she wouldn't mind, then I go ahead and post it. I just have to hope that I have a good judge on what Jen finds appropriate.
I guess that's the measure I hold to, then--the adoptive mother's level of comfort. Because she is his mother, I think she has the right to decide (even implicitly) what level of privacy we'll all hold to. The protection of that little boy, and their whole family, is determined by her. I simply try to do my part to protect them all.