Coming to the realization that another family can give your child the life that you want for them is a decision that may take some time. But once you have decided on open adoption, know that this is a selfless sacrifice that requires strength and compassion.
As a biological parent (“birth parent”), you are helping an adoptive family become parents, and they will love you and your child for a lifetime. There are some important things to keep in mind as you think ahead to what the birth mother and adoptive mother relationship will be like.
You are getting an extended family.
Choosing an open adoption means you are giving your baby a loving family to be raised in. But if you so choose, they can become like your family, too.
Adoptive parents that select to be part of an open adoption want you to be in their lives. You have a story, your baby has a story, and they want to know what it is. And as the birth mom, you will have a special bond with the adoptive mom.
Taking time to nurture and grow that relationship will build trust and help keep communication open when the child has questions as they get older.
You are gaining an advocate for your child.
Adoptive mothers love their children as their own. That means she will be an advocate for your child, a trusted friend, and a supportive person for the rest of their life. She is in this for the long haul — no matter what. That is a gift.
Remember that as you spend your time getting to know her. Treasure the incredible gift she has given you and your baby: her heart.
Your relationship will evolve.
This new relationship with your child’s adoptive mother and family will likely evolve over time, and that is OK. There will be times when you may be in more contact with her — such as the holiday season. There may be other times when you are not in touch with the family as much.
Each relationship is different, and yours will uniquely develop, as all our friendships do. But no matter how the relationship ebbs and flows, the important part is to be honest and open, even on tough days.
You chose life.
As you plan to place your baby with its new adoptive family, remember that you are not abandoning your child. You are not “giving your baby up.” You instead chose life and you chose the family that you believed was best for your little one as the child grows.
Even though you are not going to be the primary parent who raises your baby, you will be able to form a relationship. By choosing life for your child with a loving family, you are creating an opportunity to build a relationship with not only your child but the adoptive mother and father, too.
It’s a great idea to talk about what that relationship will look like prior to having your baby or placing your baby with them. What type of contact do you desire? Do they feel the same? If you want visits, how often will you all meet up? And where? Having this conversation early helps everyone understand their desires and establish expectations.
Building a solid relationship with your baby’s adoptive mother does not come with a play-by-play instruction manual. It will take patience to build your relationship, and it will take flexibility, too. It is especially essential to keep in mind that both of you want what is best for your child in the months and years to come.
Knowing that you will get to be an integral part of your child’s life is the definition of modern, open adoption. Our experienced and caring adoption coordinators can help answer any questions you have about the open adoption process, too.
Lifetime Adoption is a domestic open adoption agency. We understand that this is a time that can feel overwhelming and even scary. Our compassionate team has been working with birth parents and adoptive families since 1986.
We will be with you every step of the way. And remember: Our resources are free to birth mothers; you’ll never have to pay a cent to utilize our services. We also continue to provide support and resources for birth mothers post-adoption.
To speak with a caring adoption coordinator, contact Lifetime Adoption today.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) 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.