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Pros and Cons of Open Adoption

As a birth parent or adoptive parent considering the three types of adoption, it is also important to think about the future. Children who have been adopted often have questions about their birth family. Sometimes, adoptive families do not have answers to these questions because they can only be answered by a birth parent.

According to adoption experts, open adoption is the most beneficial because it allows for the most communication between the three parts of the adoption triad: the child or children, the birth parent(s), and the adoptive parent(s). Because communication is encouraged in open adoptions, it becomes easier for children to get their questions answered and fill in the blanks about who they are and where they are from.

Pros of Open Adoption:

  • For the child:
    • As a child grows up, he/she/they might have questions only a birth parent can answer. With a birth parent in the child’s life, it becomes a lot easier for that child to get answers.
    • Children who have been adopted often struggle with their identity or sense of self. This is sometimes connected to the questions about birth family that arise as a child grows up.
    • With the birth parent(s) in his/her/their life, a child gets the chance to build a relationship with his/her/their birth family.
    • Children placed for adoption may feel like they were unwanted by their birth parent(s). If a child has the opportunity to hear from his/her/their birth family why he/she/they were placed for adoption, the feeling of being unwanted is more likely to go away.
    • In an open adoption, access to important medical information is much easier to obtain. A birth parent can help a child fill in the blanks on medical history and potential medical issues in an open adoption.
    • With birth family and adoptive family in a child’s life, that child has a larger, stronger support system.
    • A child has no need to search for his/her/their birth family in the future if they are already a part of the child’s life.
  • For the birth parent(s):
    • With open adoption, a birth parent has the ability to interview potential adoptive families and ensure the child’s well-being and future with the right family.
    • The birth parent(s) of a child may struggle with feelings of guilt surrounding the decision to place her/his/their child for adoption. By opting for an open adoption, the birth parent(s) may feel a sense of closure knowing the child was adopted by a loving family. With an open adoption, she/he/they may even get the chance to explain why it was in the child’s best interest to be placed for adoption. Being able to do so can help the birth family alleviate feelings of guilt.
    • An open adoption gives the birth parent(s) of a child the opportunity to build a positive, healthy relationship with both the child and the child’s adoptive family.
    • Expectant Parent Hotline: 888-307-3340 (Call or Text 24/7)
  • For the adoptive parent(s):
    • It is not uncommon for adoptive parents to fear their child’s birth parent(s) coming into their life and wanting to take back parental rights of that child. With an open adoption, birth and adoptive parents have the ability to communicate and determine how much involvement they want with each other and what is in the best interest of the child.
    • Some adoptive families may feel more of a sense of closure through open adoption because they have been given the opportunity to get to know their child’s birth family rather than wondering who and where they are.
    • Adoptive families have the opportunity to develop a positive and healthy relationship with their child’s birth parent(s) by opting for an open adoption.
    • For the adoptive family of a child, access to medical information and history is crucial, especially if they suspect the child may currently have some underlying medical issue or fear medical issues in the future.
    • In open adoptions, adoptive families are typically reviewed and selected by a child’s birth parent(s). It can be comforting to a person or couple wanting to adopt to know that she/he/they were chosen specifically to become a child’s adoptive family.
    • Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.

For more information on the benefits of an open adoption, please visit Adoption Choices of Texas or call us at 800-985-8108.

Cons of Open Adoption:

  • For the child:
    • If a child’s birth family has a troubled history, a child may have to face that as he/she/they grows up. Discovering a troubled history might be highly traumatic for the child.
  • For the birth parent(s):
    • Open adoption can be emotional for a birth parent or birth parents trying to move on. With open adoption, anonymity and confidentiality are more difficult to achieve for birth families.
    • Depending on the birth parent(s), sometimes she/he/they may feel a lack of closure. Open adoption allows for the possibility of new communication and new relationships that the birth parent may not be comfortable with. The birth parent or parents of a child may also feel obligated to maintain contactt with the child and the adoptive family, when it may be in her/his/their best interest to move on. For example, if a birth mother was sexually assaulted and gave birth as a result of that assault, it might be too emotional for her to be involved in her child’s life.
    • The birth parent(s) in an open adoption might struggle to understand her/his/their part in the child’s life, which might negatively impact the newfound relationship between the birth parent(s) and the child.
    • Expectant Parent Hotline: 888-307-3340 (Call or Text 24/7)
  • For the adoptive parent(s):
    • Open adoption may not be the best choice for adoptive families who want anonymity and confidentiality, as the main purpose of open adoption is to encourage the three parties of the adoption triad to communicate and develop a positive relationship.
    • Like birth families, adoptive families might also feel a lack of closure with an open adoption. This might be the case if the adoptive family wants anonymity and confidentiality. Adoptive families might also feel obligated to continue communication with their child’s birth family, which may be uncomfortable for the adoptive family.
    • In an open adoption, the adoptive parent(s) might find it difficult to set boundaries with the birth parents).
    • Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.

Open adoption isn’t for everyone, but it is important for it to be considered because the communication aspect of it is seen as highly beneficial to the adoption triad.

Remember, when it comes to adoption, it isn’t just about what you want, whether you’re a birth parent or an adoptive parent. It is about taking into consideration the child’s future, as well as what is in his/her/their best interest. For more information on open adoption visit us at Adoption Choices of Texas. Expectant Parent Hotline: 888-307-3340 (Call or Text 24/7). Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.

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