Tips for a Successful Open Adoption
Whether you’re a birth parent who is placing your child for adoption or a couple hoping to adopt a child, if you’ve opted for an open adoption, you’ve made an excellent decision! Though the other two types of adoption have their advantages, too, open adoption is seen by adoption experts as the most beneficial to the adoption triad, which encompasses the child, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s).
If you’ve done your research on open adoption, then you probably know that communication between the three parties of the adoption triad is highly encouraged. You may be wondering what that communication looks like, which is OK, but it can be difficult to define, as every adoption case is different! In the beginning stages of the open adoption process, it’s extremely important for the three parties to get to know each other. Remember, the more you get to know each other, the better you’ll understand each other! This will make communication within the triad easier and help all of you develop stronger relationships with each other in the future.
The Key to a Successful Open Adoption
First and foremost, the key to a successful open adoption is communication. Again, communication within the adoption triad is strongly encouraged, specifically in open adoption cases, and is seen by experts as the most beneficial to the triad. For adoption to be successful, you must be able to express your emotions, thoughts, what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not comfortable with. As each party within the triad becomes more comfortable around the others, communication will get easier! It’s important to remember that even if your relationship with another member of the triad progresses slowly, it’s still progressing! Before anything else, it might be helpful to simply get to know the basics about each other - where you’re from, what you do for work, what your hobbies are and so on. Talking about these things are a great way to break the ice between birth and adoptive parents! Also, as birth and adoptive families begin to open up more with each other, especially when talking about adoption, remember to always communicate with the child’s best interest in mind!
Going off the statement above, vulnerability and the ability to express emotions is an extremely important part of communication, and the adoption process overall. For some people, the adoption process is one of the most emotional things they might ever go through. Often, expressing emotions can be difficult, but in the adoption process doing so will only strengthen your relationship with the other parties of the triad! For birth and adoptive parents, especially when you first meet each other, know that the nervousness you might be feeling is probably mutual! Sometimes, knowing that another person is nervous or anxious can actually be helpful because you know you’re not alone in feeling that way! Recognizing that that nervous feeling is mutual is the first step in putting it aside and moving forward, so you can start to get to know one another better.
Especially in open adoption, it’s crucial for the adoption triad to show unwavering support for each other. Again, the adoption process is full of emotional ups and downs. At high points in the process, it’s important to be happy and excited for each other! At low points, it’s important to show concern and be comforting! There are lots of ways to show support for the other members of the triad: Make yourself available as someone who is always available to talk, to help out or to simply be present while someone is struggling emotionally. Every person is different, so you will learn as you get to know each other how best to show your support for each other, especially in times when it’s wanted or needed the most!
Keep in mind that the adoption process can take time. On tough days, the process can feel longer than it actually is! Be patient. This can also be applied to your relationships with others in the adoption triad! Remember, it’s harder for some people to communicate and express their emotions than others, and the adoption process can be very difficult for those going through it. Try to be patient and know that, in time, communication within the triad will get easier! Again, your relationship with others in the adoption triad may progress slowly, but slow progress is still progress!
On a similar note, always remember to stay positive and never give up on your relationships with the other parties of the adoption triad! Yes, there are going to be frustrating days. At times, it might seem like there are more bad days than good ones. But healthy, trusting relationships don’t happen overnight. In time, you will find a way of communicating that works for all of you! And during those tough moments in the process, remember what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and don’t forget that adoption is not about you as much as it is about the child! A child’s best interest must be taken into consideration above everything else, which triad relationships and the adoption process in general can take a little bit longer.
It’s All about Communication!
If you look back at each of these key tips, you might notice that most of them emphasize the importance of communication in some way. Whether you’re expressing a frustration, showing another person within the triad a little support, or simply getting to know one another, communication is essential to the success of an open adoption! The more you communicate with one another, the better off you’ll be. Communication can be challenging at first, especially when parties of the adoption triad meet for the first time, but if you keep at it, your relationships within the adoption triad will only become stronger, healthier and even more positive over time!
Our adoption specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions, discuss your options, and help you make the decision that is best for you and your baby. Call, text, chat, or email us anytime, day or night!