The decision to create an adoption plan is one of the toughest choices a mother will ever have to make. But the decisions do not end there. Do you want an open or closed adoption? Do you want to meet the adoptive parents? Do you want to spend time with the baby in the hospital? And so on. However, for this article, we are going to focus on one decision in particular – the openness of your adoption. More specifically, the benefits of open adoption.
What is an Open Adoption?
There are generally three types of adoption: Open Adoption, Semi-Open Adoption, or Closed Adoption. Ultimately, which option you choose is up to you, the birth mothers (or birth parents).
- In an Open Adoption, both parents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information about each other and have ongoing contact.
- Meanwhile, in a Semi-Open Adoption, most or all communications between the adoptive parents and birth parents are facilitated by an adoption agency to preserve identifying information.
- And in a Closed Adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet and do not share any identifying information.
Today, 95 percent of adoptions today are either open or semi-open, according to Jennifer Fairfax LLC. But, again, the choice is ultimately up to you.
Benefits of Open Adoption
When there is complete buy in from both birth parents and adoptive parents, an open adoption can be a truly wonderful experience for all involved, especially the child.
- Children in open adoptions receive the benefit of a larger support network and knowing that so many people love and care about him or her.
- Adoptive parents in an open adoption benefit from the honesty with the child about his or her birth parents.
- Birth parents receive the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child is being cared for in a safe and loving home. They have the opportunity to watch the child grow up and play a role in their life by meeting with the adoptive family or staying connected in other ways.
Research has shown that “openness appears to help kids understand adoption, relieve the fears of adoptive parents, and help birth mothers resolve their grief,” according to researchers Harold D. Grotevant and Ruth G. McRoy.
Remember To Be Flexible
Adoption openness is a dynamic process. “Expect an evolving relationship,” says Gina Shaw, WebMD. Birth parents and adoptive parents should be receptive to the child’s needs and be willing to modify plans as the child grows. “You may have established a plan in advance about how that relationship will work – how many letters, whether or not there will be phone calls or visits, and so on. But remember that it’s not set in stone,” adds Shaw. It is important to listen to the child and ensure that their feelings are being considered.
Questions About Open Adoption?
Adoption Makes Family is here for you. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. Our experienced professionals can help walk you through the adoption process and answer any questions you may have.
Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- Grotevant, Harold D., et al. “Contact Between Adoptive and Birth Families: Perspectives From the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project.” Child Development Perspectives, vol. 7, no. 3, Dec. 2013, pp. 193–198., doi:10.1111/cdep.12039.
- Mclaughlin, Anne Marie. “Negotiating Openness: A Qualitative Study of Adoptive Parents’ Experience of Contact in Open Adoption.” Canadian Social Work Review, vol. 30, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 5–23.