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What Is Open Adoption?

what is open adoption? Open adoption is a broad term often used to describe a wide variety of openness levels among birthparents and adoptive parents. Open adoptions are increasingly commonplace and often include any / all of the following: the expectant mother (and father, if involved) choosing adoptive parents, the exchange of non-identifying information, ongoing contact throughout the years via email, text, or phone, the exchange of child pictures and updates over the years, and visits.

As you explore the adoption option, keep in mind that open adoption is not a band-aid solution. Some may think that because a birthmother will see and know her child, her pain may lessen. However, consider this: you will watch your child run to someone else when they are hurting. You will hear them call someone else mommy. These and other scenarios are potentially painful and heartbreaking for any birthmother. At the same time you will have the opportunity to know your child, watch him or her grow, and be the biological connection many adoptees have desperately longed for throughout their formative years.

Before making an open adoption plan, give some thought to exactly what you will want out of your open adoption. Consider making a list, noting the particular points you will absolutely not bend on. Note also where you might be willing to compromise, should it become necessary. This is something you'll want to discuss in detail with the adoptive parents you have chosen in order to make sure you all are on the same page. Be upfront and honest about what you desire. If the adoptive parents are not receptive to your requests, this could be a sign that they are not the right family for you and your baby.

• Read some frequently asked questions about open adoption.