How did you and your child’s birthmother or adoptive parents decide how much openness you wanted to have in your relationship? Do you believe an open adoption match is a stroke of luck, meant to be, or something else entirely?
Below you can find a sampling of the dozens of answers we received from all members of the open adoption community.
Which responses speak to you? What do you want to know about open adoption? Tell us in our comments section or on our Facebook page.
What was your initial impression of open adoption and how has it changed?
“Initially, I was scared. After years of infertility struggles and wondering if I ever would be a mom, I felt possessive of that title and sharing it with a birth mother was scary for me. But now, I have learned there is no limit on love and my son can have two moms who both love him.“
What has helped you learn about open adoption?
“Continue reading and learning about others stories. Not just one side but both sides. It’s always good to hear and understand what a birthmother is going though….because as adoptive parents we care so much that we think of them and the feeling they may be going through and it’s always great to read stories from the birthmothers….so thank you!!!! We honor your bravery and unselfish love.“
Who or what has had the biggest impact on your open adoption journey so far?
“My best friend I met online, a fellow birthmother who walked the path a few months before me and showed me what a beautiful open adoption can look like. She drove 13 hours to be by my side as I signed papers in the hospital. It was/is so comforting in the last 10 years of our relationship knowing that she truly understands how I feel and to ask questions!“
What was your biggest fear about open adoption and how did you resolve it?
“Being afraid that they will be afraid of me. Hoping they trust me enough to know that I wouldnt take him back, or try to. That I loved them and wanted to know them as much as I wanted to know him.“
What advice do you have about explaining open adoption to family, friends or strangers?
“Just think as it as gaining a new family!“
What advice do you have about coping with the wait?
“Volunteer and do things you’ve always wanted to do. Get out there, make friends. Read literature and be prepared. Start talking to your family about what it going to look like when he/she comes home. Once your kiddo comes, it’s amazing but so busy.“
What do you think an expectant mother considering adoption is looking for in adoptive parents?
“As a birth mom, I was looking for a family that was similar to my own. Values, same state, religion, etc. Turned out I picked one that even had the same kind of dog I grew up with.“
Have you had an experience with an adoption scam and what’s your advice about protecting yourself?
“We had quite a few scammers, but there was one that was horrible, heart-wrenching and totally inexcusable My main advice is… TRUST YOUR GUT!!! If things are off and continually don’t add up, RUN for the hills!!!!!!!!“
What was the spark that initially helped you to create a connection with your child’s birthmother or adoptive parents?
“The revelation that our daughter’s biological grandfather and adoptive grandfather were both huge Eagles fans.“
If you could change one thing about your adoption journey, what would it be?
“I wish I was able to make an adoption plan sooner, find my couple sooner, and share the joys of the pregnancy with them. I didn’t decide to place until I was about 7 months along, and didn’t find my couple until about a month before baby came. Other than that I wouldn’t change anything. They’re perfect.“
How did you and your child’s birthmother or adoptive parents decide how much openness you wanted to have in your relationship?
“It was an evolution based on love, not a decision.“
What advice do you have for hopeful adoptive parents who are thinking of quitting?
“Your child is waiting for you, even if that child has not been born. You won’t EVER give up after your child is placed in your arms, so why would you give up now? You won’t, you can’t. You’ve been called into a privileged group. Stay and reap the benefits.“
What advice do you have for expectant parents who are worried that their open adoption may be shut down by their child’s adoptive parents after placement?
“Those of us (adoptive parents) who really want open adoption are keenly interested in maintaining contact with the birth family. We believe it is GOOD for our child to know who his birth parents are. I’m adopted, my husband is adopted, and we have adopted a wonderful baby. Our perspectives are, perhaps, unique, because we both know what it is like to know very little about our own birth parents.“
Do you believe an adoption match is a stroke of luck, meant to be, or something else entirely?
“I truly believe by the grace of God I found my son’s parents. God’s plan is perfect, even if we don’t know it at the time, see it or understand it.”
What do you think makes a successful open adoption relationship?
“Understanding, understanding both women are nervous and a little unsure of how to act! It’s uneasy at first, but as the relationship grows so does your understanding!”
What advice do you have for adoptive parents and birthparents who want more contact and/or openness in their relationship?
“Write down a list of what they want, both adoptive and birth, then sit down and have an honest discussion with give and take.”
What do you think is the most important issue in open adoption today?
“I think expectations can be a huge issue. Be honest with each. Learn to communicate and compromise. Adoption means you are family but its up to you how connected you want to be.”
What do you want people to know about open adoption?
“Open adoption isn’t scary or complicated unless you make it. It’s just another friend or family member. Nothing scary about that.”