Your Relationship with the Adoptive Family
Placing Your Baby in an Open Adoption [What it is and How it Works]
Open adoption can be an amazing choice for you and your baby. With open adoption:
- You can choose your baby’s adoptive parents and develop a meaningful relationship with them.
- You can decide what type of contact you want to have with the adoptive family and how often you want to communicate with them.
- You can have an ongoing, loving relationship with your child as he or she grows up.
When you are considering adoption for your baby, you get to make all the important decisions about the process. It is up to you to decide what kind of future you want for your child and for yourself. And one of the most important decisions you will make is whether or not you want an open adoption.
The majority of birth mothers want at least some level of contact with their child and the family that adopts him or her. But how much contact? What type of contact? Exactly how does an open adoption work? What does open adoption mean? These are all important questions to ask yourself as you prepare for your adoption.
In this article, we will answer these and other common questions about openness in adoption. You can also get free, personalized support now by contacting us here.
What is an Open Adoption?
The definition of an open adoption is simply the continued connection a prospective birth mother has with the adoptive family after the adoption. There are many layers to open adoption, and you get to decide the level of contact and interaction you wish to have moving forward.
Do you want to see your baby after the adoption? What other types of contact do you want to have as your child grows up? These questions will help you define the open adoption (or closed adoption) you want to have with your child and the adoptive family. For example, if you know you want to continue seeing your child after a completed adoption, then an open adoption is what you’ll want.
One way to think about how open you want your adoption to be is to work backwards and think about what it would be like if you had no contact with your child or the adoptive parents at all. How would that make you feel? Would you want to know at least minimal details about your child?
An open adoption can be whatever you and the adoptive family want it to be; during the adoption process, you will discuss what type and how much contact both parties will have.
Your adoption professional can help with these conversations, but they are usually not needed to facilitate the relationship going forward. The arrangement you make with the adoptive family is often an informal verbal or written agreement, which is not necessarily legally enforced. However, there are 26 states that do have some type of legal post-adoption contact agreement. In most cases, though, everyone is excited about continuing the relationship, even without a legally binding contract.
Can I Stay in Contact With My Child?
There are many benefits of open adoption, starting with the ability to watch your child grow up. By staying in contact with your child and the adoptive parents, you’ll be able to enjoy many of the milestones your child experiences, including their first words, first steps, first teeth and the many other firsts along the way.
“Giving your baby up” for adoption and staying in contact with them is not only possible — it’s recommended. This can be done via in-person visits, phone calls or whatever forms of contact you and the adoptive family agree on.
Some birth parents decide that seeing their child after adoption would be too difficult, making phone conversations and written updates a more realistic way to stay in touch. It’s also possible that birth parents may find that only speaking with the adoptive parents to keep up with their child makes the most sense.
Having an open adoption and relationship with your child is highly recommended because of the ability to maintain a lifelong relationship with them as they grow up and experience life. By remaining a part of your child’s life, you will always be able to answer questions your child may someday have about his or her adoption. Many birth parents and adoptees are proud of this relationship, and it’s something everyone involved in the adoption t will cherish.
Choosing Open Adoption
Finding adoptive parents that would also prefer an open adoption with the birth parents is important and something done with an adoption specialist through your adoption agency. Your professional will also help mediate contact with the adoptive family, so you can build a strong relationship leading up to the completion of the adoption. Afterward, you and the adoptive family can continue the relationship based on the contact preferences you discussed during the process.
You might not expect this, but many birth parents can become good friends with the adoptive family they work with, developing a relationship for years to come. If you’re considering adoption and wondering, “If I place my child up for adoption, can I see them after?” The answer is yes.
The decision to have openness in your adoption is difficult and, at least initially, you may not know whether it’s something you want right away. There are plenty of times during the adoption process where you can choose to create an open relationship with the adoptive family in order to maintain a known and open relationship with your child.
At certain points, just like any other relationship, things can change. For example, if you initially decide that having phone conversations is the extent of your relationship with the child and/or the adoptive parents, there may come a time where you make arrangements for a visit for a birthday or the holidays. With the openness of your relationship up to you and the adoptive family, it can be an ever-evolving connection based on the comfort of both parties.
Still have questions about what it’s like to “give a child up” for open adoption? Get free information from an adoption professional now by contacting us here. You’ll get answers to all of your questions, help finding the perfect parents for your dream open adoption, and more.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.