Advance Reviews:

Darrick has now been coming to my prospective adoptive parent groups to tell his story. He tells it in a very compassionate way which has proved to be very helpful, educational and emotional for adoptive parents who are in the process of deciding if adoption is an option for them. He details his entire experience as a birth father from prior to the birth of his son to the present. He is nonjudgmental and forgiving of the adoptive parents in the approach to his story.

Many people who have heard his presentation have told me later that it was very helpful. One gentleman said, “I came into the group thinking of birth parents as somewhat selfish and not caring about their children and Darrick has certainly changed my mind.” Darrick is interested in presenting his story to other agencies or groups and I would highly recommend him and be glad to talk with anyone who may desire to have Darrick give his presentation.

Sincerely yours,

Eckels Adoption Agency

Lois Eckels Williams, ACSW

The Open Adoption A Birth Father's Journey is a true testament of the perseverance and love of one young man's journey in seeking and finding the truth of his son and how forgiveness can heal. Told from the unique perspective of a male will certainly pull the reader in from the onset. This journey will stay with you for years to come.

Best wishes,

Donna M. McDine

Multiple Award-winning Children's Author

Darrick provides an honest and intimate view on his experience with the open adoption process. You will feel his pain and share in his joy as he reveals his journey to build a relationship with the son he gave away at birth. Anyone who has loved a child can relate to the paternal need to know your son.

Kirsten Grove

Masters of Education Penn State University


Reviewed by Jane Allen Petrick for Readers' Favorite


"Being a birth parent in the adoption world can be difficult. It is hard to talk or write about." So confides Darrick C. Rizzo, author of The Open Adoption. That difficulty takes on a special meaning for birth fathers, silent voices rarely heard regarding the messy issue of domestic adoption. My hopes, when I picked up The Open Adoption, were that Rizzo would break a powerful hole through this silence. And my hopes were not disappointed.

Darrick Rizzo was an eighteen-year-old African American college freshman and track and field star when he and Sherri, his white high school sweetheart (a girls' basketball star) found that she was pregnant. The couple's relationship had strengthened during interracial struggles in their western Washington state small town, and Darrick was ready to marry Sherri sooner rather than later and do whatever it would take to care for his family. But five months into the pregnancy, under pressure from her family and a desire to follow through with her own career, Sherri decided she was not. She demanded that Darrick agree to give up their child to an open adoption.

"Finally," Rizzo writes, "I said the words that still sting today, 'I will give up my baby boy, my only boy, my son, because I love you, Sherri.' At such a young age, I lost both my first love and my first born."

The Open Adoption then goes on to movingly chronicle sixteen years of a father's attempt to keep track of his son, of hopes dashed and reconciliation emerging from the most unexpected of places. What emerges is a deep look into the heart of a father. Fathers, and men in general, seem to be fading out as a voice and presence in American life today. Darrick C. Rizzo has written about adoption, but he has spoken to so much more. The Open Adoption is not a sob story. It is a "straight up" saga of promises, betrayal, responsibility and perseverance. Get it. Read it. And ponder what one American father has to say.

What Readers are Saying:

Michelle Robinson ✮✮✮✮✮

This is the second time I've read this book. I got it at an adoption conference from the author before it was published. I'm so happy it's finally on Amazon so that everyone else can have the opportunity to read this amazing story of the author's faith, perseverance and love. His story gave me goose bumps from the very beginning and many times I found myself with tears in my eyes. It is so touching and heartwarming to hear from the birthfather about his struggles with his decision and the amount of love he has for his son. The author makes you feel as though you are traveling his journey with him. This book will definitely give you a new perspective on adoption and birthfathers. (Posted on ReadersFavorite)

Sherri L. Doebler ✮✮✮✮✮

I read hundreds of books and this was truly an amazing story. I read it in less than a day because I couldn't put it down! It is unique to have the perspective of the birth father and hear his journey unfold with so many life lessons and blessings along the way. Faith, perseverance, and forgiveness....qualities that are sometimes difficult to possess, but are also the most rewarding, are what brings Darrick through his incredible journey. An inspiring book and a must read! (Posted on ReadersFavorite)

Catherine E. ✮✮✮✮✮

I really enjoyed this book. This book is not just about adoption--it's about how one man does not give up and how he follows his faith in God, and about forgiving people when they do wrong to you. I think the author makes it clear that he's not perfect and that regardless of the situation, we should forgive people. (Posted on ReadersFavorite)

Jeremy Vogt ✮✮✮✮✮

This is a must read book for any father who is considering giving their child up for adoption. Being a father of 4 children I cant imagine what he went through. I could not put this book down once I started reading it. Darrick's story is a motivational one and makes me want to be an even better father to my children. His belief in God and his never give up attitude really tugs at your heart strings. I would recommend this book for anyone who is unsure if they want to go through the adoption process or not. (Posted on ReadersFavorite)

Ciarra ✮✮✮✮✮

The Open Adoption is impossible to put down! The courage and perseverance of the writer is almost unbelievable but the photos can't lie. Or can they??? Don't want to spoil a great read for anyone, so I will just recommend this book to anyone who has a heart and likes suspense. (Posted on ReadersFavorite)

Allen ✮✮✮✮✮

The Open Adoption is a story that is nothing short of amazing! As the reader you are granted access into a very personal life long journey of a man who has experienced emotional turmoil and profound adversity throughout the course of his life, but has managed to emerge a stronger man.

When we think of the topic of adoption and its emotional impact on the individual relinquishing parental rights, typically we think of the mother. However, the author breaks the mold in allowing the reader to consider the birth father's experience in the equation. In a society where men are socialized to internalize their emotions and avoid expressing sorrow and sadness, Rizzo reveals these raw emotions proving that men, not only women experience immense difficulty as well when it comes to the decision of adoption. Hearing this experience from a birth father pouring his heart out in such an honest and candid manner was refreshing and a break from the norm.

The Open Adoption is raw. It is honest, detailed, and written with clarity. And although the book centers around the topic of adoption, anyone can identify with Rizzo's story in some capacity and take something meaningful away from his story through lessons of faith, forgiveness, unconditional love, and overcoming obstacles in life. By far, this is truly one of the most influential books I have read in years. (Posted on ReadersFavorite)