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Why parents choose open adoption

Why parents choose open adoption

Having birthparents involved can seem like an unnecessary complication, especially after a long struggle with infertility. However, deciding which avenue of adoption to take is going to be your first actual parenting decision.

Focusing on what is in the best interest of your future child, even if the answer stretches your comfort zone, should be your priority.

Open Adoption will empower your child to feel confident and proud in telling his or her adoption story of how you became a family. Open Adoption will allow your child to grow up feeling like they know who they are.

Avoiding the Consequences Of Secrecy
Without answers, their imaginations will fill in the gaps. Children naturally develop fantasies to explain things they don’t understand or have answers for. Accordingly, children who do not know their birthmothers may have exaggerated fantasies that their birthmother is a princess in a far off land, or in the other direction, fear that she’s someone very awful and that’s why they aren’t allowed to know her.

A child who is raised in an environment of secrecy receives the unspoken message that the subject of adoption is taboo, and they will continue to have unanswered questions multiply inside them.

Open Communication
Alternatively, if a child grows up in an environment where their birthparents and adoption story is easily part of conversation, it can be something they ask about without fear of upsetting their parents. Through their relationship with their birthmother, they can also hear from her directly about the reasons she sought out an adoption plan and about the story of how she “just knew” that these were the people meant to be the parents of her baby. They will hear from her how confident she is of the decision, which will be reassuring to the child. (And of course it is nice for you to hear as well!)

Children Will Always Be Related To Their Birthparents
This is a basic fact. Not allowing them to have an open relationship can send a message that something must be bad about their birthparent or shameful about being adopted, or why else would they have to be kept from them? The obvious question that follows is, “I know I came from her, could I have inherited whatever it is that is bad?”

Ultimately, Open Adoption brings peace of mind to birthparents, adoptive parents and, most importantly, to children.

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  • Rebecca

    I think the idea of openness sounds wonderful. But, it must be so hard for the child to understand why his birthparents didn't want him. Having the birthparent in the child's life seems like it would be a constant reminder that he wasn't wanted. Also, then wouldn't the child never really see his the people who adopted him as the real parents?

  • Guylaine Hubbard-Brosmer

    We are grateful to each other. My kids are in contact with their birthmom, her mom and the kids she had later with her husband. They chat online send messages through facebook, just like we do with other family members. My kids have NEVER questioned whether or not my husband and I are their REAL parents even though we have lived an open adoption for 18 years running now!!!!!

  • Guylaine Hubbard-Brosmer

    Part of my previous comments was cut-off…..
    OPEN ADOPTION doesn't just sound wonderful, it IS wonderful when you have the opportunity to live it!!! We are still in touch with my kids' birthmom, her other kids, her mother and we are grateful for each other.

  • Busymomof3

    In response to Rebecca. Being adopted doesn't mean that the child “wasn't wanted” it means that the birthparents were in a situation where they couldn't parent. Open adoption gives them the chance to pick the real parents for their child and still be a part of the childs life. My kids know that we are their parents and birthparents are an extension of family.

  • nacole777

    Children understand way more than people give them credit for. Keeping an open and honest relationship from the very beginning is healthy and if that's all the child knows he won't find it confusing. I gave my son up for adoption to an amazing family almost 3 years ago. It would have been selfish of me to be absent from his life. He deserves to know where he came from and know I love him so I did what I thought was best. I believe a child would have a horrible void or emptiness inside not knowing who his birthparents are. Open adoption just gives the child more opportunity to be loved by his parents and birthparents…. :-)

  • Adopted Adoption Professional

    Something important to understand about adoption is that it takes a tremendous amount of love, trust and strength. In adoption the child is never not wanted, in fact I believe it's quite the opposite. A birthmother has to love her child so much that she is able to give her child to another family, trust that family to provide a wonderful life and love her child just as much as she loves her child.

    I would challenge you to learn more about open adoption and seek out families who have open adoptions. I think you may find that open adoption is part of their normal life, not a challenge or a problem but just something extra that helped to create their family.

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