When you’re thinking about placing your baby for adoption, it’s important to do your research. Adoption isn’t a decision you’ll want to make overnight. Maybe you’re wondering about the reasons why adoption is a good thing.
Since every woman’s situation is unique, every woman will have her own reasons for choosing adoption and concerns to think about. Working with a qualified adoption professional like Lifetime can help you identify what’s important to you during your adoption process. And with Lifetime, you can make an open adoption plan, choosing your baby’s adoptive parents and staying in touch with them as your child grows up.
Here at Lifetime, we have found that most women who choose adoption want some contact with the adoptive parents. So why do most women like open adoption? Here, six birth mothers share what they feel are the most important reasons why adoption is a good thing.
1. You will know how your child is doing as they grow up
Open adoption provides birth parents with reassurance that their child is well and happy. Through updates from the adoptive family, you have the ability to know how your child is doing throughout their life. For example, you’ll get to know their favorite food, how they’re doing in school and the name of their best friend.
You’ll have intimate knowledge about your child that you couldn’t have if the adoption were closed. Having a relationship with your child can help you feel happier and more peaceful with your adoption decision.
Says one birth mother, B*, “Knowing it would be hard to give up such a beautiful and perfect little girl, the adoptive parents still allow me to be in contact. They are more than I could ever imagine for my baby girl! I’m able to see her once a year and get so excited when it’s time for that visit! My daughter means more to me than I can ever explain in words. I’m so thankful and blessed to have such amazing, caring, and understanding parents for her. This was the best decision of my life. Thank you, Lifetime Adoption for making this possible for me!”
* Name hidden for privacy
2. It empowers you
Open adoption gives birth mothers the option to be more involved and empowered throughout the adoption process. A birth mom can select adoptive parents that align with her values and the future she envisions for her baby. Open adoption also allows a birth mom to meet the adoptive family before placing their baby with them.
“I got started with adoption by looking at adoptive family profiles. For me, being able to choose my baby’s parents was one of the main reasons why adoption is a good thing. At a time when so much of my life felt out of control, it was empowering to take charge of this important decision,” says Maddy, a birth mother who chose adoption for her son two years ago.
Open adoption also allows you to decide how much you’d like to stay in touch with the adoptive parents and your child. As a birth mother, you’d have the opportunity to be involved in your child’s life in the amount you’re comfortable with. Some birth mothers want email updates and photos about every six months. Other birth mothers build a relationship with their child through visits, phone calls, and texts.
The method and amount of contact in the open adoption are personal decisions to be made by the adoptive family and the birth parents together. Lifetime is there to support and facilitate the open adoption plan along the way.
3. It is better for the child
Ultimately, many birth mothers say that the main reason open adoption is a good thing for them is for the sake of their child. Open adoption allows you to have a meaningful relationship with your child’s adoptive parents, which in turn will help your child feel more secure by knowing how loved they are by both sets of parents.
Research shows that adopted children do better in open adoption situations because they have the chance to learn about their birth family and background. Kids are naturally curious. Most adopted children have lots of questions about their adoption and their birth family. Who better to talk to about their adoption than their birth parents? The more kids can speak freely about it, the more secure they feel and the more loved they’ll feel by you. Knowing their birth family gives a child a sense of who they are and where they came from.
Plus, when a child gets to meet their birth family, they can find out who they look like or act like in the family which may help them understand themselves better. Even if you aren’t raising your child, you still have a place in their heart.
“Adoption let me put my child on a path toward a bright future. Since his adoptive parents have financial security, it’s opened doors to opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise. He has the opportunity to attend college, graduate school, or travel the world,” shares Hailey.
4. Gives you peace of mind
Another reason birth parents want an open adoption is because it’s better for their own hearts and minds. Open adoption provides them with the knowledge that their child is being raised in a safe, loving, and healthy environment. This can eliminate fear or uncertainty about their child’s future.
Birth mothers in open adoptions will have peace of mind knowing their child is healthy and safe as they see photos, talk on the phone or visit their child. Birth parents have the chance to explain about other family members or share important information with their child. Overall, birth parents say they feel that an open adoption helped them feel less grief and anxiety about placing their child in an open adoption.
“Adoption is of the greatest things a parent could ever do…to place their child into the hands of someone else to honor and love and care for them. It’s about our children, and once we get there, we will be alright. 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 hearts of two people who have raised him,” shares birth mother Adrianne.
5. You’ll remain a part of your child’s life
Open adoption means that a birth mother can still have a relationship with her baby. This does not mean that the birth mother can regain custody or parent in the conventional sense, but it allows her and her child to get to know one another. Adoption can come with many questions, particularly for an adopted child, and having this additional source of love in one’s life can only be a positive.
As birth mother Hailey puts it, “My daughter gets a loving family who will support and provide for her while knowing that I did not just give her away.”
6. Important medical info
Open adoption also means the adoptive family you choose will have access to your child’s medical history. This may be important if any health concerns come up for your child.
Says Destiny, “Because of open adoption, my daughter’s adoptive parents know my family medical history. Some of the info I shared when I made an adoption plan was important genetic information. Knowing my daughter’s family health history could mean the difference between life and death. My daughter will need to know that her mother’s side of the family has a history of high blood pressure. This info could be life-saving!”
Lifetime Adoption is Here to Help
Like so many things in life, experiences vary. Birth mothers all have different motives for choosing adoption and varying reasons why adoption is a good thing.
The adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption are always available to help you with your adoption decision. Just call or text 1-800-923-6784. They can answer all your questions and explain the adoption process, so you’re able to make an informed decision. They understand the difficulty of your decision and will support you throughout the entire process.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on December 20, 2016, 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.