Adoption can be a tough decision to make, and anyone thinking about it is bound to have lots of questions. Women considering adoption wonder how the process works, whether you can get paid for adoption, and how to choose the right adoption agency. Today, we’re going to answer another question we hear:
“Is it okay if I want a closed adoption?”
Today, open adoption is the norm, and most women want some amount of contact with their child after placement. But what happens if you want to have a closed adoption? Is that possible with modern adoption?
Open adoption has become more common, moving away from the shame and secrecy of adoptions in the past. But just because the open adoption movement is positive doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your situation. That’s why so many women wonder if it is okay to want a closed adoption.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice. You’re in charge of your adoption process. You have a say in every step of your adoption plan, whether you want an adoption with no contact or to have on-going communication after the adoption.
As you think about open adoption vs. closed adoption, here are some things to keep in mind:
Benefits of Open Adoption
Everyone’s situation is unique. What’s right for another woman may not be right for you. That means it is up to you to determine which type of adoption relationship is going to work out best.
What’s helped many women was making a list of the pros and cons of open adoption and closed adoption. Here are some of the benefits to open adoption that you might not know about:
- You have the opportunity to select the perfect adoptive parents for your baby
- You’ll remain a part of your child’s life…open adoption doesn’t mean that you’re saying goodbye forever
- You can receive updates on your child as they grow up. Lots of birth mothers choose to get updates through email, social media, Skype, and letters.
- It helps your child better understand his or her origins and adoption story
- Your child will grow strong in the truth that you made the best choice you could for them. They will know about your choice and will have the opportunity to know you if you wish!
Be True to Yourself
There are times in life when “fake it ’til you make it” totally applies. But the process of choosing adoption for your baby is not one of those moments. It’s important to be completely open and honest with your Adoption Coordinator on what you want during this process.
Right now, you might feel like you’re supposed to want an open adoption. Maybe you feel unsure if open adoption is the best way for you to move forward and find closure.
Take the time to explore all of your options, but make sure to do what you honestly feel is in your best interest. As a birth mother, you’re in charge of the adoption process. Everyone’s situation is unique. So whichever choice is best for you is the right choice to make.
You can choose to make a closed adoption plan for your baby or child. But after learning more about modern adoption, most women end up wanting to choose their child’s adoptive parents and speak with them before the adoption happens. Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are here to have a conversation with you about how you want your child’s adoption to go.
Myths About Open Adoption
Many fears about open adoption come from common misunderstandings. Here are some of the myths you might have heard about open adoption:
Myth: Open adoption is too confusing for a child.
Truth: Nowadays, a child is told from the beginning that they were adopted. Adoptive parents explain the love that led their birth parents to adoption. They tell the child their own unique story in an age-appropriate way that honors the adoption decision.
Research shows that as children know the truth from a very young age, they understand their beginnings and feel more confident. Adoption is common, and just another way that families are created.
Myth: My child will hate me.
Truth: Open adoption helps your child develop a positive self-identity about their adoption story. As a child comes to understand the difficult decision their birth parents made to give them the best life possible, it builds love and affection, not hate.
The fear that your child will hate you is based on your own grief and loss when thinking about the situation. Saying goodbye can be difficult and painful. But, you will always be your child’s birth mother, his first mother, and adoption will never change that.
Myth: Open adoption means I’ll have some parenting responsibility.
Truth: Open adoption is not co-parenting. Keeping in contact with the adoptive family and your child simply allows a continued connection. Open adoption can take many different forms, but it never means that you still have parental responsibility.
If you’re unsure whether an open or closed adoption would be best, you can request free information about adoption.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.