Adoptive parents who are eagerly awaiting a baby to adopt often receive information on situations from the adoption agency they are working with. Hopefully, most agencies, like A Act of Love Adoptions give a good social and medical history on the birthparents in addition to, the openness or post-adoption contact which the birthparents have requested and in most cases, have discussed with their agency’s counselor.
As the adoptive parent(s) review the information and begin deciding if this is a situation that they would like their profile to be seen by the birthparents, they should think long and hard about the “openness” or post-adoption contact plan that is being presented. If they agree to have their profile shown to the birthparents, then they must be willing to abide 100% to the plan for the open adoption.
As birthparents place their child for adoption, they are putting their trust in the adoptive parents to keep their promise to abide by the post-adoption contact agreement. For many birthparents, this is one of the most difficult parts to the adoption, as they hope and pray that the adoptive parents will do what has been written and promised for post-adoption contact.
Some states have new laws requiring the openness to be followed through with. Other states do not have such a law and it is an agreement made by both parties. It becomes a moral and ethical agreement in the states where there is no law concerning the openness. Many birthparents express their fear as they get closer to selecting the family that will raise their child. Phrases such as “How will I know that they will follow through with what I have requested?” are often expressed.
Act of Love advises birthparents to discuss the post-adoption contact with the adoptive parents they are interviewing. It is very important that the adoptive parent know how much it means to the birthparent and that they are counting on them to follow through. For some birthparents, the openness plan is the only way they can make an adoption plan and place. Knowing that they will be able to see the child grow up, whether it is through pictures, letters, Skype calls, or visits, helps the birthparent to let go.
Post-Adoption Contact agreements that are not followed through leave a birthparent feeling devastated and betrayed. Putting trust in those who will be the parents to your child is an amazing sacrifice and the hope is that it will be the best decision the birthparent will ever make. The adoptive parent should take this very serious and treat it like a contract that they are signing to keep their word.
Open adoptions are very healthy for everyone involved. It takes the wonder and guessing out of the equation, especially for the child. If the child wonders about why he was placed for adoption, he can learn about the situation his birthparents were in at the time he was born. He can know of their love for him and hear from them why they felt it the very best thing for him. He can see photos of his birthparents and birth family and learn about his biological heritage. He can have a grounded sense of who he is and the love that both sets of parents have for him. An open adoption can alleviate the wonder, the fear, the aching to know more. An open adoption can be a beautiful experience. Just make sure that you feel comfortable with what you agree to do. Do it for your child.