How to Have a Successful Open Adoption
Many people involved in the adoption process worry about an open adoption agreement. There may be times throughout the process where you question how you and the adoptive parents are going to navigate it. The specialness of an open adoption, though, is that it gives the child access to you, who they are and their heritage.
You may have many questions on how to have a successful open adoption and a strong and healthy relationship with the adoptive parents. Adoption Choices of Texas is here to offer you a few tips on this:
This is very important for both the birth mother and the adoptive parents. These don’t have to be anything concrete or set in stone right away, but there should be firm expectations in place at the very least.. In an open adoption, it’s important for both you and the adoptive parents to understand the boundaries you agree to is to keep everyone’s best interests at heart. Remember that you all are important figures to your child, and these boundaries are there to prevent inner conflict amongst yourselves that can trickle down to your child.
When discussing your boundaries, do not think of them as sacrifices or a give-and-take situation. Use compromises that are as equal to both your situations as you can get. If you come to a boundary you can’t agree on, ask them why this boundary does or does not work for them and explain your reasoning too. Hopefully, you can meet somewhere in the middle. It’s like writing a contract that’s not legally binding. The first thought that comes to mind when people hear the word “contract” is that they are in a legal trap. But, in an open adoption, contracts are supposed to be fair, non-exploitive and written in terms that all parties can understand. By understanding each other’s boundaries, you can build a relationship with one other and allows you to have a better understanding of each other’s roles.
Decide Your Roles
One of the first things you should decide is what your role is going to be in your child’s life and how open do you want this adoption to be. This will grant both you and the adoptive parents confidence on where you stand with each other and security in those roles. Fear of the unknown is natural, so take it away by planning how involved you are going to be in your child’s life, what you are going to be to your child while respecting the adoptive parents’ roles as well.
Understanding your roles also helps your child build confidence with their standing with you and themselves. It also prevents any confusion, especially if you have a very open adoption.
Know when to Step Back
As the birth mother, you are so important, but so are the adoptive parents. It’s essential to know when to step back. There are going to be times when you may disagree with something that the adoptive parents want or are considering, and you have the right to that opinion. You can even voice it and explain your reasons why you are not comfortable. However, please do not get angry if they decide to do it anyway. If it bothers you that they decided to ignore a boundary that you have placed, ask them their reasons. An extreme example is that they might decide to fly to another country during a global pandemic. It’s natural you would have a lot of concerns about that. On the adoptive parents’ side, they are going to a country where the case numbers are extremely low for a few days, so that adoptive father’s grandmother can meet her first great-grandchild before she passes away. If it’s not threatening the child’s life or happiness, it’s best to let it go.
The Secret to a Successful Open Adoption
At the end of the day, having a successful open adoption comes down to one thing: communication. There is not a relationship that can survive without communication. It truly is the secret key of success.
An open adoption calls for a lot of trust, which can be scary. But through setting your boundaries and deciding your roles, you are building a foundation that will ensure a healthy and successful adoption journey. This foundation does not have to be a set thing. It can adapt and change as situations change and develop. Change is a part of life and it’s always best to communicate those changes as soon as possible.
If you can’t talk to the parents directly about these changes, Adoption Choices of Texas has many resources available for you. The most important thing to remember about open adoptions is you and the adoptive parents are all on the same side and want what is best for your child.
As an expectant woman or birth parent, to learn more about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Texas. You can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here. If you are hoping to adopt, please visit us here. We look forward to helping you through your adoption journey!
Meet the Author: Courtney Moore. Courtney was born in Huntington Beach, California. She is currently attending college for English with a minor in History. Her love for writing started at the age of 11 when she won a class competition for a personification of candy in a short story. In her junior year of high school, she was an editor for her school’s literary magazine. In her senior year of high school, her then English teacher told her that she should pursue a career as a literary scholar. The main reason she decided to not pursue that path is that her passions lied more in the creation of writings than the review of it.
She currently lives in Las Vegas with her very spoiled cat Abby, who she happily adopted from the local animal shelter. Courtney has been a supporter of animal adoptions her whole life.
Her interest in child adoptions began at the age of 14. It was at that age that she learned of how many children were in the foster system. Her own childhood was very unstable; however, she was able to stay with at least one of her parents for a majority of it. As she got older, her interests in adoptions grew. Her hopes are that, one day, the foster care system is fixed and is treated as it should be.