Opening doors of communication with an open adoption
If you are wrestling with the idea of giving your baby up for adoption yet still want to play a role in the child’s life, you may find that an open adoption provides you with the connection you desire and the confidence that you have made the best decision for your child. Today’s birth mother has greater flexibility and more options when choosing to give up her baby through an open adoption. In fact, the majority of adoptions in the United States feature some form of two-way communication between the birth mom and the adoptive parents, according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (now closed).
Open adoptions are the new norm
Adoptions were different years ago. They were usually shrouded in secrecy. The birth mother and the adoptive family knew very little, if anything, about each other. Now open adoptions allow you to:
- Choose your child’s future family. You can specify race, religion, culture, income, marital status and other factors. You will be provided with a pre-screened list of families or individuals that meet your criteria.
- Specify the amount of contact you want to have with the child or adoptive family. You may receive updates or photos through letters, e-mails and social media, or you may talk on the phone.
- Play a role in the adoptive family’s life. Some birth moms and adoptive families agree in advance to in-person visits for special occasions, like birthdays or holidays.
Birth moms benefit
Women who choose open adoptions usually have higher self-esteem. They avoid feelings of abandoning the baby by helping select the adoptive parents and setting the guidelines for contact over the coming years. Other advantages include:
- Sense of control
- Less time spent grieving for the loss of a child
- Positive feelings for the child’s future
- New relationships with the child and the adoptive family
How open adoptions work
Every open adoption is different. If you have decided that you want to give your baby up for adoption to a family or individual that really wants a child, then the licensed social workers at Legacy Adoption Services will be by your side during the process.
Before the baby is born
- You review and select the best candidates for your child.
- Legacy Adoption Services will arrange a conference call with potential adoptive parents.
- You can follow up with emails or text messages if you have additional questions.
- Request an in-person visit with the family that you think would be best for your child.
After the adoption
- Enjoy cards, letters and pictures of the child until he or she reaches age 18.
- Decide if you want to participate in supervised telephone calls or candid conversations.
- Stay abreast of your child’s development through Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
- Think about face-to-face meetings, which are somewhat rare among birth parents and adoptive families, and decide whether that is something you want to pursue.
Learn more about open adoptions by talking with the compassionate counselors at Legacy Adoption Services. Contact us to learn about open communication strategies for you and your child and the strategies chosen by other adoptive families.