Open Adoption Can Mean Many Things
If you choose an open adoption, you and the adoptive family will work together to create a plan for future contact. Each situation is different, and it is extremely important that you are honest with both yourself and the adoptive parents about your wishes. This will help ensure a long-lasting relationship that is comfortable with everyone. Some birth mothers want to have regular contact with her child over the years and want to see photos as he or she grows up. Others prefer that contact remain open, but they do not desire regular visits or contact with the family. An open adoption keeps the lines of information and communication open, but you design your plan for future contact so that you feel comfortable.
Context is Important
You may have some knowledge about your family history. You may have medical information including common diseases in your family. Perhaps you’ve heard family stories that have been retold over the years. While adopted children create new family stories with their adoptive family, many find it helpful to know about their birth parents’ medical, genetic, cultural, and family history. Even without ongoing contact with the birth parents, that information can help an adopted child understand where he or she came from. In an open adoption, this information is available should the adoptee choose to access it.
As a birth mother, an adoptee, or adoptive parent, adoption is part of your identity. Everyone needs support during the adoption process. Whether you choose closed or open adoption, you will need a network of supportive professionals, family members, and friends as you create your adoption plan.