These are Common Elements of Open Adoptions:
- The birthparents meet potential adoptive families before making their selection.
- The birth and adoptive families fully disclosed identifying information at the appropriate
- There may be ongoing contact in the form of: attending the birth of the child, attending physician
visits together, visiting the home, gathering as extended family members during special occasions, etc.
- There is direct correspondence between the families.
- The families contact each other directly by telephone.
- There are face-to-face meetings during the child's lifetime.
Advantages: Everyone involved in an open adoption communicates directly, without a third-party
(mediator or agency). This alleviates the need to have communication pass through a mediator. This plan allows both families
to nurture their relationship as it naturally develops. Information is shared more easily in an open adoption.
Disadvantanges: Sometimes adoptive parents and birthparents are uncomfortable with the level
and type of birthfamily participation in the life of the child. There is also the possibility that the differing family styles
and cultures may cause some discomfort.
Keys to a Successful Open Adoption
Adoptive parents in an open adoption accept birthparent participation as a way to enhance their
parenting and the life of their child, not to diminish it. Typically, they are confident enough to say "no" to birthparents
without fear of jeopardizing their relationship with the birthfamily. Birthparents who do well in open adoptions
view their role not as parents but as persons very special to the family. They are accepting of the entire adoptive family
and build a relationship centered on what is best for the child. These birthparents are typically mature individuals who understand
the need for boundries. Often they are goal-oriented, look for achievement in a direction other than raising a family. Open
adoption is most easily understood in the context of an "extended family" relationship.
Each family's situation is unique. Today's adoption plans offer options to meet vary circumstances.
Confidential adoptions place privacy for the adoptive and birthparents at the center of the arrangement.Open and semi-open
adoptions offer a dimension of intimacy that having a child together brings.
In any intimate relationship, interactions change over time. Think of it like this: In your
own families you have members with whom you are very close and others who are more like acquaintances, there is greater distance
between you. No two relationships are alike, and they develop and change over time due to new circumstances.
Every adoption has circumstances that help to define the parameters that will be best for the
participants. Children thrive when the circumstances that prompted the adoption decision for their lives are shared with them to
their fullest. Relationships with some degree of openness seem to give adoptive parents the best opportunity to answer their
children's questions most effectively. In open adoption plans, children grow knowing that they are loved by their family members,
the parents who adopted them and the parents who gave them life.
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