After an open adoption placement, both adoptive and birth parents may be eager to develop their relationship, but aren’t sure where to start. Not all open adoptions are the same—and that’s OK. Here’s five things you might expect in an open adoption relationship.
1. It takes time. It’s normal for both the birth parents and adoptive parents to be nervous and uncertain about how to navigate an open relationship. That’s OK – and it’s normal. Exchanging emails and photos for the first few months is a good way to start feeling out the relationship, and learning how you want it to evolve.
2. Things can change. Just as your child will grow and learn, so will you and your child’s birth parents. You can expect feelings and considerations to change over time—it’s totally normal, and something we see all the time.
For example, many birth parents want immediate confirmation that the adoption plan they made was the right one. As such, she might want to stay in touch frequently at first, but that may fade as she becomes more confident in her decision to place her child with your family. Or, some birth parents find it too difficult to get too close too soon, and so you might not get hear from them for a few months. It just depends.
3. Every relationship is unique. Every open adoption relationship is unique to and can develop in a number of different ways. The beauty of an open adoption is in its ability to look however you, and your child’s birthparents, want it to.
What’s your experience with open adoption?