Darrick Rizzo is the author of “The Open Adoption: A Birth Father’s Journey. "He blogs for national adoption agencies and speaks on topics related to adoption and the rights of birth fathers. As CEO of Rizzo Productions, he recruits promising high school athletes for college coaches. A standout defensive basketball player, Darrick held Kobe Bryant to eight points (his lowest total ever in a high school game) when their teams played.
In 2012, according to the Center for Disease Control, 305,000 American 15-to-19-year-olds became pregnant. As alarming as this figure seems, it is a 6 percent decline from 2011 and a record low.
Despite the encouraging downward trend in teen pregnancy, Darrick Rizzo, author of “The Open Adoption: A Birth Father’s Journey,” knows how teen couples struggle to cope with an unplanned pregnancy.“My girlfriend was a senior in high school and a star on the basketball team and I was a freshman at a local college on a track and basketball scholarship when she told me she was pregnant,” says Rizzo, who hopes his book will serve as a cautionary tale for parents on both sides of open adoption arrangements. “We tried to hide what was going on from our families. We argued. I wanted us to keep the child, but she wanted to put him up for adoption.” The couple eventually agreed to place baby Eythan up for adoption in a mediated, open adoption. In such an adoption, contact between birth and adoptive parents is through an intermediary, typically the adoption agency.
- Obstacles are bound to happen, but it’s about how you bounce back and overcome your downfalls.
- Life is hard, but we all have to live.
- People will tell you NO, but never give up. Perseverance is the key to success.
- Keep driving down the road to success. Don’t park your car, just keep driving.
- No matter how good or bad your journey is, you will always find joyfulness within it.
Darrick Rizzo is author of the book "The Open Adoption: A Father’s Journey"