Five Facts about Open Adoption that might Surprise You as a Birth Mother
If you ask five people what open adoption means to them, chances are you’re going to come up with at least three completely different answers and a few similarities spread among all five. The regularity of open adoption has come a long way from its original conception and is now considered a healthier option for the child, you, and the adoptive parents. In fact, open adoption is now one of the three types of adoption you can choose from when you are placing your child with our adoption agency.
Here are five facts about open adoption that you may find surprising as a birth mother.
1. Your Child gets to Hear Their Adoption Story from You
Your child, at one point or another, is going to find out he or she was adopted. If you have an open adoption agreement with your child’s adoptive parents, you may get the opportunity to help tell your child’s adoption story to them. To answer their burning questions about where they came from, why you made the decision that you did, and many more. This can greatly help them develop a stronger sense of self and learn that they have not one — but two — families who love them dearly.
What’s more, with open adoption, you don’t have to wait until your child is “of age” to tell them their adoption story. Their adoptive parents can start the process and let him or her know right away, using positive adoption language to help your child become familiar with the word adopted and understand that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Then, when your child asks about you, their adoptive parents can reach out to you and have you share your answers and how he or she came to be placed with their family.
2. You get to Build a Lifelong Relationship with Your Child’s Adoptive Parents
It may surprise you to learn that adoptive parents who want to participate in open adoption often want to be part of your pregnancy and get to know you on a personal level. That they are interested in communicating with you and helping out wherever they can. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to build a strong, healthy relationship with them that will last a lifetime. It also gives you time to establish boundaries and learn about how your open adoption agreement will look after your child has been born and the adoption finalized.
Getting to know your child’s adoptive parents is truly an added perk. You will really get to know who your child’s adoptive parents are as people — individually and as a couple — and find out what led them to growing their family through adoption. You’ll get to learn about their lifestyle, parenting philosophies and if you vibe with them. If you are ever unsure of what questions to ask when you are first meeting them, consult with your adoption caseworker. They can help you navigate your first meeting and offer suggestions on how to get past any awkward stages there might be in the beginning.
3. You get to bePart of Your Child’s Life
Perhaps one of the most surprising facts about open adoption is that it allows you to remain in contact with your child. To be a part of his or her life as they grow up. Now, the specifics of this are decided between you and your child’s adoptive parents prior to finalization, but there is an unlimited amount of options for you to stay in your child’s life. Letters, pictures, texts from the adoptive parents giving updates, video calls and in person visits — just to name a few — allow you to remain updated, whether you are close by or live states away.
Open option allows you and your child’s adoptive parents the option of making a tradition out of visits, like on holidays or birthdays! It’s all up to you and what you are comfortable with.
4. Benefits for You as the Birth Mother
Many birth mothers, no matter the circumstances, experience loss and grief after the adoption is complete. With open adoption, there is closure. You are still connected with your child and an important figure in their life. You can also grow close to their adoptive parents and family, which can help you heal after your child is placed and replace the feeling of separation with an everlasting bond. One that cements your connection to your child and their family.
So, instead of worrying for years about your child’s health and their quality of life, open adoption allows you to reach out to his or her adoptive parents — or your child directly — to ask. You’ll never be left wondering five or ten years down the line if you made the right choice to place your baby for adoption, or your pick of their adoptive parents. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your child is healthy and happy.
5. You can Share Medical History with Your Child’s Adoptive Parents
Your child’s health is positively impacted in a unique way by open adoption. For instance, you can share your family health history with your child’s adoptive parents, so that they can be better prepared when he or she gets sick. Medical history of illnesses and other health conditions can be documented by the adoptive parent’s pediatrician for future use. Also, if something ever comes up, you’re able to answer questions or concerns regarding your child’s health based on your family’s history.
Facts about Open Adoption
Open adoption is becoming more and more common everyday. It is said to be the most beneficial type of adoption available, as it keeps the best interests of everyone involved in the adoption triad — birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee — at heart. Here at Adoption Choices of New York, we couldn’t agree more!
Choosing to place your baby for adoption is an incredible and selfless sacrifice. We understand that it can also be emotional and overwhelming, especially with how adoptions have been done in the past. However, with an open adoption, you can put your mind at ease. Open adoption can secure your baby’s future in the best way possible. Not only will it give them a loving, caring and supporting adoptive family, but it will also maintain their ties with their birth origin. Your child will have two families who will cherish them all their lives, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your child is being taken care of and you have the opportunity to have a relationship with them and their adoptive family.
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