The close and trusting relationship between a birthmother and adoptive parents is the foundation of healthy communication in an open adoption. This unique partnership is important and acknowledges respect from both sides as well as their separate roles. Adoptive parents and a birthmother can affirm one another by maintaining a healthy and open communication. This can be hard for both sides, so here are some quick and easy suggestions for how to communicate with your birthmother.

1. It’s normal to feel scared about the first meeting with a prospective birthmother. If you want this meeting to go smoothly, choose a friendly location for the meeting. If possible, arrange to meet her before the hospital stay since this can help you all to feel more comfortable and relax. This way, you’ll have a chance to get to know each other better.

2. During the first meetings and conversations, subjects like your common topics of interest should dominate. Talk about casual interests, such as movies, books, and sports just to help her relax. Leave only a little time for harder questions during the first meeting.

3. If your first contact with a prospective birthmother needs to be over the phone or video chat, start slowly. Gauge how the conversation is going and hold off on asking her if she wants to meet in person until later in the conversation.

4. Always communicate with your birthmother in a polite and respectful way. Talk adult-to-adult. Don’t ask too many intimate questions until you have a more established relationship.

5. The subject of finances is a very delicate one and should be handled with care. Especially in the early stages, it's best to avoid talking about finances entirely. Your attorney, social worker, or adoption professional can navigate that subject on your behalf.

6. Be sure to show her that you care about and respect her opinions. For example, if you're talking about education, perhaps you can take the opportunity to ask her opinion about about private versus public education. Do this often since she wants you to accept her and acknowledge her thoughts and feelings.

7. You’ll be nervous, and so will she. Keep in mind that she needs you as much as you need her, so try to build an open communication from the very first meeting. Tell her to ask you anything she wants to know so you can create the most suitable situation for your future child.

8. The biggest and most important tip is to always be honest. Communicating with your birthmother can go smoothly if you always talk openly and truthfully about everything.

Open adoption is great since it allows you to arrange some things with a birthmother in a way that will suit both of you. When you feel like you have achieved a solid level of communication, talk to her about your concerns. Try to arrange how the hospital stay will look like, if you are going to be there, ask her how often does she want to visit a child, and more. When working together, you can indeed create one happy family.