How Do We Get Our Family on Board?

young woman talks with her mother over coffee in the kitchen
A couple may have decided that an open adoption is the best option for expanding their family. However, there are some extended families that are less willing to consider the idea of an open adoption. This is often due to misunderstandings, assumptions and stereotypes that are simply not true. The road may be a difficult one, but it is possible to get even the most reluctant family on board with an adoption.

The Birth Mom Will Want Her Child Back!

Extended family members often believe that the birth mom in an open adoption will want to reclaim your child. They believe that contact between your child and his or her biological parent will create a stronger bond that will end in a court battle. The truth is that a bond should be formed. It is good for a child to know and grow to love his or her birth mom. That bond does not mean that the birth mother will want to reverse the adoption decision. In fact, it is very rare that the birth mother would even consider that course of action. Even in the rare instances in which the birth mother changes her mind, she legally does not have the right to do so for more than a few days after the birth of a child. If the child being adopted is older, the timeline for the birth mom to change her mind is even shorter.

The Birth Mother is Not a Good Person!

In the past, there has been an unfortunate negative stigma attached to the act of choosing adoption. Extended family should be reminded that birth mothers choose adoption for any number of reasons. She may have little or no support in raising the child. She might have financial difficulties. She may be in the midst of completing her education or pursuing a career. It is impossible to know someone’s character simply because they are involved in an unwanted pregnancy. In fact, birth moms who choose open adoption should be applauded for making the decision to give children the opportunity to have rich, full lives with parents who desperately want and love them.

Your Baby Won’t Know Who the Real Mom Is!

Your child will always know that you are mom. In an open adoption, there is never a question as to which parents are the rightful ones. The only way to combat this misinformation is with solid facts. Show your family statistics on open adoption. Explain how this practice is psychologically healthier for children. Likewise, give the extended family a chance to meet the birth mom. Invite her to a family gathering. Plan a smaller dinner with grandparents present. Meeting the birth mom should remove any fears the extended family may have.

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