An open adoption is a gift for birth parents, adoptive parents, and the child. Although it’s not right for every situation, the parents who choose open adoptions will experience a wide range of benefits that can impact their lives in profound and lasting ways.
The Birth Experience
The adoptive and birth parents may decide that the adoptive parents can be present for the birth (or at least in the hospital with the opportunity to see mother and baby immediately after the birth). This is an exciting and emotional opportunity where the birth mother feels a stronger support system and the adoptive parents feel connected to the miracle of childbirth.
Access to the Child’s History and Medical Information
With the birth parents present in the child’s life, it’s less likely you’ll have unanswered questions about the child’s extended biological family and any potential genetic medical conditions. If something comes up, you have a direct line to the birth mother’s medical history, enabling you to get answers more quickly. In a medical situation, this could give you an opportunity to take measures to prevent a particular illness or disorder; in the meantime, it provides you with some peace of mind.
Furthermore, it’s natural for a person to wonder about their ancestors. The birth parents can provide that information to help the child understand his or her background and heritage.
Knowing You Made the Right Choice
In an open adoption, a birth mother can watch her child grow and rest easy in the knowledge that the child is doing well – and that she made the right choice. Whether you’re exchanging photos and letters or having regular visits and phone calls, the pictures and stories you share will be comforting and enjoyable for everyone involved.
As the child grows up, he or she will always be able to ask questions of both his adoptive parents and his birth parents to help understand the adoption. The child will know that he’s loved by his birth parents and can grow up with the understanding that they loved him so much they were willing to ensure he had the opportunities they weren’t able to provide.
Sharing Special Moments
Exciting moments are more exciting when they’re shared. At the same time, challenges are more manageable when they’re shared. The support and encouragement from the birth parents can reassure the adoptive parents that they’re on the right track in the wild world of parenting; that same support can help build the child’s confidence and self-esteem. Coming together for birthdays, graduations, and more help cement your bond as a family. If visits aren’t part of your open adoption, a big win at the game or an A on a test gives the child an opportunity to extend that joy and excitement when by sharing the news with the biological parents.
A Great Big Beautiful Family
Families aren’t defined by blood: they’re defined by love. An open adoption expands the idea of what it means to be a family. As you share holidays and special events, whether in person or via emails and social media, the child is surrounded by love. She grows up with an open mind about what it means to be a family, and it may influence how she chooses to expand her own family as an adult.
Every open adoption is different; depending upon the specifics of your agreement, you may experience many other benefits.
If you have any questions about how an open adoption can be beneficial to the child as well as the birth and adoptive parents, please contact us. We can help you decide if open adoption is the right choice for you, and give you ideas of what an open adoption might look like for you and your family.