A Transatlantic Adoption - How One Birth Father Bridged the Distance with Open Adoption
This testimonial was written as part of our Adoption Scholarship Story series. Read Josh’s story in his own words here.
When Josh met American study-abroad student Alyssa during his time at Newcastle University in England, he couldn’t have imagined the road he would take in the months to come.
Alyssa was only studying in England for a year but, when she and Josh found out she was seven months pregnant in 2017, the two would be linked for life.
They had no idea Alyssa was pregnant at all, not to mention that far along.
“All of a sudden, we were faced with the seemingly impossible task of deciding what to do moving forward,” Josh says.
After a lengthy discussion, Josh and Alyssa decided adoption was the best choice for their unborn son. They knew open adoption was the only option; they couldn’t bear the thought of not being a part of his life. As a prospective birth father, Josh felt an innate sense of responsibility to his unborn son.
“He deserves to grow up knowing who his biological father really is and that I’m there for him if he wants or needs me,” Josh says.
Once they contacted American Adoptions, Josh says he and Alyssa quickly found the perfect family for their son. The adoptive couple had already adopted a daughter through the agency, which Josh and Alyssa were excited about. As members of large families themselves, they valued the importance of their son growing up with siblings.
The adoptive father also happened to be a fan of Newcastle United — the soccer team that Josh had supported since he was a child.
“Of course, it’s also the sports team from the city where Alyssa and I met and fell in love,” he says.
Josh says he feels “so privileged” to have received support from American Adoptions through Alyssa’s pregnancy. The couple was grateful to be able to choose who would adopt their child, what sort of contact they might have with him in the future, and how frequently they wanted that contact.
“To have that kind of control over the situation made all the difference for us,” he says.
That was especially important for Josh, living and studying in England.
“I want to build a life where I am always accessible for my son,” Josh adds.
On Oct. 21, 2017, Josh’ son Cassius Mikel John was born a happy, healthy boy. Josh, Alyssa and the adoptive family agreed that Cassius’ birth parents would visit him every two years, with their first visit due this coming fall.
Josh plans on bridging the oceanic gap between him and his birth son when he attends a business school in New York in hopes of building a transatlantic independent record label. American Adoptions is assisting by granting him scholarship funds. Although he’s a British citizen, he says it’s important for him to keep the United States a significant part of his life, for his son and for himself.
“Alyssa and mine’s son, Cassius, is half-American, half-British. I want to show him that he doesn’t have to feel split, torn or fragmented,” Josh says. “I want to show him a world where his origins are not split over great distance, that while our two countries are apart, they don’t have to be entirely separate. We can exist in both.”
Most of all, he wants his son to know that he is loved — and that adoption was the greatest demonstration of his birth parents’ affection.
“I believe just knowing his mother and I are there for him in body, mind and spirit will be of endless value to Cassius growing up. More than that, I want him to know his parents made the decision we did not because we didn’t want him, but because we wanted to be the very best versions of ourselves for him. That he might even grow up to be proud of his biological parents and their achievements.
“Everything that has happened has led me to here, and I wouldn’t change any of it.”
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