5 Amazing Facts about Open Adoption that Might Surprise You
Adoption has changed and evolved over the years, and we now live in a day and age where birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive families can all share the adoption experience together. While there are still outdated beliefs concerning adoption, the recent popularity of open adoption has made strides to erase these myths. Open adoption eliminates the secrecy that has shrouded adoption in the past, and clears a path for empathy, communication, and transparency for every member of the adoption process.
If you are a birth mother considering open adoption and are interested in concrete reasons why it may be the right choice for you, here are some facts about open adoption that may surprise you:
- People are Becoming More Open about Open Adoption
While modern adoption has been around since the 1850s, open adoption as we know it is a relatively new concept. Closed adoption was the standard for many years until the late 1970s and early 1980s, when many birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and social workers began advocating for open adoption. They argued that the secrecy throughout the adoption process was harmful to all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents.
Through their efforts, people began to recognize that withholding information during adoption had a high probability of negatively impacting everyone involved in the adoption process. Today, open adoption options are more readily available and they remain a popular choice for birth and adoptive parents alike.
- Birth Parents can Choose Their Child’s Adoptive Family
A common cause of hesitation about adoption for a birth parent is the uncertainty surrounding the potential adoptive family. You may have decided on adoption, because the idea feels like what is best for both you and your baby. Unfortunately, the idea of trusting your baby’s care and safety to complete strangers may be unnerving.
With open adoption, you have the option to choose your child’s adoptive family. This puts you in control of your adoption experience from the first step and can eliminate the fear that someone might not make the best choices for your child. Remember: You are an important part of the adoption process and your voice matters!
- Birth Parents can Be a Part of Their Child’s Life
In the past, birth mothers were taken to have their babies in private, and then never learned what happened to their children afterwards. What’s more, they were told to return to everyday life and pretend like nothing out of the ordinary happened. This caused feelings of loss and negatively impacted the birth parent’s emotional wellbeing.
Nowadays, open adoption creates opportunities for birth parents to get to know their child and be a part of their life. The level of openness is up to you and can evolve to accommodate the natural course of your relationship. Whether the level of openness involves sending pictures, exchanging emails, or visitation, choosing open adoption can offer you peace of mind in your decision and your child’s future.
- Adoptees Benefit from a Relationship with Their Birth Families
Children are naturally curious and, therefore, adoptees are very likely going to want to know about their birth families. Open adoption provides adoptees with a healthy and positive way for them to process their adoption and their identity. It may be difficult for a child to understand adoption and they will have questions.
With open adoption, as the birth mother, you have the ability to provide your child with a comfortable means of communication to answer their questions, and to be an overall reassuring presence in their life as they grow and learn more about you and themselves.
- Adoptive Families Benefit from a Relationship with Birth Families
The adoptive family you choose may also be just as eager as you are to connect and work together to create a bright future for your child. There is a strong chance that both families are looking forward to developing a life-long bond built on understanding and trust. An open adoption can help establish a healthy, respectful relationship between the birth parents and the adoptive family.
Through open adoption, both you and the adoptive family can avoid the uncertainty that may accompany closed adoption. Both parties can offer each other support and reassurance throughout the adoption experience and beyond.
Keeping an Open Mind about Open Adoption
These amazing facts about open adoption may have surprised you, but the growing interest in this form of adoption is not surprising at all. Times have changed and, just as adoption is ever-changing and evolving, so are opinions about open adoption. The transparency allowed in an open adoption can bring comfort to birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive families — ultimately benefiting everyone involved. Your adoption experience does not have to feel like you have lost the chance to know your child. With open adoption, everybody wins! Adoption Choices of Oklahoma supports open adoptions and encourages birth parents to give it consideration while thinking over their adoption options. Adoption has come a long way and we are thrilled to see more and more people opening both their hearts and their minds to open adoption.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email
Meet the Author: Kristle Hailes is just your average, Alaska-born writer with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a dragon’s hoard of books and tea. In addition to educating young minds for over 12 years as a teacher, Kristle is also a professional daydreamer, world-builder, author-in-progress, and wordsmith. Writing is the air in her lungs, and she has been breathing life into paper ever since she learned her ABCs and realized you could play with words.
Kristle currently lives in South Carolina where she can usually be found face-deep in a book and a cup of tea or digging herself out of plot holes while working on the first novel of her adult contemporary fantasy series.