Open adoption is a relatively new concept. Many women who are thinking about making an adoption plan don’t realize that closed adoptions – where the birth mother doesn’t know or choose the adopting parents – are a thing of the past.
Definition of open adoption
Open adoption means, at a minimum, that the birth mother knows the identity (usually the first and last names) of the adopting parents. The adopting parents also know the identity of the birth mother. The birth mother chooses the adopting parents and has access to information about them, such as where they live, how long they’ve been married, if they have any other children, and any health issues they might have.
Typically, an open adoption will also include contact between the birth mother and the adopting parents. This can be as little or as much as the birth mother and adopting parents want. Open communication is really important as you get to know each other and build your relationship.
Open adoption after everyone goes home
Contact after the baby is born and goes home with the adopting parents is also typical in an open adoption. How much contact you have and what that contact looks like—phone calls, emails, face time over the internet, in person visits—is up to the birth parents and the adopting parents. It’s critical that everyone is honest and open about the type of contact they want before deciding to move forward with the adoption plan. The success of the adoption throughout the lives of everyone involved, including the adoptee, is based on this honesty and trust.