Are you considering adoption but the idea of never seeing your baby makes you hesitate? If so, an open adoption may be a better choice. With an open adoption, you can be sure your child is raised in a loving home and given the opportunities you may not be able to provide at this stage in your life, but without the total loss of your child. The following guide can help you understand open adoption better.
What are the types of open adoption?
Not all open adoptions are the same. Semi-open adoptions allow for the exchange of contact information between the birth mother and adoptive family, and the birth mother will receive periodic updates about the child. There will be no face-to-face contact, though. A fully open adoption allows for visitation rights between the birth mother and the child after the adoption, and in some cases the birth mother is a part of the extended family. These are the two extreme ends of an open adoption – there are many shades of openness between these two.
Who decides the degree of openness?
Generally, this is decided by the birth mother when she is meeting with her adoption counselor. She and her counselor will discuss the different options and a decision will be made. Then, when screening families only those that are willing to agree to the birth mother's desired openness will be considered.
Does the birth mother choose the adoptive family?
Usually she does in an open adoption. She will screen applicant packages with her counselor, narrowing down those that she wants to consider. Meetings and interviews are then scheduled with the counselor, although the mother only has to be present if she desires. Some mothers prefer to let the counselor make the final decision, while others like to create a bond with the adoptive family. In adoptions with high degrees of openness, it isn't uncommon for the adoptive family to become part of the birth mother's support network, accompanying her to doctor's appointments or even inviting her to family events.
How is the openness level maintained?
A contract is drawn up between the birth mother and the adoptive parents. This becomes part of the adoption agreement, which the adoption agency helps draft and finalize. Adoptions agreements are not necessarily binding, depending on state law, so the agreement can be revisited and revised as the years pass if the two sets of parents agree to any changes. For example, if the birth mother first requests a semi-open adoption, she may be able to get visitation later if the adoptive parents agree to revise the adoption agreement. Visit http://www.achildsdream.org for more information.