Whether you are an expectant mother or adoptive family researching adoption, you have questions, we have answers! Adoption Choices of Florida is committed to providing you resources and informations so you can make the best choice for you, your baby, and/or your family. The following questions are mostly related to adoption openness.
1. “What exactly is open adoption?”
Having an open adoption means that there is some level of direct communication between the adoptive family and the birth family. They communicate directly with each other through emails, letters, photos, or visits, instead of relying on an intermediary such as an agency, attorney, or social worker. The type and amount of contact is mutually agreed upon between the adoptive couple and the birth parents.
2. “What’s the difference between open adoption and closed adoption?”
In closed adoption, adoptive parents and birthparents don’t share their names or contact address and have no ongoing contact after the born is born.
3. “Are there different degrees of openness in open adoption?”
Yes, it all depends on the wants and needs of the birth mother and adoptive family. Open adoption relationships range from semi-open (exchanging identifying information before the placement but having limited contact afterwards) to fully open (exchanging identifying information prior to the birth of the child and exchanging phone calls, emails and visits afterwards) to closed adoption (no contact before or after the birth).
4. “Can the birth parents come back and get their child?”
No, once the adoption has been finalized in court, the adoptive parents are the child’s legal parents. The adoption becomes permanent once the birth parents sign the legal paperwork consenting to the adoption and their revocation period passes.
5. “Does your child know who their birth parents are? What does he call them?”
In modern adoptions, adoptive parents are encouraged to talk about adoption from the start, even when their child is an infant. By doing so, the child doesn’t grow up confused about his origins and his birth family. How well the child knows the birth parents is entirely up to the amount of contact the birth family and adoptive family have agreed on and can change or evolve over time.
6. “Is it hard for your child’s birth mother to see him?”
Most birth mothers have shared that although open adoption visits are emotional, they actually make her feel very positive about the decision she made. Open adoption visits, emails, photos, and other communication allow the birth mother to see that her child is growing up happy and loved. Instead of feeling regret, she feels validated.
7. “How long do you have to stay in touch with your child’s birth parents?”
This depends on the open adoption agreement made between the adoptive parents and the birth family. We have seen that some birth mothers need lots of contact early on, but not as much years down the road. The reverse can also be true; it depends on the birth mother and her needs.
8. “Won’t this relationship be confusing for your child?”
No, actually experts have found that open adoption lessens the amount of confusion and mystery for adoptees. With open adoption, the child will know his birth family, genetic roots, the circumstances of his conception and birth. Most importantly, the child will be aware that they’re loved both by their birth parents and by their adoptive parents. As you can see, the truth isn’t confusing; the truth is liberating.
9. “What are the advantages of open adoption?”
Studies show that there are huge benefits for all members of the triad, especially to the adopted child. Openness allows adoptees to know who they are and where they came from, giving them self-esteem and a strong sense of identity.
10. “What are the disadvantages of open adoption?”
As in any family, each party will have its own ideas about the best way to raise a child, and about the frequency and level of contact that is best between the child and his or her birth parents.
11. “What happens if the birth parents and adoptive parents want to change an open adoption agreement after the baby is born?”
In most states, open adoption agreements are non-binding so it’s really up to the two parties to come to a consensus based on the interests of their child.
12. “What are the advantages of staying in touch with the birth parents after the baby is born?”
Adoption is a lifelong journey. A child will always have a connection to his birth parents, even if they aren’t directly involved in raising him. Keeping in touch is one way to honor and celebrate that connection and to deal with any questions your child may have as he or she grows up.
13. “Do adopted children want to live with their birth parents when they grow up?”
No, most adoptees have no desire to live with their birth parents. And most birth parents have no interest in interfering in the raising of their child. The relationship that adoptees and adoptive parents have with birth parents is similar to the kind you would have with a close or extended family member.
14. “Do ever you wish you had a closed adoption?”
The adoption isn’t just about the adoptive parents; it’s about everybody involved. And the most important person involved in the adoption is the child; everything is done in the best interest of the child. The birth parents are choosing to place their baby with an adoptive family with their child’s best interests in mind. For a variety of reasons, they’re not able to be parents right now but choose adoption out of love for their child. In the end, the adopted child benefits most of all from an open adoption. They will never question, never doubt that they were and are loved by his birth family. And, if they ever do, all they have to do is ask them.