Open vs. Closed Adoption
Open adoption in Illinois is a way to stay connected with your child as they grow up in the loving care of their adoptive family. If you’re considering adoption for your baby, you can have this type of relationship.
As a prospective birth mother choosing adoption, you are making a brave, selfless and heroic decision. Adoption may not be a simple path, but it is rewarding. But, even if you are fully committed to this choice, how do you know what type of adoption you want to pursue? That’s why we’re here to help.
We put together this guide that explains how both open and closed adoption in Illinois work. If you have questions about your specific situation, you can contact us today to be connected with an adoption agency. For now, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about open adoption in Illinois.
What Is Open Adoption in Illinois? [How Adoption Has Changed]
Adoption has changed quite a bit in the past few decades. Before then, birth mothers would place their babies for adoption, and little identifying information was shared between birth parents and adoptive families. The child would be left wondering who their birth parents were and why they were placed for adoption. This is when closed adoption was the norm.
Since the 1980s, though, open adoption has become the standard. The vast majority of Illinois adoptions are now open, and this comes with a slew of benefits for everyone involved.
You could be wondering, “What is an open adoption, and what are the benefits of it?”
For that reason, we’ll go over some of those benefits in greater detail below.
- It helps you process the complex emotions of adoption. Many prospective birth mothers experience some complicated feelings throughout the adoption process, and this is completely normal. When you work with an adoption agency for your open adoption, some agencies can set you up with free, 24/7 counseling so that you are never alone.
- Your child will understand their story. When it comes to open vs. closed adoption in Illinois, one key difference is that, in an open adoption, your child will have a better understanding of why they were placed for adoption. This can help fill a void in their life and help you develop a lifelong bond with them. Adoption isn’t “goodbye.” Instead, it is simply “see you later.” It’s one of the greatest open adoption benefits.
- You can update important medical information. Another one of the benefits of open adoption in Illinois is that your child can know their medical history. You can give their adoptive family important medical documents and other health-related information, and this could come in handy. Keeping in touch with your child’s adoptive family also means you can send updates on their medical history whenever the need arises.
These are just a few open adoption benefits in Illinois, and developing a relationship with both your child and their adoptive parents is beautiful. Keep this in mind as you consider open adoption vs. closed adoption. But, remember that it’s your choice to decide what kind of adoption is best for you.
Choosing the Right Adoptive Family for Your Open Adoption in Illinois
Once you have decided that open adoption is the right path for you and your child, you can begin searching for the perfect adoptive family. But, before you start looking, it can be helpful to choose an adoption agency to work with first.
Selecting an experienced adoption agency can be an important part of a successful open adoption because there’s a lot of education involved for both the adoptive family and birth parents. Here are some open adoption agencies that can help you in Illinois or any other state:
- American Adoptions
- Alliance for Children
- Bethany Christian Services
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Lifetime Adoption
After you choose an adoption agency to work with, your adoption professional will help you create your open adoption plan. This is a detailed outline of all your preferences throughout your adoption journey.
Part of this plan is choosing the type of adoptive family that you want for your child. Finding the right adoptive family for your baby is one of the benefits of open adoption in Illinois, and many prospective birth mothers feel reassured during this step.
Your adoption professional will consider your preferences and show you adoptive family profiles that match those preferences. As you think about what you’re looking for in adoptive parents, you can ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your search for your open adoption:
- Do I imagine my child living in the city, country or suburbs?
- Do I picture my child growing up with any siblings or family pets?
- Are there any values, religious or non-religious, that I want to pass on to my child?
When you choose the perfect adoptive family for your baby, you can rest easy knowing that your child is growing up happy and healthy in a loving environment. It’s part of what makes open adoption so beautiful.
Getting to Know the Adoptive Family through Open Adoption in Illinois
Through open adoption in Illinois, you and the adoptive family can build a relationship.
When you first meet, you may feel nervous. This is completely normal, and your adoption professional can mediate your first conversation with them to help ease any nerves or tension.
From a general standpoint, this stage is known as pre-placement contact, and your adoption professional can help break the ice.
Keep in mind that you can get to know the adoptive family in whatever way you feel comfortable with. As the prospective birth mother, you get to call all the shots. Here are some of the ways in which you and your child’s adoptive parents can stay in touch for your open adoption:
- Phone calls
- Handwritten letters
- Zoom or Skype
- In-person visits
- Or whatever you feel comfortable with
We understand if this is a lot of information to soak in at once. So, if you have any more questions about open adoption in Illinois, then please contact us today. We would be happy to connect you with a helpful adoption agency.