Lifetime is providing you with answers to 7 of the most frequently-asked questions you might get about your relationship with your child’s birth parents!
1. “What is open adoption?”
In an open adoption, there’s some amount of interaction between the birth family and the adoptive family. They might communicate with each other through social media, emails, and photos. Other adoptive families have visits with their child’s birth mother once or twice a year. Typically in open adoption, there’s no go-between (like an agency, attorney, or social worker) and the families communicate directly. The amount of contact is something that the adoptive family and birth family mutually agree upon.
2. “Aren’t you worried that she’ll come back and get her child?”
Once the adoption is legally final, the adoptive parents are the child’s legal parents. Once the birth parents sign the paperwork consenting to the adoption and their revocation period is over, the adoption is permanent.
3. “Does your child know their birth parents?”
In today’s adoptions, adoptive parents talk about adoption with their child from the beginning. This is done so that the child doesn’t grow up wondering about their birth family and where they came from.
4. “Isn’t it heartbreaking for your child’s birth mother to see him with you?”
Although open adoption visits are definitely emotional, most birth mothers have told Lifetime that they make her feel positive about the decision she made. Emails, photos, visits, and other forms of contact let the birth mother see her child is growing up happy and loved. So rather than feeling regretful, she feels validated.
5. “How many years do you have to stay in touch with the birth parents?”
The answer depends on the open adoption arrangement made between the adoptive parents and the birth family. Lifetime has worked with birth mothers who need to have lots of contact for the first few years after placement, but not as much after that. Of course, the opposite can also be true; it just depends on the birth mother and her needs.
6. “Isn’t open adoption confusing for your child?”
Adoption experts have found that open adoption reduces the amount of confusion for adoptees. In an open adoption, a child knows his or her birth family and the circumstances of his or her birth. Plus, adoptees in open adoption know that they’re loved by two families: their birth family and their adoptive family. So really, the truth of their adoption isn’t confusing, it’s liberating.
7. “Do you wish you had a closed adoption?”
Adoption isn’t about the adoptive parents only; it’s about all involved. Everything in open adoption is done in the best interest of the child, making them the most important person. The reason why birth parents choose to place their baby is because of their child; to provide them the best life that they can. Although they can’t parent, they chose adoption out of love for their child.
At the end of the day, it’s the adopted child who sees the most benefits from an open adoption. Because of open adoption, they’ll never have to question or doubt that they’re loved by their birth family.