Open adoption is an agreement in which a birth mother continues to have a relationship with her birth child after placing the child for adoption. The openness in your adoption will differ from another birth mother depending on your desires matched with the family desires. Your openness may change throughout the relationship as well, perhaps becoming less or more with time.
Types of Adoption
There are different levels of openness in adoption that include open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. With Adoption Choices of Florida, prospective birth mothers will find that a voluntary open adoption is an option.
An open adoption in Florida is when a prospective birth mother voluntarily places her baby for adoption with an adoptive family and the parties agree to continue communication after placement.
Florida open adoptions vary in their terms of agreement. The post-placement agreement will be outlined before placement to ensure that all parties are on the same page. The post-placement agreement in Florida may include frequency of contact and types of contact. Frequency and type of contact depend upon the preferences and circumstances of the birth mother and the adoptive parents. It will also be important to keep in mind that while this document guides birth mothers and adoptive families, that does not necessarily mean that it is set in stone. As the child grows up, and circumstances and situations evolve, a birth mother and the adoptive parents may desire to change frequency and type of contact in their open adoption.
A semi-open adoption agreement means that personal information is kept confidential and post-placement contact is mediated by the adoption professional in Florida. A birth mother may want to have some level of contact with her birth child, but not want any identifying information to be revealed. Perhaps she only wants pictures and updates of her child but doesn’t desire direct contact with the adoptive family. In this case, an adoption professional would mediate that relationship and maintain the privacy of all parties. This is a great option for a woman who has chosen adoption, but doesn’t want an open relationship with her child and his or her family.
The opposite of an open adoption is a closed adoption. A closed adoption is an adoption in which there is no communication or contact between the birth mother and her birth child during his or her upbringing. The birth child may decide at age 18 to open adoption records in Florida and contact his or her birth mother. However, the child will not have access to his or her birth mother’s information until then.
Closed adoptions were very popular for a long time in history, as society believed that contact between a birth mother and her child could be harmful to both parties, especially the child. However, recent research is evolving to change the desired post-placement agreement to be at least semi-open. The benefits to continued contact for both the birth mother and the child outweigh the previous fears that society had regarding open adoption.
Why Choose an Open Adoption?
1 - Openness makes adoption easier to understand. In closed adoption, the words ‘birth mother’ and ‘adoption’ are difficult for [young] children to understand because there is nothing concrete to attach to these words. In open adoption, the child has concrete information, and the birth mother is a concrete reality in his life. Therefore, it is much easier for children of open adoption to understand their adoption.
2 - Openness provides access to important information. For example, access to familial medical history and other pertinent information about the child’s biological predecessors. The child knows who he “takes after” and he is familiar with people who may share some of his traits.
3 - Openness helps adopted children know that they’re loved. While in closed adoptions the parents can reiterate that birth parents place children out of love, in open adoptions the child can see the love in ongoing and direct interactions.
Your reason for choosing an open adoption is as unique and personal as your choice to choose adoption. While the level of openness will vary, open adoption can be a loving and valuable experience for all parties of the adoption triad! If you are ready to start your adoption journey, please contact one of our professional, compassionate adoption specialist at Adoption Choices of Florida or by calling (800) 985-8108.