“I’m thinking about adopting out my baby once she’s born. I want more for her than I can give her right now. I want her to have a good education and lots of opportunities in life.
If I give my baby up for adoption, can I see her as she grows up? Will my child know who I am?”
Yes! With open adoption, you’re able to set expectations for contact with your child after she’s placed with her adoptive parents. This means if you choose adoption, you can see your child again. Plus, you can develop a meaningful, positive relationship with your child as he or she grows up with their adoptive parents.
Lifetime Adoption encourages birth mothers to have post-adoption contact with their child. By maintaining a relationship with your child and their adoptive parents, you’re helping your child develop a positive identity as an adoptee. Staying in touch with your child also helps to answer any questions they might have about their origins as they grow up.
How do I keep in contact with my child after the adoption?
The type of contact you have will be determined by what you’d like, as well as what you work out with the adoptive parents. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you find adoptive parents who share your contact preferences. The adoptive couple you choose will be responsible for maintaining their end of the contact agreement.
As you create your adoption plan, future contact could happen through any of these methods, or a combination of a few:
- In-person visits
- Pictures and letters sent through your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime
- Video chats (such as Skype)
- Posts on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or another social media channel
- Text messages
- Phone calls
No two open adoptions look exactly the same. You get to choose the type and amount of contact you’re most comfortable with. After the adoption placement happens, you can have contact with your child in the way that best meets your needs.
Because of modern technology, it’s now even easier for open adoption to feel like a comfortable, extended family type of relationship. No longer does open adoption necessarily have to feel scheduled, choreographed, or scripted. It can develop into its own relationship, in ways that work for all sides involved, just like any connection between people who truly care about each other.
Will my child know who I am?
Lifetime advises our adoptive parents to be open and honest with children about their adoption stories from the beginning. Most start out with books and story time to help a child get familiar with the concept of adoption. They’ll share more details of the adoption story as the child gets older, making sure that the info is age-appropriate to the child’s stage of development. But most importantly, the adoptive parents will try to make sure the child has a positive identity and knows that they’re safe and loved.
If a child grows up always knowing that he or she was adopted and forever loved by both their birth and adoptive families, then there won’t be a moment when they wonder why they were “given up” or question whether or not they were “wanted.”
So many adoptive parents celebrate adoption as a positive, beautiful experience that makes each adopted child special. They openly share their child’s adoption story with the child as they grow up, and might even make it a family tradition to celebrate their child’s adoption every year.
Today, adopted children celebrate their adoption stories. We believe that adoption shouldn’t be a dark family secret. Check out Alexa’s story; she was adopted through Lifetime 18 years ago: “This is What it Feels Like to Be Adopted.” Alexa is grateful to her birth mother for choosing adoption. With today’s open adoptions, children grow up knowing that their birth parents gave them a beautiful gift in choosing adoption. They grow up knowing that adoption is a loving decision, and it’s one to be proud of.
If you’re curious about how open adoption looks and works in real life, click to check out these women’s stories.
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.