5 Benefits of Open Adoption for Children, Birth and Adoptive Parents
Written By: Erin Jones
Open adoption is an excellent choice for both birth and adoptive parents considering adoption. For birth parents, open adoption allows you the opportunity to review and select potential adoptive parents for your child. As a birth parent, if you choose open adoption, you may even have the chance to build a relationship with your child and your child’s adoptive family in the future, if you choose to maintain contact. Similarly, there are a lot of great benefits for adoptive parents who choose open adoption! Adoptive parents will also have the chance to develop a relationship with their child’s birth parent(s) and with their child’s birth parent(s) involved, their child may be able to get answers to identity-related questions that adoptive parents can’t necessarily answer.
It’s important to remember that, though the benefits of open adoption for birth and adoptive parents are wonderful, the benefits of open adoption to the child are even greater! Adoption is, first and foremost, about the child and doing whatever is in his or her best interest!
5 Important Benefits of Open Adoption
Children, Birth and Adoptive Parents: Stronger Communication and Relationships
Open adoption is seen by adoption experts as the most beneficial to this triad, as it offers the most advantages to each of the three parties. Perhaps the most important advantages of open adoption are communication, connection and closure!
Communication, of course, is extremely important in open adoption cases, as the whole point of open adoption is to encourage communication between the three parties of the adoption triad: the child or the children, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s). It’s essential for birth and adoptive parents to communicate in order to determine how much contact and involvement they want with each other, while keeping in mind the best interest of their child. The more positive the relationship between the birth and the adoptive parents, the better for the child!
On a similar note, the better the birth and adoptive parents communicate, the better they’ll come to understand each other and connect. Open adoption connects families who would likely not have interacted before and allows them the opportunity to foster healthy, positive relationships with each other. When the relationship between a child’s birth and adoptive parents is healthy and strong, the child’s relationships with both will be stronger in the future and his or her support system will be all the better! Additionally, when a child is already in contact with his or her birth family, this eliminates the need to search for them in the future, which is something that children who have been adopted often do when they reach adulthood.
Feeling a sense of closure is important in any of the three types of adoption. Out of the three types of adoption, children are more likely to feel the most closure from an open adoption because they are more likely to be in contact with their birth family. Because children in open adoption cases have more communication with their birth families, they’re able to develop positive relationships with their birth parents, making it easier for them to get answers about their identity and their birth family.
Children and Birth Parents: Eliminating Feelings of Unwantedness
Children who have been adopted often struggle with feelings of being unwanted and unloved because their birth parent(s) chose to place them for adoption rather than to raise and parent them. No child is unwanted, of course, but open adoption allows birth parents the opportunity to explain to their child why it was in his or her best interest to be placed for adoption, and allows the child the chance to understand why he or she was placed for adoption. These conversations between children and their birth parents can help to alleviate the child’s feelings of unwantedness, as well as help the birth parents alleviate the feelings of guilt that often accompany the decision to place a child for adoption. In closed adoption cases, and sometimes even in semi-open adoption cases, it isn’t as likely for children and their birth parents to have the opportunity to have these conversations.
Children and Adoptive Parents: Access to Important Medical History
Open adoption makes it easier for children who have been adopted and their adoptive families to gain access to vital medical information and history. Since it’s more common for the adoption triad to be in contact with each other when they opt for an open adoption, it makes asking the child’s birth family for access to medical history a lot less awkward! Access to this medical information is extremely important, especially if the child is or could be high risk for certain medical problems.
Birth Parents: Choosing an Adoptive Family for Your Child
One of the many benefits for birth parents who’ve opted for an open adoption is the ability to choose an adoptive family for your child. For birth parents who have chosen to place their child for adoption, the decision is never an easy one, but they often feel more comfortable in their decision once they’ve personally interviewed and selected an adoptive family for their child. It can help the birth parent(s) of a child who's been placed for adoption to feel a sense of closure because they know with confidence that their child was welcomed into a loving, caring and supportive adoptive family!
Adoptive Parents: Being Personally Chosen is Comforting
Just like with birth parents, choosing adoption is a huge decision for adoptive parents. For adoptive parents who’ve selected open adoption, knowing that you were handpicked by your child’s birth parent(s) can help boost your confidence in the decision to adopt and your confidence in your readiness and ability to be parents! For birth and adoptive parents alike, your first meeting is the first step in developing a positive relationship with each other, which will not only benefit you, but will benefit your child, too!
The More You Communicate, the Better!
Again, perhaps the greatest benefit of open adoption is the opportunity to communicate and build healthy, positive relationships! Remember, adoptions experts agree that open adoption is the most beneficial to ALL three parties of the adoption triad. Though the child’s best interest should be of utmost importance, part of what’s in the child’s best interest is the strength of the relationship between his or her birth and adoptive parents. The better a child's birth and adoptive parents communicate, the better their relationship will be, which will make their child’s support system stronger and will ultimately help their child to be happier, more confident and more successful in the future!