An unplanned pregnancy can stir many emotions for expectant/birth mothers: feelings of love, fear, grief, and hope are all common. It also comes with many life-changing choices. When it comes to making an adoption plan, for example, there are several decisions to be made. Second to choosing an adoptive family for your baby, you must decide whether you would like an open, semi-open, or closed adoption.
Many expectant/birth mothers today find peace of mind in making an open adoption plan for their baby. Open adoption allows them to stay in touch with their child and his or her family over the years. It also gives adoptive families and children the chance to ask any questions that arise along the way.
That is why today, most private, domestic adoptions are open in some form. In nine out of 10 infant adoptions, for example, the adoptive and expectant/birth parents meet each other. 68 percent of privately adopted children have had some contact with their birth families after the adoption took place.
There are many benefits of open adoption. Research shows that open adoption is generally positive for everyone involved: the expectant/birth parents, the child, and his or her adoptive parents. According to Adoptions With Love’s open adoption infographic, children are most satisfied in fully open adoptions, where they know their birth families.
While there are many benefits of open adoption, it may not be right for everyone. Before making this important decision, Adoptions With Love wants you to understand all of your adoption options and feel comfortable with any choice you make. Let us explore the many benefits of open adoption for those interested in making an adoption plan.
Benefits of Open Adoption for the Child
Each year, there are 14,000 domestic adoptions in the U.S. An estimated 62 percent of those adopted children are lovingly placed with a family as newborns.
With so much happening physically and emotionally during pregnancy, it can be difficult for many expectant/birth mothers to imagine the benefits of adoption for their baby. It can be comforting to know that an open adoption is often the best choice for a child.
Ninety percent of adopted children over age five have positive or mostly positive feelings about their adoption. Adopted children who meet in person with their birth mothers have been found to express the highest levels of satisfaction when compared to those who never met or eventually stopped contact. Over 80 percent of adopted children have a warm and close relationship with their adoptive parents.
In open arrangements, children often know more about their adoption stories: who they are, where they came from, what their birth parents look like, why their birth parents made this choice. They are comforted in having this access and this information, and usually have less problems and “missing pieces” as they grow. Adopted children in an open adoption have a better understanding of their:
- Self and Identity
- Family History
- Birth mother’s choice – In an open adoption, children hold some empathy for their birth mother, who they know made a courageous and selfless decision to give them a better life
Adopted children can also enjoy a wider circle of support with an open adoption. They have a well-established relationship and bond with their adoptive parents, who raise and love them wholeheartedly. They also understand their roots and background, knowing they are loved by both families.
Benefits of Open Adoption for You
An obvious benefit of open adoption is having the option to select an adoptive family for your baby and get to know them. This choice often brings peace of mind for expectant/birth mothers who can rest assured they hand-picked a loving, stable, devoted family for their baby. You can get to know hopeful adoptive families by looking at their adoptive family profile, which Adoptions With Love can share with you if you are ready to make this choice.
The continued, post-adoption contact with adoptive families is another great benefit of open adoption. Birth mothers can get updates and be reassured that her child is doing well and is happy with his or her adoptive family.
The chance to talk about your adoption story with your child is another benefit of a fully open adoption. If and when your child asks questions such as, “What is my biological father like?” or “Why was I placed for adoption?” you will have the opportunity to share and explain from the heart. You can know that your child will learn about his/her adoption story and understand that the choice was made with love.
Open adoption can take on different meanings to different people. Some expectant/birth parents consider contact with the adoptive family before birth to be the main component of openness. Others believe open adoption includes contact before and after the adoption takes place. Ongoing, post-adoption contact can consist of a range of contact, such as email updates, phone conversations, or even in-person visits, depending on the birth mother’s comfort level.
As an open adoption agency, every prospective adoptive family at Adoptions With Love agrees to a semi-open adoption, and most families are now open to some direct, ongoing communication with the birth parents over the years. We want to help you make an adoption plan that works best for you – and help you feel confident and happy with your loving decision. We understand that making an adoption plan is a big decision, and we have caring social workers who can help with all your questions and concerns.
To learn more about the benefits of open adoption, call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072. We are available around the clock to answer your questions. If you would like more information about open adoption, please download our free Guide to Open Adoption.