The Branches We Cherish: An Open Adoption Memoir

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The Branches We Cherish by Linda R. Sexton

In 1992, Linda and David long to have a child. They decide to adopt a baby and learn they can only do so under an open arrangement. Open adoption means the biological parents and the adoptive family know each other’s identities and choose to remain in contact after the adoption process if finalized…possibly for life!

There are no ready answers to their many questions: What happens in the first year? Twenty years later? What does visitation between birth and adoptive families look like? Will it be awkward to raise a child with the birth parents in the picture? How do adopted children feel about this open arrangement? In the early 90s, there was little guidance for long-term relationships between adoptive and birth families and they will have to learn as they go.

Diving in with open hearts and open minds, they build relationships based on mutual trust, respect, deep gratitude for one another, and most importantly, unconditional love for a child. They learn just how important having the children’s birth parents and families in their lives is for everyone’s emotional health—including their own. 

A powerful and honest account based on three decades of true-life experience, award-winning The Branches We Cherish weaves together thought-provoking, joyous, and poignant reflections of four birth parents, birth grandmothers, adoptive parents, and two adopted children. Discover the challenges of open adoption and the extraordinary gratification available to all members of the adoption constellation when they are willing and able to cultivate and maintain these lifetime relationships. 


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