Open adoptions can be complicated, because they are centered around the relationship between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child. The birth parents and adoptive parents almost always come from different backgrounds and varying demographics. Not to mention, there is an imbalance of power. Once the child is born and in the care of the adoptive parents, they have complete authority over the child, and the power given to the birth parents extends as far as the adoptive parents will allow.
Add to that the grief and loss that both parties may be feeling. Adoptive parents generally come from a background of infertility and miscarriages, while the birth parents are coping with the loss of severing their parental rights of a child they very much love, but cannot parent. All relationships have their bumps in the road, but the relationship between the birth parents and adoptive parents is bound to have friction since both parties are coming from polar opposite backgrounds. So, why go through the stress and hassle of open adoptions? Why run the risk of confusing your child with the inclusion of their birth parents?
The Hassle of the Adoptive Parent/Birth Parent Relationship in Open Adoptions
Not all open adoptions are a hassle. Some go off without a hitch, and the child absolutely thrives as a result. Unfortunately, human beings are complex individuals, and all circumstances given, open adoptions can easily become stressful and frustrating. When you’re dealing with a relationship composed of people from polar opposite circumstances, you’re bound to have complications. Then again, most relationships are complicated.
As the adoptive parents, you should view your relationship with your child’s birth parents as no different from any other relationship with a family member. In some ways, your relationship with your child’s birth parents is like a marriage. You must work as a team, even when it’s frustrating or hard, for your child’s best interest.
Why Open Adoption?
The opportunity for your child to have a relationship with their birth parents, when possible, is a beautiful opportunity indeed. So many birth parents choose a closed adoption, often with good reason. But open adoptions are special because the birth parent not only loves their child enough to relinquish them to a family better suited to raise them, but they wish to be a part of their life in some capacity as well. While this can cause confusion for the child, it can also allow them to know they are so loved by both sets of parents. Yes, it can be a hassle at times and cause frustration and stress — but all for the good of one very loved child.
Open adoption takes commitment, communication, and having the right attitude. There are likely going to be some bumps in the road, but all for the best cause: providing the best life for the child.