Archive for October, 2015

Designing an Open Adoption Plan: You Have Options

The term “Open Adoption,” means different things to different families. The most important thing to remember as you design your adoption plan is that you, as an expectant/birth mother, have many options.

We determined in our previous blog post that the definition of open adoption can vary person to person. One form of open adoption may include two families exchanging mediated letter and photo updates, such as the ones through Adoptions With Love’s letter and picture program. At the other end of the spectrum, a birth mother may desire to visit her child and his or her adoptive family several times a year. Most open adoptions, however, lay somewhere in between. This may include phone calls, texts, emails, contact via social media, and/or face-to-face meetings. Their are numerous possibilities when designing an open adoption plan.

When choosing open adoption at Adoptions With Love, expectant and birth mothers decide their own level of openness. No matter what type of open adoption you choose, know that our experienced staff will help to negotiate an agreement  to ensure that your plan carries on just as you wish.  As time passes, we will work with the birth parents, adoptive parents and the child to renegotiate the agreement always taking into account the best needs of the child. Every waiting family at Adoptions With Love supports some level of openness and is more than willing to walk at your pace. As you begin your open adoption plan, ask yourself what type of relationship will be best for you and your baby. Consider the following:

A fully open adoption entails direct communication between a birth mother and the adoptive family she chooses for her child.. Some of your many options for this direct adoption contact include:

  • Scheduled face-to-face visits: Whether you decide you want to visit your child on his or her birthday, or spend the holidays together, or spend a day with the adoptive family a few times a year. We will detail these type of arrangements in a contract so that you can rest assured these visits will be followed.
  • Direct exchange of letters and pictures: The direct exchange of letters and pictures is a great way for families to stay connected post-placement. You may also choose to exchange these through our agency, where your address will not be revealed (see below).
  • Text messaging, phone calls, or emails: This type of ongoing contact is common in open adoption, and can give birth mothers, adoptive families, and adopted children great peace of mind.
  • Ongoing contact with adoptive parents only: Some birth mothers believe that maintaining contact with their child may be too overwhelming, but still desire to stay connected. As a result, some will choose to continue a relationship with the adoptive parents of their choice.

A semi-open adoption means that an adoption agency will help you stay connected to your child. Your options for a semi-open adoption plan include:

  • Letter and picture updates through an experienced open adoption agency: At Adoptions With Love, all adoptive families submit letters and pictures of their adopted child on a regular basis. If you decide you do not want contact with your child initially, that is okay. We keep these letters and pictures safe in the case that you may want to check in on them someday. At our agency, we believe that adoption stories change and evolve beyond placement. You or your child may have questions over time, and this program will allow you to receive answers as they arise.
  • Mediated emails or phone calls: Our agency is happy to serve as an intermediary and schedule non-identifying phone calls between you and your child and/or your child’s adoptive family. In this case, your phone number will not be revealed. Adoptions With Love can also mediate emails between you and the adoptive family, where we will dedicate one email address to your continued relationship with your child’s adoptive family. Again, no identifying information (like your location or your last name) will be revealed in this contact arrangement.
  • Arranged meetings supervised by a compassionate, non-biased adoption professional: Arranging meetings with an adoptive family, and having a mediator there, can allow birth mothers to communicate freely with their child with the assistance of a trained adoption counselor. If you choose to continue these mediated meetings, you may eventually decide that you desire more of a relationship with your child’s family. These meetings are a good opportunity to discover if developing direct contact is of interest to you and the adoptive family down the road.

 

Remember, the choice is yours. There is no single adoption plan that will be right for everyone. For more, detailed information on your options in open adoption, please download Adoptions With Love’s Guide to Open Adoption. This guide has been written by our dedicated adoption team to show how beautiful, lifelong relationships can stem from open adoption. We hope it helps expectant and birth mothers decide what type of adoption plan is best for you.

 

If you have any questions on your adoption options do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. Amy, Nancy, Claudia, and Amelia are available to you at any time, 24/7.

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What is Open Adoption?

The majority of adoptions today involve some level of openness, but what exactly does “open adoption” mean?

Open adoption is an option that expectant/birth mothers will have as they begin to design their adoption plan. This term does not simply refer to one kind of adoption, but rather to the many different ways a birth mother can maintain contact with her child following his or her placement.

