How Open Adoption Works

an adoption counselor discusses open adoption

So birth parents are often concerned about the adoptive family, caring for the baby and loving the baby as their own. So a lot of fear is around that, and how this child will be told about their adoption story. Will they be confused? Will they be angry at a birth parent. We hear that quite often, birth mothers worrying this child might be angry at me for making an adoption plan.

We also hear concerns about openness. Will the adoptive family really keep in touch with me after I make this decision? Are they just saying things to have me make an adoption plan, and then they’re going to cut me out of their lives? So we really talk about everyone’s understanding about open adoption and commitment to openness and excitement to be in this relationship.

And then I think adoptive parents have similar fears and concerns around openness. Sometimes it’s what people’s roles will be in an open adoption relationship. Will there be boundaries, and how will that be? Is open adoption co-parenting? They worry about that. And then more often than not once they’re in a match meeting, they worry that this might be their one snapshot in time to meet birth parents. And birth parents might make this decision and then disappear. And so they really worry for their child. Are they going to have the answers they need? Are they going to have that relationship with birth parents, and will that connection be there?

I think the match meeting is the foundation for a future of open adoption relationships. So, the communication in an open adoption is the most important thing, and it starts on the day of a match meeting.

So, I hear a lot of hopes and dreams that are very similar between birth parents and adoptive parents as to why they’re making this plan and coming together. So, wanting a child to have a happy life, to have opportunities to be exposed to things that maybe birth parents couldn’t expose them to or wish they had been exposed to. So sometimes that’s related to education, traveling, having a lot of opportunities in life that maybe they couldn’t offer at this point in time.