Open adoption. This phrase can strike fear in the hearts of adoptive families if not understood. As families begin their adoption journey, understanding this type of adoption is vital.

The days of secretive, no-questions-asked adoptions have gone by the wayside. At Destiny Adoption, birth moms more often than not choose open and semi-open adoptions. Open adoption allows contact between birth parents and adoptive families after the placement of the child.

Birth moms are encouraged to share their ideal adoptive family with our birth mom advocate, Malia. This includes family size, religious orientation, geographical location and other details. Destiny matches birth moms with families who are waiting to adopt with these details in mind.

After a successful match, birth mom and adoptive family will communicate regularly throughout the pregnancy. Texting, phone calls, email and face-to-face meetings can all be part of this communication — even after placement. Levels of engagement vary depending on the birth mom’s preference.

The adoption process described above brought me to a revelation.

I often used the term “building families” in reference to an adoptive family bringing a little one home. But what I am seeing is something much bigger and more beautiful than I first realized.

According to Dictionary.com, a family is a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.

As birth moms choose their baby’s family, they are, in many cases, also choosing their family. It provides the opportunity for adopted children to answer “why” they were placed by connecting with their birth mom, allowing all involved to move past rejection and move toward connection and acceptance.

The benefits of open adoption are priceless. It’s an adoption process crafted with care, understanding and love by the birth mom and adoptive family.

The beauty of this thing we call open adoption is that it has the potential to enlarge and encompass something bigger than the traditional definition of family.

Author: Robyn Robertson

Robyn is an executive administrator at Destiny Adoption Services. She is responsible for marketing initiatives and community relations. As a mother of two, she is dedicated to promoting the message of adoption and finding forever homes for children. Her background in childcare gave her a firsthand look at how special family is. At Destiny Adoption, she’s found a place where she can put her heart into her work.