The Ins and Outs of Adoption
If you and your partner have decided that you’d like to adopt a baby there are many issues that you’re going to have to be aware of before you bring your little one home. One of those issues is the differences between open and closed adoptions. Knowing what your options are ahead of time can help you make the right choices for you and your family. It’s important that you realize that each birth mother will have her own requests and conditions that need to be considered. Some birth mothers will want their baby to know as much about them as possible while other birth mothers may want their own life to remain private and be unavailable for contact. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of adoption. Understanding the differences is essential to the adoption process.
Closed Adoptions Limit Information to You and Your Baby
For many years closed adoptions were typical when it came to adoption procedures. If you decide to go with a closed adoption you won’t know who the birth mother of your baby is. In fact, you’ll be given very little information about the baby that you’re going to be adopting. As well, you and the birth mother will have no contact with each other whatsoever either before or after the adoption. Sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it? However, there are some adoption agencies that feel a closed adoption is safer for both the baby and the new parents since the birth parents won’t be able to change their minds and take back their baby. Perhaps much of this fear is founded on dramatization and rare media cases where this has happened. In reality, there are adoption laws that prevent this type of scenario from happening. Once you’ve signed the papers in a closed or open adoption your new baby is legally yours.
Open Adoption Brings Communication
The main reason that couples choose an open adoption is so that there is communication between you and the birth parents both before and after your baby is born. Most of the time in an open adoption the birth mother will choose who the adoptive parents of her baby are going to be. Both you and the birth parents will be given biographies of each other. This allows the birth parents to choose the couple they are most comfortable with. You and your partner will be able to meet the birth parents during the pregnancy, and many times be allowed to be there at the birth of your new baby. This can make your adoption experience that much more real and exciting.
Staying in Touch after Open Adoption
If you choose an open adoption both you and the birth parents may decide that it’s beneficial for everyone to stay in touch after your baby is born. You can determine what type of agreement works best for you. You may just decide to send the birth parents pictures of your baby and letters letting them know how your baby is doing. Or you many feel comfortable in taking this a step further and meeting in person from time to time.
Who Really Benefits from an Open Adoption?
One of the big reasons why many adoptive couples choose an open adoption is so that their new child can have a normal a life as possible with both the adoptive and birth parents. Knowing right from the start that they are adopted eliminates the shock and trauma of finding out at an older age that you and your partner are not that their birth parents.
A Third Option of Semi-Open Adoptions
There is a third option available to you that is a combination of a closed adoption and an open one. Choosing a semi open adoption means that you and your partner will know some things about the birth parents and vice versa, such as names. Information that won’t be available is any contact information. You may meet once or twice before your baby is born but after than all communication will be done through the adoption agency.
The Relationships of Adoption
Many couples choose closed or semi-open adoptions only to find that once they meet the birth parents that there is a connection and bond that is ultimately formed. If you find that this is the case for you don’t be hesitant to move forward into what is a more open adoption format. It’s important that you do what feels right for you and your new baby. Depending on the adoption agency that you’re working with, your adoption experience doesn’t need to fall into a tight block. You can vary the conditions of your adoption contract to meet the needs of both you and the birth parents. The most important thing is that you take into consideration what’s going to be best for you and your family. As part of your decision making process when it comes to adopting a baby, be sure to determine what type of adoption format you’re most at ease with. After all, this is going to be one of the most exciting and emotional decisions in your life!