Archive for May, 2014

4 Keys to a Successful Open Adoption

Open adoption can be a beneficial and positive experience for birthparents, adoptive parents, and most importantly, for the child. Over the years, adoption plans throughout the United States have become increasingly more open.  This “openness” allows for meaningful connections and relationships to be established through ongoing contact between birthparents and the adoptive family.  Most birthparents are drawn to an open adoption plan because it gives them a sense of security and comfort to know how their child is growing and developing.  If you are looking to provide your child with a successful and loving open adoption, there are four key recommendations to keep in mind.

1. Choose the Right Family for Your Baby:

Finding the perfect family to adopt your baby is what will give you peace of mind in this journey.  Most expectant/birthparents say that once they found the family, they were much more at ease with the decision to make an adoption plan for their baby.  The best way to find the right family is to have an experienced adoption professional assist in that process; adoption agencies will meet with the adoptive family multiple times and get to know them very well.  They will go through background checks and the expectant/birthparent can be comforted knowing their child will be raised in a loving, secure home with a family that understands the complexities of adoption.  Choosing the right family that you feel a connection with is an important factor.  Maybe the connection is that there will be an at home parent full time, or maybe they work in a similar profession i.e. nursing, education, etc. The right family will honor your request for the type of communication you would like going forward.  Perhaps that is letters and pictures, phone contact, email contact or a yearly meeting.  YOU will know when you find the perfect family.

2. Establish Trust:

Open adoption is a relationship based upon respect, honesty and trust with each other.  Trust is an issue that can constantly be on an expectant/birthparent’s mind while going through the adoption process. The birthmother should have peace of mind knowing that her baby is in good hands with a family that she has selected.  She should also be able to trust that the family she chooses for her baby will continue to communicate with her over time.  An agency’s involvement will help to ensure that everyone honors the agreements made at the time of placement.

 3. Be Flexible:

In order for open adoption to be successful, both the expectant/birthparent and the new adoptive parents must have a strong sense of flexibility in order to meet each other’s needs.  Of paramount importance in an open adoption agreement is taking the child’s best interest into account.   In order to do this, sometimes changes need to be made to keep the child’s best interests in mind.  Birthparents and adoptive parents need to understand how the other feels and make changes to benefit all parties.  Setting guidelines and boundaries from the beginning that are comfortable for all parties is essential.

 4. Communicate Openly:

Adoptive parents’ empathy for the birthparents’ grief process is essential when communicating following an adoption placement.  Understanding that adoptive parents also have a period of adjustment with new parenting is important for the birthparent to recognize.  Ongoing, open communication in the evolving relationship between birth and adoptive families will help a child to understand and accept his/her adoption story. Whether through letters, telephone calls, email, text, or Skype, communication is a vital component of an open adoption.  Ongoing communication allows for the love and joy of the child to be shared.

Open adoption can alleviate many unsettling feelings that may arise for birthparents throughout the adoption journey.  However, if birthparents choose to proceed with an open adoption, they should keep these four key principles in mind.  Choosing the right family and establishing trust, flexibility, and communication will lead to a happy and comfortable open adoption plan that will ultimately benefit the adoptive parents, birthparents, and child.

Choosing Adoption is Not “Giving Up”

Giving up your baby for adoption is NOT giving up.  It is a common term that is used in casual conversation and in the media.  It is derived from the term: “put up for adoption.” But if we were to really think about it, giving your baby up for adoption is the opposite of giving up.  It is the brave decision to give your baby the type of life that you may not be able to provide at this time in your own life.  By making an adoption plan for your baby, you are planning for their life; you may not have planned to have this baby but you are certainly taking responsibility to make sure they have a life filled with love, education, holiday traditions, extended family support and many opportunities.  This is far from giving up.

Adoptive parents and birth parents can form a very special bond in everyone loving this baby.  Sometimes expectant/birth parents find that special “click” when they find the perfect family to adopt their baby.  When an expectant/birth mother knows she has found the right family who was meant to love her baby, she can feel an indescribable feeling of overwhelming peace.

Adoption can be a beautiful, positive and loving choice for your baby if you are not in the position to raise your baby.  Don’t let society or the media tell you that you are “giving up.” Tell everyone that you are “giving an opportunity” to your baby for the rest of their life.  Feel proud and brave to make a positive choice for the life of your baby.  We think you are remarkable and you should think so too.

Adoptions With Love understands that everyone is an individual and no two people are alike. This adoption plan is YOUR plan.  Some expectant/birth parents want a closed adoption plan.  Others want a semi-open adoption plan where they can choose the family, meet in person and receive letters and pictures over 18 years.  And some expectant/birth parents want a more open adoption plan with on-going yearly meetings.  We have all of those options at Adoptions With Love.

When you consider adoption as a positive choice for an unplanned pregnancy, you are certainly not giving up.  You are in charge.  This is YOUR adoption plan and as skilled adoption professionals, we can assist you and make certain your best interests are the main focus.  At Adoptions With Love, we are here for you with care, compassion and professionalism.  Adoption is a journey through life and we are here all the way and into the future.

For more information please click here. If you would like to talk about your options on the phone, we are available toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-722-7731.  You can also text us 24/7 at 617-777-0072.

Dealing with an Unplanned Pregnancy: Why We Chose Adoption

I have always been very aware and supportive of adoption, myself being adopted and raised with an adopted sibling. Therefore, when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy during my final semester of college, adoption seemed the natural choice. Though I had only been dating my boyfriend, Adam, for five months, he was incredibly supportive and understanding of the situation. Both of us were, however, extremely nervous about the reactions of our parents. To delay this confrontation, we decided to keep the unplanned pregnancy a secret from all of our friends and family until my graduation, when I was five months along.

Before I could muster the courage to tell my parents, my mother confronted me and asked if I was pregnant. I hesitantly responded with a “yes,” and couldn’t believe how positively she responded. When I explained that I was considering adoption my parents were delighted, and my mother recounted how incredibly happy my adoption had made them. She said that giving a child to an adoptive family was the greatest gift, and that both of my parents would stand by me through the pregnancy. This was a huge relief to both Adam and me, and it started to seem like everything was going to be okay.

A week later Adam and I visited his parents and told them that I was pregnant. Although we had prepared for the worst, we were again surprised by the compassion and understanding they showed us, as they too voiced that they would support whatever decision we made. My older sister and Adam’s younger sister were equally shocked by the news, but were just as supportive as our parents had been about our choice to pursue adoption.

We then began our search for an open adoption agency, and received a recommendation from a family member for Adoptions With Love.  Adam and I knew right away that this was the right agency for us, and were greatly comforted by their accepting and sympathetic mission to help us make the best choice. Before long we were looking at prospective families, and after a few weeks had chosen a couple that we wished to meet. Adam and I agreed early on that we wanted an open adoption, and felt confident in our decision with the love and support from our families and Adoptions With Love. Our first meeting with the adoptive family was easier and more comfortable than I ever could have imagined, and yet another affirmation that we had made the right choice.

Adam and I continued our conversation with the adoptive family through email, and even helped choose our child’s name. Through getting to know our adoptive couple, we truly felt that they were exactly the people we would want to raise our child. Even on the day of Matt’s birth, we knew that he was their child as much as he was our own.

Although the process of giving our child up for adoption was not without affliction, it was an overwhelmingly affirmative experience. With the full support of our families, the consolation of each other, and the reassurance of Adoptions With Love, Adam and I were able to give the best life to our child. We could not have done this alone, and give our unending thanks to all those who encouraged and helped us along the way.