DEAR ABBY: I am writing this in response to "Un-Grandparent in Ohio" (Aug. 25), whose pregnant teenage daughter has decided to place her baby for adoption.
My daughter and son-in-law adopted their newborn daughter in an open adoption. Each summer the adoption agency sponsors a picnic that is attended by birth and adoptive parents, grandparents and other family members -- and, of course, the adopted child. During the rest of the year, our daughter sends the birth mother photos and letters, going through the same agency.
I can only imagine the sadness Un-Grandparent is feeling. I hope her daughter has chosen an adoption agency like this one so she will be able to share in her grandchild's life. -- GRATEFUL ADOPTIVE GRANDMOTHER
DEAR GRATEFUL: I welcomed feedback from readers about that letter and, as always, they provided Un-Grandparent with thoughtful advice. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I am a grandmother and an attorney. I have done a lot of guardianship work over the years and would like the grandmother to know that in many cases similar to hers, it is the grandmother who adopts the baby. This is often the best solution for everyone -- especially the baby.
Most states favor adoptions by family members. It could be a wonderful ending/beginning for all concerned if that could happen in this case. -- GRANDMA CLAIRE
DEAR ABBY: I went through this with my daughter, who was not in a mental or financial position to keep the child. I was in the delivery room for the birth of all my grandchildren, but in order to distance myself from this child, I allowed the adoptive mom to go into the delivery instead, because it was important for her to bond with the baby. It was easier, in a sense, to distance myself from this child because of my daughter's circumstances.
I think about my grandson all the time, and I get pictures from the adoptive family. When the time is right, he will meet his biological family. My hope is that Un-Grandparent can trust the adoptive parents to be the right ones and that they will do the right thing for the child. -- CHRISTINE ON THE WEST COAST
DEAR ABBY: I was neither willing nor emotionally able to raise my 13-year-old daughter's child. There was an open adoption, with a family that had five children of their own, but neither my daughter nor I took the opportunity to get to know this child or his new family.
My parents (the baby's great-grandparents) made the effort to keep in touch and were welcomed with open arms. My parents brought all the children Christmas gifts, and my mother wrote to them often, visiting when they had a chance.
So, if this is an open adoption, there is still the possibility for you to have as much contact as everyone is comfortable with. There is no such thing as too much love! -- KATHRYN IN TEXAS