The most important decision after you’ve chosen to pursue adoption is whether to do an open adoption. Most birthmothers and adoptive families have a lot of questions on this topic and don’t know where to begin.
While there are a lot of things to consider, try not to let it cause you too much stress. You will make the right choice for you and the baby. Here are some things to help you pick the best scenario.
What Open Adoption Means
An open adoption means that the adoptive family and the birthparents have open communication and contact. Both parties work together in deciding how often there will be visits and how involved each will be in the baby’s life.
One of the things that many birthmothers like about this route is that they can choose the adoptive family. This can offer a sense of security in knowing who will be caring for your child and being able to have some contact with them in the future. The adoptive families also find benefits in knowing the child’s full medical history and in not having to worry about inevitable questions from the child about where they came from.
Varying Degrees of Openness
Again, it is up to both the birthparents and the adoptive family to agree on the level of openness in the relationship. If you choose to do an open adoption, you will have the opportunity to meet beforehand and develop a plan before the actual adoption is finalized. If there are issues or friction at this stage, it is probably best not to move forward. This is a lifelong commitment between everyone and the child’s best interests must always be the priority.
Should you ultimately choose a closed adoption, there is no information exchanged about the birthparents or the adoptive family. Your adoption agency will handle everything without disclosing any details about either party. One of the main issues with this scenario is that at some point in time, most children want to know who their birthparents are. It can be a source of frustration and contention with their adoptive family that is best resolved on a case by case basis with professional counseling.
Making Your Choice
For the child, having both birthparents and adoptive parents has both pros and cons. The pros include a wider support network and never wondering who their birthparents are. At some points in time, it may be confusing for the child to have two sets of parents, but this is something that can be overcome. One of the biggest hazards of open adoption is if the adoptive family and the birthparents have miscommunication or disagreements of any kind, so it is crucial that there is a solid, positive relationship between everyone involved.
It is always a good idea to discuss any questions or concerns with your adoption agency. It can also be very helpful to speak with other birthparents and adoptive families about firsthand experiences in a range of different situations.
Adoption is about making the best choices for the child’s future. This should always be at the center of every decision. While open adoption is a popular choice for many reasons, whatever you choose should be based on the individual situation and the advice of an adoption professional.