Adoption is a life-changing experience. Just ask Madison. This brave birth mother lovingly made an adoption plan for her son in 2021. She and her partner knew they were not yet ready to become parents at the time. However, they loved their son so much and wanted the best for him. They chose an incredible adoptive family for their baby, and have enjoyed an open relationship with them ever since.
Madison has learned a lot about open adoption and what it takes to make it work. This is her story about placing her baby for adoption, choosing an adoptive family, and building the foundation for a loving open adoption relationship.
On Considering the Options
When Madison and her boyfriend learned of the pregnancy, they knew that parenthood was not the right decision at the time.
“Originally, one of my coworkers/close friends was going to adopt our baby, she is a trans woman in her 30s,” Madison explained.
“She had been wanting a child of her own. She was going to adopt the baby after he was born, and we trusted her to raise the baby as we would. Unfortunately, she came to the realization that she didn’t feel ready for a baby either. So, I started looking into other options.”
“When I started searching into options for adoption, I looked at both open and closed. I had very minimal knowledge about either one, and wanted to gather as much information as I could, until I decided what was best for our situation. I reached out to a couple of agencies online, that provided guidance for open and closed adoptions, so I could gather more information and make the best decision.”
Madison decided open adoption was the right type of adoption plan for her family. She felt that a closed adoption would be harder on herself, her boyfriend, and – in the long run – her child. “There is such a stigma behind closed adoptions, and it all seems so secretive. And in my opinion, [closed adoption] makes it harder for a child when they do eventually find out they are adopted. It also makes it harder if you want to be a part of the child’s life [in the future].”
“I know that each family and person and journey is different, and understand that closed adoptions are great for some people,” Madison continued.
“I knew with the open adoption process, it would be a process. It would depend on the family how much involvement [we would have] into the child’s life.” However, open adoption would allow her to stay a part of her son’s life – and that made it all worth it.
On Finding the Right Adoption Agency
The first place to start, when considering adoption, is to find a reputable and experienced adoption agency. Madison had already decided that open adoption was the best option for her when she began to look for an adoption agency.
“When I decided that open adoption was the correct path for our journey, I had two open adoption agencies that I was communicating with, AWL being one of them,” Madison explained.
“AWL was the most communicative and helped me feel at ease with the decision that I had made. They talked with me any time I needed. They answered all of my questions.”
As Madison learned, the right adoption agency will offer support and make birth parents – and adoptive parents – feel comfortable with the process.
On Choosing an Adoptive Family
Once Madison found an adoption agency that she could trust, she began to research adoptive families for her baby.
“I received some questions from AWL to help understand the morals and values I wanted for the family to have when raising the baby,” Madison recalled.
“AWL then sent me books from five different families that fit with the way I had answered questions, that told me about each family, backgrounds of each parent, if there were other children involved, etc.”
Madison felt an instant connection with one adoptive family profile, and it belonged to Laura-Marie and Chris.
“Reading their story, as well as the handwritten letters, I bawled my eyes out. They held so much love and were such pure souls, I could feel it through the letters.”
Madison would have wanted to meet the adoptive parents – Laura-Marie and Chris – before making her decision, but there was not enough time.
The families did not get a chance to meet before the baby’s big arrival in December, but Madison already felt a strong bond with them just by their phone conversations.
“The first time I spoke with Laura-Marie and Chris, I instantly knew they were the family that I wanted to raise our baby. I felt so much love and care. They answered every question that I had. They helped me understand why they were adopting, and how open they are with the child about being adopted,” Madison recalled.
“We were on the phone speaking for three hours!”
On Keeping the Openness
Madison and her boyfriend have remained close with their son’s adoptive family since his birth. They have enjoyed conversations via text messaging, FaceTime, and even two in-person visits.
“We cherish the time we see and talk to him and them, every time,” Madison said.
Although Madison lives in Colorado and Laura-Marie and Chris live in Massachusetts, there have already been two cross-country flights in order to make in-person meetings happen. The families met for the first time at the baby’s birth, in Colorado, where the adoption took place. They reunited a year later, shortly before baby’s first birthday. This year, Madison and her boyfriend are planning a trip to visit the adoptive family on the East Coast.
“Our relationship with Laura-Marie and Chris, and the baby, is amazing,” Madison gushed.
“We are one big family. We speak at least once a week via text, but generally a lot more than that! We communicate with one another about what is comfortable for us, as well as the baby. We take it day by day.”
Madison hopes to continue to have an open and honest relationship with her son and his adoptive family.
Madison’s Advice for Expectant/Birth Parents
For expectant/birth parents trying to decide what to do, Madison has this advice:
“Always, always trust your gut. You are in control. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you to do something you are not comfortable with.
And every journey is different. It is not easy whatsoever. Take it day by day. I loved my baby more than myself, and wanted him to have a better life than what I could give to him. Making this decision hurt a lot and still does, but I know he is happy. I know how much his family loves him. And he knows that myself and his birth father love him.”
Open Adoption is an Option for You
Whether you are looking to adopt a child, or you are thinking about following in Madison’s shoes and placing your child for adoption, open adoption is a choice you can make. There are benefits of open adoption for everyone involved in the adoption triad.
For birth parents, open adoption means having peace of mind. Your child is going to know who you are, where they come from, and that they are loved by two families instead of one. Adoption is not always “goodbye forever.” It can be the beginning of your relationship.
For adoptive families, open adoption opens doors. It gives direct access to a child’s medical information, ethnic and cultural background, and a solid foundation for fostering a sense of identity in the adopted child.
The first step, when pursuing adoption, is to contact a trustworthy open adoption agency.
“Working with AWL has been such a blessing,” Madison said.
“…They made me feel loved, heard, and understood. They explained every step of the process to me. They also explained that every family has a different, individual experience, even surrounding the guidelines that AWL has set. AWL has been supportive, even over a year later. They’ve reached out to us to check in and make sure there’s nothing they can do for us, and have given us resources to help us if we need.”
Get Support Today
Whether you want to learn more about making an adoption plan or adopting a child, contact Adoptions With Love today. We can help assist you through this adoption journey. Call us 24/7 at 800-722-7731, text us at 617-777-0072, or contact us online. We can help you build an open adoption relationship like the one Madison has with her son’s adoptive family.