If you ask ten people to define “open adoption,” chances are you will receive ten distinct answers. That is because there is no single, universal definition of open adoption.  For one family, an open adoption arrangement may entail the birth mother, child, and adoptive parents getting together once a month. For another family, open adoption may mean that the birth mother and her child exchange letters and pictures, but never meet in person.

To some people, an open adoption will mean that the “identifying information” (first/last name, phone number, mailing address) of a birth mother is available to her child. This means that children in an open adoption arrangement will consistently have the opportunity to reach out to their birth mothers as they grow up, and vice versa. In general, “open adoption” describes the type of adoption relationship in which there is some extent of contact between a birth mother, her child, and her child’s adoptive family. How that contact carries out, however, will differ person to person and plan to plan.

Communication in an open adoption can be structured in the form of emails, telephone calls, and/or in-person visits. If and when a birth mother is ready, Adoptions With Love also offers letter and picture updates of her child, so that she can see just how her baby has grown. The frequency of contact in an open arrangement can be flexible depending on the wants and needs of everyone involved.

Some women who choose an open adoption do not want fully disclosed contact, and believe it best to have only letter and picture updates without ever meeting their child face-to-face. Alternatively, some birth mothers desire to maintain contact with their child, but do not want to reveal any identifying information. A “semi-open” adoption plan allows birth mothers to maintain minimal contact with their child and/or his or her adoptive family.  In many cases, this contact is indirect and mediated through an adoption agency. Adoptions With Love is an open adoption agency, meaning that all of our waiting adoptive families have agreed to at least a semi-open adoption. They are willing to work with you to design a plan that will be most advantageous to you and your baby for years to come.

Ultimately, open adoption may not be right for everyone. A closed adoption plan may be best for you, and that is OK.  The “right” plan is the plan that is right for YOU. If you are here because you are considering an open adoption arrangement, understand that you, as an expectant/birth mother have choices. You can make the decision on what your adoption plan will look like, and how much contact (if any) you will have with an adoptive family over time. Our team at Adoptions With Love welcomes you to tell us all about your ideal adoption plan, so that we can get you started on giving you and your baby the best possible life moving forward. This is a new beginning of a lifelong journey, and lifelong relationships if you wish for them.

Instead of asking what open adoption means, ask yourself what open adoption will mean to you?

To learn more about the different levels of open adoption, download our newest eBook, A Guide to Open Adoption. If you would like to chat with one of our adoption professionals about your options, or to see if open adoption is right for you, please feel free to call us at any time of day, any day of the week at 1-800-722-7731. We are available to help and guide you every step of the way.

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Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Adoption: Infographic

 

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Adoption is a brave act filled with love that is constantly growing and expanding. Adoption is not something to hide. Today, it is one of the most courageous, caring decisions a mother who is not ready to parent her baby can make for her child.

If you are pregnant and know you are not yet ready to raise a child, we admire you for considering the positive option of adoption. Adoption is a lifelong journey, and choosing to place your baby in a new and loving home is only the beginning.  As an expectant mother, you have many options to consider as you begin your adoption journey.

The beauty of today’s adoption model is that there is no one-size-fits-all adoption plan. Your plan will be unique to you. With the help of experienced, compassionate adoption professionals, you can design a plan that takes into consideration both your needs and the needs of your baby.

Many expectant/birth mothers today choose to create an “open adoption” plan to keep in contact with their child and his or her adoptive family over the years. Open adoption allows expectant/birth mothers to choose adoptive parents for their baby, develop a relationship with that family, and remain a part of their child’s life.

Before deciding if open adoption is right for you, it is important to fully understand how an open adoption works, and the where it can take you and your child. Adoptions With Love has created this infographic so that you can learn how positive an open adoption experience can be.

Today, 95 percent of licensed adoption agencies offer open adoption plans. Adoptions With Love has been helping expectant/birthmothers make thoughtful, loving adoption plans for nearly 30 years and we are ready to begin an open adoption plan with you.

Read on to learn more about the open adoption experience, and the keys to maintaining a successful open adoption plan. For more information about your options in designing your own plan, contact us at 1-800-722-7731, text us at 1-617-777-0072, or download our full Guide to Open Adoption here.