The Benefits of Open Adoption
In open adoption, the adoptive parents and their child interact directly with birth parents. Birth mothers are able to choose the adoptive parents for their baby and continue to have ongoing contact as their child grows up. This article reveals the benefits of open adoption for the child, the birth mother, and the adoptive parents.
Open Adoption Benefits the Child
The child in an open adoption will know about their adoption story from day one, and that their birth mother chose adoption out of love. The adoptee has the opportunity to know about their biological family, as well as important medical history and genealogy information.Based on a study of open adoption, it was found that 84% of adoptees in arrangements with ongoing contact had high levels of satisfaction with their levels of openness. Also, the study found that adoptees who met with their birth mothers stated having positive feelings toward them and did not report being confused about who their parents were.
Open adoption helps to maintain and honor an adopted child’s connections with all the important people in his or her life. One of its goals is to provide security for the child as they get older and start to ask questions about their origins. It gives them answers to important questions, such as why their birth parents chose adoption.
As one woman puts it, “My child knows his birth mother and why he is where he is. There will be no question that he can’t ask, which is such a healthy way for a child to be raised. I love open adoption!”
The most important person involved in an open adoption is the child; everything is done in their best interest. The birth parents chose to place their baby with an adoptive couple with their child’s best interests in mind. Even though they’re not able to be parents right now, they’re choosing adoption out of love for their child.
Open Adoption Benefits the Mother
Birth mothers in open adoption report less regret and worry, and more peace of mind, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. One study found that birth mothers in open adoptions tend to have better grief resolution than birth mothers in closed adoptions. When a birth mother makes an open adoption plan, she can feel comforted knowing that her baby will grow up safe, healthy, and loved with the adoptive couple she’s chosen. Because she stays in touch with adoptive parents, she has a peace of mind as she sees her child thriving. With open adoption, the birth parents choose who will raise their child, and decide how things go at the hospital. Birth mothers can choose who is allowed in the delivery room and who cuts the cord. They may choose to see, hold, and spend time with their baby before placement. In an open adoption, the birth mother has rights and choices that she would not have in other types of adoption. She maintains control over decisions about placing her child with adoptive parents.
Open Adoption Benefits the Adoptive Couple
Adoptive parents may be hesitant at first by the idea of open adoption. However, they actually benefit from open adoption. Should their child ever have a medical issue, the adoptive parents have access to vital medical information and family health history. They’re able to contact birth family members to help answer questions about the child’s medical history. Because the adoptive parents know the birth parents and their wishes, they don’t have to live in fear that they’ll try to reclaim the child. The adoptive couple has a heightened sense of security from the knowledge about the child’s birth parents and why they chose adoption.
It’s important to note that open adoption isn’t co-parenting. The adoptive parents are the child’s parents and they make decisions on how to raise their child. Adoptive parents in open adoption do not feel less in control of their parenting abilities. In fact, they have a greater sense of stability in their relationship with their child.
Here’s what a birth mother who placed with Lifetime has to share, “Please know that birth mothers don’t wish to co-parent the child that we placed with you. I’ve never felt comfortable scolding her or telling her what she can and can’t do. I placed her into her adoptive parent’s arms with the understanding that I was signing away my rights to parent. My motive behind choosing an open adoption is just to know. To know she’s happy, safe, and loved. To know that she’ll know who I am and why I chose adoption.”
Open adoption empowers adoptive parents in raising their child. It provides them with knowledge about their child’s birth family and their family medical history. It also equips the adoptive parents with answers to difficult questions that their adopted child might ask about his or her adoption.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
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