There are some myths about open adoptions and the relationship with adoptive families.
These myths might have you thinking that there is no conversation or communication between a birth mother and an adoptive family. They may also have you believe that birth mothers are “giving up” their babies for adoption.
The truth is that open adoption lets birth mothers and adoptive parents directly communicate with each other. And absolutely nobody is giving up by choosing adoption for their child. It is a brave choice that takes a lot of courage.
Keeping communication open between you and your child’s adoptive family is very common with the modern-day adoption process. This is referred to as “open adoption.” It allows you to build a relationship and stay involved in your baby’s life.
But, as with any relationship, creating a solid connection requires work, and it’s normal for you to feel a little anxious about what the relationship will look like.
Lifetime is an American adoption agency. Over the years, we have been able to help many birth mothers find the right adoptive family for their baby. We have also been fortunate to see many open adoptions lead to special lifelong relationships between you (the birth mother) and the adoptive parents.
Here are some tips on how you can help create a solid relationship with your child’s adoptive parents.
Start at the Beginning
Once you have chosen adoption for your child, you will work with our caring adoption coordinators to create an adoption plan that works for you. You will decide how much contact you wish to have with the adoptive family.
Open adoption gives you the chance to have regular in-person visits with your child and their adoptive parents. It means you can email, call, text, and send letters. You can choose what’s right for you.
You will have the chance to view profiles of many families interested in adopting your baby. Seeing them on paper is one thing, but speaking with them on the phone or through video chat and getting to know them is one of the most important parts of deciding which one feels right to you.
Once you choose a family, you can continue to keep in touch, sending pictures of your ultrasounds if you want or keeping them posted on your doctor visits. Or maybe, if you live close to the adoptive family, you will want to have lunch or dinner with them to get to know them even better. Build the type of relationship that will continue for the future.
Learning more about the family you’ve chosen and making a bond will give you confidence and peace of mind about adoption. This part of the process is an important part of building a lasting relationship after your child’s placement.
Develop a Lasting Connection
Once you have given birth and your baby is placed with the adoptive family, it will be an emotional time for everyone that will take some adjustment. It is up to you how you want things to go.
Talk to the adoptive family ahead of time about what you will want your communication to look like — especially right after birth. You will need time to process the emotions of the adoption, and the adoptive family will need some time to learn the ins and outs of their new family.
If you and the adoptive family members stay in touch with messages or calls, your bond can grow stronger. You can trust that the family has your child’s best interest in mind since you’ve gotten to know the family already.
For most expectant mothers and birth parents, choosing adoption comes with a lot of questions and emotions. You might feel overwhelmed or nervous along the way, but remember that you’re never alone.
Our compassionate adoption coordinators will support you through each step. We understand that this is a decision that requires a lot of thought.
Once you choose an adoptive family, we will be able to continue to help guide you through the open adoption process. You can ask us any questions at any time. We are here for you from start to finish.
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.