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Open adoption occurs when the potential birthmother and prospective adoptive families have personal interaction with one another. Through this type of adoption, the identities (in part or in total) of all parties are shared with each other. However the interaction may be different for each family and may include letters, e-mails, telephone calls, or visits.
Christian Adoptions Alliance believes that the Open Adoption approach is the healthiest approach to adoption for all parties involved. Through an Open Adoption, adoptive parents and birthmothers are able to experience a Godly relationship that blesses each other and more importantly blesses the child.
An open adoption creates the best opportunity to experience the relational characteristic of Christ while also witnessing His grace, mercy and love. There are several reasons and anticipated advantages to an open adoption for the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child.
Reasons of Open Adoption for Birth Parents
The open adoption experience is different for each person; however here is a list of potential advantages that you might encounter with an open adoption:
Sense of control – Having the ability to review, interview and select the parents to place your baby with, usually provides birth mothers with a sense of empowerment and control. You are choosing which couple or family you are giving to your baby.
Reduced uncertainties -Most birth mothers experience a sense of comfort knowing the child’s well-being through interactions and updates with the adoptive family.
Improved mourning – Being able to visit and talk with the adoptive family and the adopted child often provides an increased ability to deal with the grief and loss.
Reduced fear – When there is on-going communication with the adoptive family before the birth and following the adoption, it usually helps you reduce the fears you might have on what is going to happen to the child.
Relationship with the child – With an open adoption, there is the potential to develop a healthy relationship with the child as he or she grows older. A relationship that validates and affirms the adoptive couple as parents, but reveals the love so deeply held by the birth mother or birth father for the child.
Relationship with the adoptive family – There is an opportunity for you to develop a relationship with the adoptive family. For some birth families, the adoptive family becomes like part of their own extended family.
Reduced guilt – With an on-going relationship and communication about the well-being of the child, you may experience less guilt about making a decision about placing for adoption.
Reasons of Open Adoptions for the Adoptive Family
The open adoption experience is different for every family; however here is a list of potential advantages that you might encounter with an open adoption:
Reduced fear – When there is on-going communication with the birthmother or birth families before the birth and following the adoption, it usually helps to reduce the fears one might have about the birthmother’s intentions because her desires are known.
Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however with an open adoption there is an ability to seek additional medical information as things may change over time and as the child develops.
Relationship with the birth families – There is an opportunity to develop a relationship with the birthmother or birth families. For some adoptive families, the birthmother or birth families become like part of their own extended family. No one cares about the milestones and blessings you share then the birth mother or birth father.
Affirmation – As an adoptive family, you may experience a sense of empowerment or encouragement knowing that you were ‘chosen’ as the adoptive family.
Understanding and confidence – An open adoption provides you with a greater understanding of your child’s history making it easier to answer the infamous questions about “who am I” and “where did I come from?”
Reasons of Open Adoption for the Adopted Child
The open adoption experience is different for every child; however here is a list of potential advantages that an adopted child might encounter with an open adoption:
Identity and self-confidence – Open adoption provides adopted children with direct access to birth families for information about family history and family trees. This often makes it easier to answer the infamous questions about “who am I” and “where did I come from?”
Protection against a sense of abandonment – Having the opportunity to communicate with the birth families and receive the reasons behind the adoption can help prevent the child from experiencing a sense of abandonment.
Absence of the need to search – The potential need to search to find the birth families is removed and is not necessary.
Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however with an open adoption there is an ability to seek additional medical information that may become necessary with the onset of medical symptoms in adulthood or questions about genetics with future family planning.
Relationship with the birth families – There is an opportunity for the adopted child to develop a relationship with the birthmother or birth families. For some adopted children, the birthmother or birth families become like part of their own extended family.
Support Network – The birthmother and birth families have a genuine concern for the well-being of the child which often makes them advocates for the child and serves as additional support to the child.
The open adoption experience is different for each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, expectations, etc., the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process.