Open adoption happens when potential birth parents/family and prospective adoptive families have personal contact with each other. Conversely, a closed adoption occurs when the adoptive family and birth mother and/or birth father choose not to have contact prior to or after the placement of the child.  In an open adoption, the identities of all parties are known. Open adoption communication and contact agreements differ from one family to another -- and may even change over time -- and generally include letters, e-mails, and/or visits.  

Birth Parents

  •  Birth parents can feel in control of their decision to make an adoption plan.
  • Improved mental health, as birth parents are reassured that they will still have a connection with baby and the adoptive family.
  • The normal grieving process can be worked through easier than with a closed adoption.
  • Reduced fear about the well-being of the child.

Adoptee

  •  A child can have immediate and accurate information about their adoption story.
  •  He/she will be able to have information about their biological heritage.
  • The ability to associate their physical characteristics with their biological family, i.e. where did my height, eye color, and hair color come from?
  • An open adoption can promote a sense of identity and self-confidence in an adoptee.

Adoptive Parents

  •  Fear and insecurity can dissipate. Birth parents can reassure adoptive parents that they are now baby’s parents.
  •  Adoptive parents get a chance to know birth parents. This gives them the opportunity to answer questions a child has about their birth family accurately.
  • Adoptive parents will be medically informed and have access to the child’s medical history.

Honest communication continues to be the most important factor of success for everyone involved in an open adoption. As communication about wants, desires, and expectations grows, the more comfortable everyone involved will tend to be. It is helpful to speak to an adoption professional to explore adoption in depth. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about open adoption, with no strings attached.

If you (or a loved one is) are pregnant and considering adoption, we invite you to contact a Barker pregnancy counselor anytime, 24/7, when you are ready to talk.

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