What is an open adoption?
Most adoptions today are open adoptions. In an open adoption, the birth parents and adoptive families can know a little or a lot about each other, and can choose to stay in contact with each other even after the adoption is finalized. How much the families know about one another and how much contact they have after the baby is born depends on what each family wants.
Sometimes the adoptive parents will send pictures of the baby each year, along with updates. Other times the birth parent and adoptive family will meet in person over the years. You can even stay in touch through Facebook and text messaging. It really all depends on what you and the adoptive family agree on.
Why Choose Open Adoption
Experts have found that open adoption is better for both the birth and adoptive parents, and that it is better for the baby, too.
Depending on how much contact you have, an open adoption can let your child get to know you, and you will get to see how your child is doing as she grows. If you see your child in person, you may be able to explain why you chose adoption. This can help both you and your child feel better and more confident with your relationship, and your child will feel better knowing where she came from.
Even when the openness is just exchanged information, this allows everyone to get to know one another better and feel more secure in the adoption.
Real Life Open Adoption Stories
Real life open adoption stories show that everyone can benefit from open adoption. Adoptive families say that they have great relationships with birthparents and even biological grandparents and other family members. They feel like they are one big extended family, with everyone wanting what is best for the baby and offering support to one another.
Birth moms say that seeing their baby grow in a healthy, loving, and stable home helps them know that they made the right decision. They are also still able to share in their baby’s life and have a loving relationship.
The children themselves report feeling more confidence and less frustration as they get older. Instead of wondering why their birth parents chose adoption, they are able to ask and get answers.
So is Open Adoption For You?
No one other than you can decide if open adoption is the right choice for your situation. While most adoptions are open, the level of contact is different from one adoption to the next. You can choose to just share basic information while you’re still pregnant, then not have future contact after the baby is born. You can choose to only give personal information and never meet in person. It will be up to you to say what you are comfortable with. Open adoption or not, you have already made a great decision for your child’s future.
You can find out more about open adoption and read open adoption stories by visiting LifetimeAdoption.com, or by visiting FreeAdoptionBook.com.
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.