The Benefits of Open Adoption
By Kara Bringewatt
In the midst of choosing an adoption plan, open adoptions are becoming more and more popular — and with good reason. There are a lot of benefits of open adoption. For many birth mothers, open adoptions meet both their desire to provide their child with the best life possible and their desire to maintain a relationship with their child and the adoptive family.
It is natural to feel many different emotions when placing your child for adoption, including grief at the loss of your child and fear for their wellbeing. Open adoption can help in processing these feelings, as it enables you to have a long-term relationship with your child. While open adoption is also tremendously beneficial for adoptive parents, this blog will focus on the benefits of open adoption for birth mothers and their children.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and need help now, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Call us: 720-371-1099, Call or Text us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
3 Ways Open Adoption is Healthy for Birth Mothers
Having Relationship with Your Child’s Adoptive Parents
In an open adoption, you, as a birth mother, get to be an intimate part of choosing your child’s adoptive family. Your Adoption Choices Colorado caseworker will assist you in finding potential adoptive families. Open adoption gives you the chance to reflect on what kind of family you desire for your child and to choose these important individuals with intentionality.
You will also get to develop a relationship with your chosen adoptive parents prior to the adoption itself, and discuss what you need to feel secure and trust that they will provide the loving home you desire for your child. In an open adoption, you get to continue to expand on this relationship as your child grows older. This enables you to feel safe, knowing that your child is being well cared for and gives you peace of mind that you made the right decision. You can provide needed medical and family information to your child’s adoptive parents and to feel at ease knowing not only your child, but their whole adoptive family. Knowing for yourself that your child is loved and supported by genuine individuals at all times is a powerful benefit to this type of adoption.
Ongoing Relationship With Child
Many birth mothers desire to have their child placed for adoption but don’t want to give up on having a relationship with them. If you can’t and/or don’t want to be the primary guardian and caregiver for your child, but you still want to play a role in their life, then open adoption may be an excellent choice.
It can be really wonderful to know that your choice to place your child for adoption does not mean never knowing them. This commitment to staying in your child’s life in whatever way feels best to you can be very reassuring. There is a lot of flexibility and individuality to what this can look like, and you may decide to pursue different levels of involvement throughout your child’s life. Open adoption gives you this flexibility, and your Adoption Choices case worker will work alongside you to support you in creating the perfect open adoption plan for you.
Assists with the Grieving Process
Placing your child for adoption can bring up a myriad of complex thoughts and feelings. It is totally normal for birth mothers to both feel strongly that adoption was the right choice for them and still grieve their child. An open adoption can help you to navigate complex emotions such as sadness and fear, and allow you to connect with your child as they grow and mature. This creates a feeling of security and confidence that you made the best choice and provided them with a wonderful and loving family and home.
Open adoption can also be helpful to the grieving process, as it provides flexibility to birth mothers. If you need time and space to assist you in establishing personal wellbeing in all areas of your life, then open adoption allows you to postpone in person visits until you are ready without giving up that right altogether. You can request to only receive updates via email or phone for the first few years and focus on your own processing and taking care of your needs. This can all be discussed with your case worker and included in your adoption plan ahead of time. This flexibility gives you the space and safety needed to take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of you as a birth mother in your child’s life.
The Benefits of Open Adoption for Adoptees
Extended Family Network
Adopted children can greatly benefit from the extended support network that open adoption provides. Children thrive when they have trusted and supportive adults in addition to their parents/caregivers. While parents are responsible for meeting primary physical, social-emotional and educational needs, children also benefit from other adult connections in their life. The presence of additional supportive adults leads to greater self-confidence and feelings of pride which are incredibly important to healthy development as your child grows older. Open adoption is a great way of naturally creating this expanded sense of family.
Increased Sense of Identity
Adoptees often spend time reflecting on their adoptive identity, particularly in cases of transracial adoption. This desire to both have a sense of their identity as an adopted individual and part of their adoptive family as well as their biological family is very common. Providing your child with an ongoing connection to their birth family and culture can create a more secure sense of personal and interpersonal identity.
A clear sense of identity is pivotal to a child’s development and success. The sense of safety and pride from understanding that they were not abandoned but given the best life possible is really powerful. The self-confidence and security that comes from living in a loving home and still getting to connect with their culture and birth mother can be a great gift.
The Benefits of Open Adoption
There are many reasons Adoption Choices Colorado encourages open adoption; but, ultimately, you get to choose what will work best for you. Taking time to reflect on the benefits of various choices may benefit you greatly, and Adoption Choices offers free counseling to birth mothers facing unplanned pregnancy as well as any birth fathers and family members supporting you that desire this service. Your counselor will help you process your thoughts, feelings and desires and assist you in sorting through what the best choice is for you.
Open adoption greatly benefits many birth mothers and children as it allows birth mothers to feel increased safety and security and stay in their child’s life, and it gives adoptees a greater extended network and ongoing relationship to their birth family and culture. The assurance open adoption provides – that your choice to give them the best life possible was truly the best for you as well as your child – is truly invaluable.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Call us: 720-371-1099, Call or Text us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.