Making an open adoption plan can be emotionally difficult. Facing tough life choices and finding support from family and friends while pregnant and planning for delivery can feel overwhelming. It’s important to keep your heart and mind open to an open adoption during this potentially stressful time.
Some women think that a closed adoption will make the process easier. They feel that a closed adoption means they won’t have to think about the details or process the difficult emotions. It’s almost like they feel they can pretend it isn’t happening if they don’t “make it real.” While this might work for some women, it isn’t a healthy path for everyone. For some, this might even be denial.
It’s true that making an open adoption plan can make the adoption feel more real, or as birth mother Sarah recently said: “now it’s getting serious.” This is a good thing for two reasons. The first is that making the adoption real will help you decide if adoption is right for you. Making a plan doesn’t commit you to the adoption, so it’s important at some point to try really living with the idea, talk with adoption professionals, review the paperwork involved, maybe even speak with a potential adopting family. The sooner you know in your heart whether adoption is right for you, the better for everyone involved.
The second reason it’s good to make the adoption real is that once you get over this hurdle, the adoption will probably feel less scary. This is where you want your head to be as you think about openness—not frightened and overwhelmed, but empowered and in control of a plan.
You don’t have to decide all the specifics of what your open adoption will look like, but you can decide that you are at least open to it and recognize that you might be even more open to it later in life as you move past the difficult emotions, get your life settled and moving in the direction you’re hoping for.
If you aren’t sure about how open you want your adoption, make sure you choose a family who is really flexible on this point. In fact, if you want a closed adoption, it’s probably a good idea to still choose a flexible family so that if you change your mind later, that option will always be available to you.
I am available to talk with you and answer your questions whether you have decided on open adoption or not. I am an attorney and a birth mother and have been in your shoes. Feel free to contact me anytime.