Did You Know? About Open Adoption.
In VERY SIMPLE terms, Open Adoption means that the adoptive family and the birth mother/family share some level of identifying information and ongoing contact.
As we learned about open adoption, we grew more confident that it was beneficial for everyone involved. The birth mother (and possibly father) play a big part in choosing the adoptive parents and have an understanding of they type of home the child will be raised in. The child knows where they came from and has access to information about their birthparents including cultural and medical history. As for us as the adoptive parents, we just know that this kind of transparency is the right thing to do.
In open adoptions, birth mothers get to say what’s important to them. Does she want her child to be raised in a city, a suburb, a small town…with a family who has similar hobbies….who share her beliefs and values…who are this or that or whatever. An agency then gives her letters and pictures of families that fit that criteria. These help to give a little view into the adoptive parent’s lives and likely includes info on their relationship, families, careers, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. At some point, a birth mother will look at our profile and either just pick us or we’ll meet for lunch and see how we feel about each other. We’ll each have the opportunity to say if we want to move forward.
As my friend Steven said, “It’s kind of like Match.com.”
All the studies show that an open adoption is most beneficial to the adopted child. All the medical histories can be shared, and there is no mystery for the child to have to unwind later on. An open adoption also means that the birth mother, and even her extended family, may have an on going relationship with the child after the adoption.
We’ll figure out what our open adoption will look like it once we meet our birth mother and get to know each other. It could be pictures once a year or periodic visits. We’ll have to work this out as we go and all of us will try to make our decisions based on what’s in the child’s best interest.
We won’t know what kind of adoption we’ll have until we’re in it!
And so for now….You Know!