Every open adoption relationship is unique. Keeping this relationship healthy is important for everyone involved. We are happy to provide some tips and tools for birth parents to help you navigate an open adoption, before and after placement.
Communication is crucial in an open adoption. Discussing issues before placement helps everyone involved understand the expectations and needs of the other party. Here are some questions to ask yourself and discuss with the adoptive parents.
- Who will initiate contact after placement?
- If the family moves, how will the relationship be handled and impacted?
- How do you imagine your relationship with the child changing at different ages?
- Do you want to name the child, or do you prefer to have the adoptive family choose the name?
- What will the child call you?
- If you ever overstep boundaries, how would you like the family to tell you?
- How would you like to be remembered on the child’s birthday and holidays?
- What is the process if you or the adoptive family want to change the open adoption agreement?
- What role will your extended family have after placement?
This relationship is built on trust and respect. All relationships require some work, and this one is no exception. Here are some tips to help maintain a healthy post-placement relationship.
Stay in Touch
When scheduling a call, offer a few times for the family to choose. If you call without notice, ask if it is a good time for them to talk. Avoid playing “phone tag” by setting aside specific times for contact and communication. You are busy; they are as well. So, everyone needs to remember this fact and avoid getting offended if the other is not available.
You and the parents have already determined what the child will call you, and what the child’s name will be. Make sure to call the child by the given name and refer to yourself as the name or title upon which you agreed. Respect their parental roles. You may not agree with all of their parenting decisions, and that is OK. Trust them to raise the child and offer your support or suggestions when asked.
It is good to let the family know how you are feeling about the relationship. If you need to make changes to the agreement, let them know. You may need some time away to grieve and process. Don’t be afraid to tell them, so you can have the space you need to heal.
When scheduling visits, decide beforehand how long the visit will last. This way, everyone has the same expectations. Choose a location where everyone is comfortable. It’s often good to do something structured, like meeting at a restaurant or park. At the end of the visit, discuss when your next call or contact will be.
Ask for Help
If you find yourself struggling with the open-adoption relationship, reach out to your adoption specialist for assistance. At Destiny Adoption, we are always here for our birth moms to help in any way needed. We can help guide you through all your post-placement struggles. However, you must reach out and tell us, so we can be there for you when you need us. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Open Adoption Experts
If you are considering adoption, call or text Destiny Adoption at 727-202-8966. This communication is completely confidential, and we are happy to answer your questions.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.