Ways to Communicate in an Open Adoption
You have selected to go the way of open adoption. At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we know this type of adoption will suit you well. Still, you are probably a bit anxious about the whole thing. Open adoptions are built on lasting relationships — not only with your child, but also with your child’s adoptive family. Through following our tips and pointers, you will find communicating in an open adoption simple, effective, and rewarding.
How Do I Even Begin to Facilitate Connection in an Open Adoption?
Social situations are not everyone’s strong suit, but that is alright. Sometimes, you just have to be the person to grab the wheel or plan things. Even if it seems forward, you probably just want to lay down what your preferences are and ask your child’s adoptive family what their preferences are. It’s going to be much better for everyone involved if you encourage an environment where you all are upfront and honest about your needs.
As many people know from experience, balancing an extended family can be a bit tricky, so you might as well get a head start. Oftentimes, people are just as awkward as you in social situations and someone just has to take the reins and be a bit courageous.
How Do I Not Overstep Boundaries in an Open Adoption?
It all comes back to communication, communication, communication — every single time. We live in a technologically-advanced world where, fortunately, it is easier to plan gatherings or visits. You no longer have to go knock on someone’s door to see if they are home. That is probably a bad idea anyways because the days where you could show up unannounced on someone’s doorstep are gone. However, most of everyone that you know has a phone or email, if not other modes of contact like social media. Your child’s adoptive parents are likely no exception. Figure out how you all prefer to reach each other. Respect time, respect space, and respect feelings — those are just some of the basics when communicating in an open adoption.
What is One of the Most Important Things I Should Remember with an Open Adoption?
If everyone got along with everyone else all the time, the world would not be very realistic. There will likely be times when you butt heads, either with your child’s adoptive family or with your own expectations. All parties present will navigate the world based on their own experiences and values. The most important thing you should remember is to achieve some form of harmony. That harmony, in turn, can be split into two important parts.
Part one would be to always try to walk in someone else’s shoes before passing judgement. Encourage an environment of kindness and care so that you can be supportive of your child’s adoptive family, and your child’s adoptive family can be supportive of you when you need it. Part two would be to remember that the focus of an open adoption is the child at the heart of it. Parents, birth of adoptive, sometimes get lost in what they want for their child, rather than considering what their child wants.
Is There a Way to Normalize an Open Adoption?
Well, first of all, what is “normal?” Sure, there are societal trends and traditions, but there has never been a truly standard American family. No matter how hard people may try to force families into categories or idealized boxes, everyone is a little strange, but that’s okay. It is often in our strangeness and loveable weirdness that we are the most loving and human. The most random people can come together and be family — you have that opportunity in an open adoption. With a healthy attitude and lots of love, you can make “normal” whatever you want it to be.
If I am Still Struggling to Find my Footing with Open Adoption, What Should I Do?
Communicating in an open adoption does not come with a detailed instruction booklet, and most people do not spend their early lives being a part of one. That said, there are plenty of guiding thoughts to help you and people who do have experience with many adoption stories. Along with the thoughts already listed above, your adoption caseworker at Adoption Choices of Colorado is an excellent resource. As a leader in the adoption community, our specialized adoption staff has helped to manage the adoption process for at least a few people in similar situations to you.
Find wisdom and advice in those you trust, or even consult credible sources on the internet. The world is literally at your fingertips and figuring out an open adoption has never come with as many resources as it does today.
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: Nathan Dyer is a university student majoring in Communication Arts with a radio/TV/film focus. He enjoys writing professionally and dealing with hands-on problems in real-world scenarios. Among his hobbies is hiking, which always encourages him to explore new places. He looks forward to crafting written materials in the future that serve to help people from all walks of life.