Birth mothers (and birth fathers) have many choices when considering adoption for their unborn child, including the type of adoption - confidential, semi-open, or open. Below is an open adoption story and information about your adoption choices:
A while ago, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room on the maternity floor waiting for a young woman to give birth to her baby. What was different about this birth was the fact that this woman was planning to place her child with the adoptive parents she had met and chosen. The adoptive parents were sitting with me in the waiting room. These two families were waiting for the same child to be born – one family was giving birth to a baby and one family was waiting for the baby to join their family through adoption.
The birth parents met with the adoptive parents several times before the baby was born. They first met in a restaurant to get to know each other and for the birth parents to ask the adoptive parents some questions about themselves. This was an opportunity for the birth family to learn more about this family and to help them decide if this was the family they wanted for their child. The birth parents were also making decisions regarding pictures, letters or visits they might want after the they placed their child. The two families then got together again for lunch and for a doctor appointment (at the request of the birth mother). Both the birth parents and adoptive parents were involved in the adoption process that was going to affect this child forever. Their communication was very appropriate. The birth parents asked the adoptive parents to be at the hospital to be a part of the birth of the child. Family Connections respected their choice and their plan. This communication that we call open adoption is practical, and natural, as well as benefiting everyone emotionally. It forms the basis for any post adoption relationship the two families agreed and planned for together.
Open adoption is an adoption where the birth parents (biological parents) make the choice to not only choose the adoptive parents for their child but also to develop a relationship with them. The initial introduction of the prospective adoptive parents is done by Family Connections, the adoption agency. The agency shows the birth parent pictures and general information regarding qualified adoptive families (we call these a family profiles). The agency will then arrange for and participate in meetings between the birth family and one or several adoptive families so that the birth parent can make a well-informed decision regarding which family they wish to make an adoption plan with.
After birth parents choose an adoptive family and continue to grow a relationship with them, the birth parents and adoptive parents can decided to have post-adoption communication and contact. They may wish to exchanges pictures and letters regarding the child, share an annual visit, or have on-going contact. In an open adoption, the agreement for post adoption communication and contact will be honored through a court enforceable contract. Family Connections helps the birth parents to negotiate the level and type of post-adoption contact they wish and then has an attorney draw up the legal document (Post Adoption Contact Agreement). The Post Adoption Contact Agreement becomes a part of the final order of adoption and the adoptive parents are required to comply with the agreement.
Choosing to place your child in an adoptive home, knowing where your child is and getting to know the adoptive parents for yourself can bring you comfort and peace. It may be hard to imagine having a relationship with the people you chose to adopt your child but after you meet the families waiting to adopt, you will make a personal connection to a particular family. These connections will then grow into relationships that can be as close as you chose. Some birth parents chose to receive pictures and letters, others chose to have regular visits, use texting and photo sharing apps or even exchange emails. The degree of openness depends on the choice of the birth family. The peace that comes to birth parents when they have met the adoptive family who will parent their child helps the birth family to heal and find peace in their decision
After a few weeks, the birth mother I spoke of earlier came to the office to see the pictures that the adoptive parents sent for her. As she looked through all the happy pictures and saw the child’s and family’s joy, she smiled and commented on how comforted she felt by seeing the love that surrounded her birth child. The respect, love and gratitude that these families feel towards each other is lovely. It can only be good for these little ones who are born to one family and lovingly placed with the adoptive family that was chosen for them. The children will know that they were always loved.
If you are a birth mother or father considering adoption, please contact us at Family Connections, Inc. to learn about your options. You can learn more about your options and view waiting adoptive families by clicking on the underlined text. Please contact us at 607-756-6574 or at email@example.com so we may help you design an adoption plan that works for you and honors and protects the choices you make.