Open Adoption

Open Adoption Is New
It means that there is direct contact between you and your birth mother. Unlike adoptions of the last generation where the two parties never met or met just briefly, today's adoption climate is much different. Most birth mothers expect to meet you and some insist on much more contact than that.

From our experience, this contact between you and your birth mother is one of the most important ingredients of a successful adoption. When we see a good rapport between you and your birth mother, we usually breathe a sigh of relief. It's not a 100% indicator, but it's certainly an excellent sign.

Open Adoption Means Different Things To Different People.
For some folks it means exchanging letters and pictures. For others it means phone contact and for some it means visits. Some birth mothers want this contact only before placement; others want it afterward, too. It is important that you and your birth mother have the same understanding. We have seen birth mothers pull out of their adoption plan because they perceive the adoptive parents are not willing to offer the amount of contact they desire.

Open Adoption Is Important
In general, it is the single most important criteria that birth mothers use in choosing an adoptive family. There are numerous adoptive families that can pay the cost of adoption and provide a safe, loving home for their baby. But many birth mothers would like to be able to call and check up on their baby. They would like to know that their baby is being well taken care of. If you can honestly offer this kind of relationship to a birth mother, it will increase the odds of finding a birth mother. You will have more birth mothers interested in you as a potential adoptive couple. But don't fake it. Birth mothers can sense duplicity and it will almost certainly derail your adoption situation.

There Is Not Need To Fear
Some adoptive parents have heard stories of birth mothers showing up unexpectedly on the doorstep of the couple that adopted their baby or asking for money months after placement. The reality is that this rarely if ever happens. In general, birth mothers go on with their lives and it gets increasingly harder to keep contact with them. Of the ten completely open adoptions we have offered to the birth mothers of the children we have adopted, we have regular contact (3 or 4 phone calls a year) with only one. Even though we have an 800 number and they can call whenever they want, we no longer know where the others are.

Birth bonds are real. Open adoption is the real thing. Your relationship with your child's birth mother will help you understand where she came from and the reason for her decision. If you are close enough you will feel part of her pain. This is valuable information for you and especially for your child who will want to know why he/she was placed for adoption. As children grow older they naturally want to know about their birth mother and their adoption. This does not mean there is confusion about who their real mother is, but it is simply coming to terms with their unique origin.