There isn’t one "open adoption definition", it is a matter of choices.
But some key pieces involve selecting the family based on what’s important to you; meeting them in what The Cradle calls a match meeting; and, coming up with a plan to stay in contact with your adoptive family. Your adoption counselor will help guide and support you throughout this process.
Some may not feel ready for contact with adopting parents or an open adoption. We will inform you about how that works, and provide you the facts about open adoption. But it's your choice.
All of our adoptive parents are ready for contact from birthparents. So even if you opt for a closed adoption -- without any contact -- you can revisit this decision if later you decide you'd like to contact the family. We can help you connect.
Some birth and adoptive families choose to stay in touch after placement through emails, texts or phone calls. Others arrange for occasional visits. And like any relationship, connections between birth and adoptive families change over time.
We believe open adoption has many benefits. It lets you:
- Explain to your child that you love him and why you chose adoption
- See for yourself that your child is safe and loved in the home your chose for him
- Answer questions about you and your family
- Give your child a clearer sense of who they are and where they come from
We know it's hard
It may be hard to see your child at first. That’s natural. Yet over time birthparents tell us how happy they are that they chose to have a relationship with the adoptive family. With an open adoption you can see for yourself how your decision has allowed your child to grow up and thrive in the family setting you chose for them.
We'll create a plan together
There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to open adoption. Each plan is unique and built on trust and mutual respect. In most states, including Illinois, open adoption is not legally enforceable. Under the guidance of your Cradle counselor, you and the adoptive family will come up with a plan that works best for all. If at any time you lose touch with the family or need some help with the relationship, we can help you reconnect.