Ways to Bond with Your Child as a Birth Mother in an Open Adoption
As a birth mother considering an open adoption, you’ve no doubt done your research on the benefits of an open adoption with your child and their adoptive parents. Perhaps you’ve even taken advantage of the resources we offer at Adoption Choices of Colorado, and have talked extensively about open adoption with your adoption caseworker. Yet, despite all of this information, you still have lingering questions. What does this actually look like? What does it feel like? How are you going to connect with your child as they grow up with their adoptive family?
These are valid concerns and natural questions to have — especially because there’s very little media representation of birth mother/child relationships and minimal content available for you to research. You might not have family members or friends who know the answers either. But don’t worry! We can help you!
There are many ways to bond with your child as a birth mother in an open adoption — here are a few to get you started!
1. Virtual Updates
Your child and their adoptive parents may wish to send you updates via email. These updates might include milestones, special events, or photos. Corresponding via email or text can be a great way to learn about what your child is up to in their day to day life and share what you’re up to as well.
Virtual updates allow you to be in contact with your child without the emotional impact or intensity that in person visits may bring up for some. It’s a great way to ease into your relationship and find balance in connecting with your child while prioritizing your job, school, and/or your mental/physical health.
2. Phone/Video Calls
We are now all too familiar with ZOOM, but this platform, as well as other platforms like FaceTime, can be an excellent way to check in with your child. This allows you to live where you need to and still regularly connect with your child. Taking the time to schedule a regular video or audio call may be a great choice to make connecting with your child a routine and priority. The rhythm of regular scheduled calls can build rapport and closeness.
3. Special Occasions
As a birth mother, you may decide that spending special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays, with your child is important to you. Maybe you want your child to spend major holidays with their adoptive parents and you want to spend them with other family or friends, but you both agree upon a special day you always spend together.
Marking special events together and spending time preparing food and celebration is a beautiful way to bond with your child as a birth mother.
4. In-Person Visits
Scheduling in-person visits with your child may be the ideal way for you to connect. Some birth mothers really prefer in-person interactions and find them to be more connective than virtual visits. Only seeing each other on special occasions may be intimidating, so in-person visits may be a way to keep the pressure off your connection. Maybe you and your child can go to a park, cook dinner together, or go to a movie.
There’s many stay-in options too, such as building a pillar fort, playing with blocks, or singing together. Find what activities both you and your child enjoy and try focusing on those. As they grow older, these activities may change, and you’ll get a chance to engage in more in depth conversations.
Ways to Bond with your Child as a Birth Mother
While these are just some general suggestions, they may serve as useful starting places as you navigate your relationship with your child as a birth mother. Try out whichever ones make sense for you or try a combination of all these.
It can be difficult with so few role models and minimal representation available to imagine what your relationship with your child might look like, but the positive of this is that you get to make it completely your own! You may also want to utilize support groups, including the ones we offer, as places to meet other birth mothers and share ideas. Ultimately, it’s important to find what works best for you and your child.
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, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Kara Bringewatt is an English major and psychology minor at Queens University of Charlotte. She plans to get her masters in social work and work at a nonprofit as a case manager for at-risk youth. She loves using writing as a means of creating community and bringing attention to causes she’s passionate about.
Kara is particularly interested in educational and mental health interventions for young people in foster care. She’s worked as a tutor, professional caregiver, preschool teacher and acting instructor, and loves being able to utilize her wide range of passions to support young people and plans on being a foster and adoptive parent.