Three Tips For How to Have a Successful Open Adoption
Open adoptions are one of the three main types of adoption that are available for you to select as a birth mother. Each has their own pros and cons; yet, more and more birth mothers are preferring open adoption above the other two types. As an agency, we strongly advocate for open adoptions as well. We believe that they truly keep everyone’s best interests at heart and are among the most successful adoption stories.
That said, if you are trying to determine which type of adoption is best for you and your baby, we are here to help. Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri wants to provide you with three tips on how to have a successful open adoption.
Take the First Step
With an open adoption, you have the opportunity to see your baby after your adoption process has been completed. Depending on the agreement you and the adoptive parents made, visitations can greatly vary. Be sure to consult with your adoption caseworker about how all of this works, as every adoption experience is different.
As you begin your adoption journey, write down any questions or concerns you have. What level of openness do you want with your child and the adoptive parents? What kind of adoptive parents would you like to see raise your child? Do you have any specific wishes or requirements for your time in the hospital? Be sure to bring this list with you when you meet your assigned birth parent counselor. They will provide you with all the resources and information you need to have a positive and empowering adoption experience.
Communication is key! There are many ways to keep in touch with your prospective adoptive family — social media, FaceTime, ZOOM or, perhaps, in person.
If, at first, you feel nervous or awkward meeting the prospective adoptive parent(s), that’s natural. Start by introducing yourself and go from there. Share your interests. Ask what the adoptive family is looking for in an open adoption. This will help you all establish a strong and healthy relationship moving forward. Speak with prospective adoptive families as much as possible. Involve them in your pregnancy. Invite them to your doctor’s appointments if you are comfortable with this. All of this and more will not only deepen your bond with the adoptive parents, but also show your child as they grow older that everything you do is out of love for them.
Set Clear Boundaries
A third secret for how to have a successful open adoption is through setting clear boundaries between yourself and the adoptive parents. Your adoption caseworker can help with this. Be sure that you lay out your expectations for the open adoption and then listen to what the adoptive parents want as well. If there are any disagreements, do your best to find a compromise. Once the adoption is finalized, it’s important that you are all on the same page and have mutual respect for one another.
A common boundary with open adoptions is the frequency of visits and contact. Communicate how often you’d like to see your child and see where the adoptive parents are most comfortable. For instance, would you like to be a part of their birthday each year? Another option is to have a prearranged number of visits per year, and then let the child decide his or her desired amount of interaction as they grow older. Again, this will greatly vary as every adoption journey is unique. But, it’s important to make sure that you have clear boundaries in place so that no one takes advantage once the adoption is finalized.
Can I Have A Successful Open Adoption?
Of course you can! Following these three tips above will help you have a healthy and successful open adoption journey. Open adoptions do work and are extremely beneficial to you, your child and the adoptive parents. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to help you every step of the way and want you to have the best adoption experience possible.
Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll free at 1-877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at (816) 527-9800; in Kansas call or text us at (316) 209 2071
Meet the Author: Jason Legasse is a rising senior English major studying at Siena Collegein Loudonville, New York. He hails from the Albany, New York area, but has plans to relocate to sunny Venice, Florida with his mom come Fall. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Jason plans to study General Special Education at Meredith College, where he will earn a Master’s degree and use that to teach middle school Special Education.
Jason is a self-proclaimed introvert with Asperger’s who really enjoys writing. He has a huge passion for helping others, specifically those with disabilities. He is very excited to be working with Adoption Choices over the summer, and looks forward to learning more about the adoption process!