Many birth parents may view the adoption process as simply signing legal documents and letting your baby go home with their adoptive parents. While these are certainly elements of adoption, they do not describe adopton as a whole. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to know that you can choose to have an open adoption. This form of adoption allows you to interact with and get to know your baby even if you are not able to raise him or her.
- How Do They Work?
Open adoptions can vary greatly from family to family. In general, they promote connection between birth parents and their children. This may take many different forms. Birth parents may choose to visit their child regularly or to maintain contact more indirectly through cards or letters. Importantly, birthmothers must clarify that they want an open adoption at the start of the process in order to ensure that both the adoptive and the birth parents accept this decision.
- What Are the Benefits?
Unlike closed adoptions, open adoptions allow you as a birthparent to have an ongoing relationship with your child. Adoption can take an emotional toll on birth parents, but knowing you will still get to see and engage with your child may be a great comfort. In addition, it may be helpful for your child to know that he or she is cared about by both sets of parents.
- How Can I Support a Healthy Open Adoption?
The open adoption process can be challenging for many families as responsibilities or boundaries for each set of parents may be unclear. Communicating with your child’s adoptive parents is key to fostering a healthy open adoption. This will help you to find a balance in this process that all members agree upon.
Realizing you are pregnant at a time when you are not able to raise a child presents you with an incredibly difficult decision. An open adoption, where you can still have a relationship with your child, may be the best path for you both.