Real-Life Open Adoption Stories
If you’re considering adoption, you may have wondered, “will I ever see my baby again?” or “what does open adoption look like in real life?” You might even think, “I don’t know if I could give my baby away! How do a woman just do that?”
One of the best ways to learn about open adoption is from a woman who has chosen adoption for her child. It can help to watch open adoption stories from birth mothers and to hear in their own words the reasons why they made the loving choice of adoption.
Hearing from a birth mother will help you know what to expect during the process. For example, how did she bring up the topic of adoption for her baby with her family? And how did she tell her baby’s father? Here, you’ll hear from women with open adoption stories as birth mothers. Their adoption stories provide a real-life look at what open adoption is like today!
Real-Life Open Adoption Stories
There are as many open adoption stories as there are birth mothers. Some are still in high school and not ready to become parents. Others have just been surprised by a positive pregnancy test and are considering options for their unplanned pregnancy. And yet still others already have children that they’re struggling to feed and support, so adding another child just isn’t possible for them.
Just as every life situation for expectant moms is different, so are their reasons for choosing a particular adoptive family. Many young women have hopes for their children that go far beyond simply finding a roof to put over the child’s head and food to put in their tummy.
These women want to share with you why they chose adoption for their babies so that they can help you decide if adoption is right for your situation. Their videos describe the emotions, relationships, and opportunities these women have had since they made an adoption plan for their children. Every birth mother is unique. And her reason for making an adoption plan for her child is, too.
Open Adoption…In a Birth Mother’s Own Words
Adrianne decided on an African American married couple with a strong faith foundation to parent her son. “I felt nothing but warmth and love from the adoptive couple I chose. Both Doug and Cheryl, they just embraced me. It just felt like family. I’m so glad Cheryl is my son’s mom. One of the greatest things a parent could ever do is place their child into the hands of someone else to honor and love and care for them,” she says.
She continues, “I often have people ask me, will I go and get my son. I wouldn’t because he has great parents who love him and care for him. I wouldn’t want to break the heart of two people who have raised him. Being able to see my son in the flesh, touch him, hear him laugh, see him smile. I can get on a plane and go see him and just see his smile and I’ll be alright.” Today, Adrianne visits her son and his family every year in Atlanta for his birthday.
Hannah shares that she was “just devastated” when, as a high school sophomore, juggling life as a busy high schooler – friends, family, track, schoolwork, and a boyfriend, she found out she was pregnant.
“Obviously, if my situation had been better, I would have kept her and parented her,” Hannah says of her choice to place her daughter for adoption. “But I knew it was best for her to have the family that she has now. Just knowing that I’m placing my daughter into a better situation than I could provide for her gave me comfort.”
Watch her story unfold as she details her emotions, the decision-making process, and then even the surprises along the way.
Sarah was 24 when she found out she was pregnant. She knew right away that choosing adoption would be difficult, but she wanted to do what was best for her son.
“I knew that (my son) needed so many things I wouldn’t be able to give him,” she says. “And that’s where I had to separate myself. That’s where I had to break my own heart to do what was best for him. I’m so proud that I made this decision for him; he’s flourishing. And I can’t think of anything more wonderful than knowing that he’s gonna be forever loved. I want birth moms to know that they can do anything.”
Watch as Sarah and the family she placed with share an honest portrayal of not only the struggle but also the joy and beauty that has come from their open adoption.
When Liz initially contacted an adoption agency, she was told her next step was to choose adoptive parents for her baby. Derrick and Lori’s profile drew Liz’s attention right away, and she felt like something just “clicked.”
“I was faced with this unwanted pregnancy and I didn’t know exactly what an open adoption was, what a closed adoption was…” she says. “I didn’t know there were two sides to the journey. I remember hugging the mom, Lori, at the hospital, and she said this isn’t goodbye. This is I’ll see you later. What I didn’t want ever is for my daughter to think that she wasn’t loved and that’s why she was placed up for adoption.”
The open adoption that Liz and the adoptive mom of her baby, Lori, have arranged allows Liz’s daughter to realize just how very loved she is. And not only by her adoptive parents; by her birth mother too. Today, Liz receives updates on her daughter and sees her in person a couple times a year.
Peer Support from a Birth Mother
Lifetime’s Peer Support Program lets you speak one-on-one with an actual birth mother who chose adoption. These women are glad to be a help and support to you in this time while you make plans for your baby. Peer support is available to you while you think about adoption, during your adoption planning process, or after your Lifetime adoption. It’s up to you when this resource would help.
When you’re making a life-changing decision like adoption, it helps to know that you’re not alone. Someone else understands exactly how you feel because she’s been through it herself. It can be hard to walk the road to adoption alone. Walking it with someone who understands can make the journey much easier.
Many women have found it beneficial to talk with someone who’s been through the adoption experience and is available to listen.
These open adoption stories provide a real-life glimpse at what open adoption is like today. We hope that watching their videos will give you insight and perspective as you begin your own adoption process.
Are you thinking about placing a child for adoption and would like to find adoptive parents for your child? Know that it’s never too late to choose adoption. Lifetime has had birth mothers start an adoption plan from the hospital in the early stages of labor. You could even wait to begin adoption until after your baby is born. The choices are yours!
You can call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 to start your own open adoption story. We’re happy to send you free info about adoption, choosing a family, and pregnancy resources, such as maternity clothing, housing, scholarships, and more.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 14, 2019, and has since been updated.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.