While open adoption is becoming more understood and desired among birth parents and adoptive families, time to time we still are asked by birth mothers, “Can I have a closed adoption?”
The simple answer: Yes, a woman can create a closed adoption for her child.
However, after learning more about her, it’s common for a woman to at least want to know the names of her baby’s adoptive parents or to speak with them before the adoption takes place. That’s why a conversation is needed to find out how she wants the adoption to go.
In an open adoption, a birth mother can be as involved the process as she wants. If desired, she may chaoose her baby’s adoptive family and get to know them, spend time with her baby at the hospital, and stay in touch after the adoption takes place. It’s up to the birth mother; she has a say in every step.
Whether she wants an adoption without contact or to have an on-going connection after the adoption, open adoption means she decides how things go. Here is a look at what usually happens when a woman asks about closed adoption:
Kara: Can I have a closed adoption?
Lifetime: Yes, we can help you make a closed adoption plan. May I ask you a few questions to find out what you’re looking for?
Kara: That’s fine.
Lifetime: Would you want to choose the adoptive parents for your baby or at least know their names and what they are like?
Kara: Yeah, I think I’d like to choose the parents. Could I talk with them and tell them why I’m doing adoption? I want to make sure my baby knows I love him but couldn’t do this on my own.
Lifetime: Yes! The adoptive parents would LOVE to talk with you and learn as much as you’d like to share with them. You can also meet them if you want.
Kara: I’m not sure…maybe at the hospital after he’s born. It would be good to see them in person there.
Lifetime: They would love to meet you if you want. Open adoption is different for every woman; it’s really about what you want for your child, how you want it to go. What made you ask about closed adoption?
Kara: I just want my child to be loved and to know he has parents that accept him like he is their own. I worry if I stay in touch it would be confusing for him or that it would be too hard for me.
Lifetime: I understand, Kara. Those are heartfelt reasons for adoption and it’s obvious you care about your baby. These days adoptive parents embrace their family’s adoption story…your child will grow up knowing you loved him. Your baby can know you and still know his mom and dad are the parents you chose for him. Sometimes women don’t know how they feel until they find the right adoptive family. It’s ok if you aren’t sure about contact after adoption at this point.
Kara: Thanks. I would like them to know how to reach me if needed or if my son had questions when he’s older.
Lifetime: It’s totally up to you what feels right and best for you and your son. It’s ok if you decide later on if you’d want photos or to talk with them. The adoptive parents are ready for open adoption, at your comfort level; it’s really up to you.
Kara: OK! That’s good to know I could decide later if I want to know how he’s doing. How do I get started?
Lifetime: Let’s talk a bit about your pregnancy and what you’re looking for in the adoptive parents. Then we can send you a custom packet to get started…
If you’re thinking about adopting a child, learn as much as you can about the process and questions of the birth mother. Call or apply online to help us learn more about your family and the type of adoption you’re seeking: 1-800-923-6784.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”