You’ve decided to adopt. That’s exciting news! A very important first step in your adoption journey, and to growing your family. You’ve no doubt started to research the available options, and get a bit more educated about the process itself, but you’re still wrestling with the benefits and potential drawbacks of your decision.
Don’t worry — you’ve come to the right place! Believe it or not, weighing all the pros and cons is an important part of the decision making process. It’s perfectly ok and natural to carefully consider the many facets involved. Not only does this show that you are dedicated to the journey, but it also speaks volumes to your future as a good parent. Read on to gain insight into some important factors of parenthood, and the life of your future child. Please know this is not a complete resource.
To begin, let’s get the cons out of the way first.
Cons of Open Adoption
- Change of Heart – sometimes adoptions don’t reach placement or finalization. This can either be due to decisions on the birth parents’ side or the adoptive parents’, or other factors that cause the adoption to not reach placement. Sadly, this is a risk that birth and adoptive parents take when they embark on the adoption journey, and an important aspect to keep in mind.
- Potential Boundary Issues – there is a common fear that either the birth parents or adoptive parents, or both, will end up destroying trust with each other somehow. The thought of maintaining contact after the adoption is a scary thing for parents. If this is a concern you have, be sure to discuss this with your adoption agency or lawyer. They can help guide you through this. It is important to remember that open adoption is built on trust from both the adoptive and birth parents.
- Identity Confusion – for adoptees, open adoption can present a challenge to their sense of identity. Having contact with their birth parents, while being raised by their adoptive parents, can be very confusing.
Pros of Open Adoption
- Healthy Grieving – with an open adoption, adoptees and birth parents alike are able to grieve more healthfully than they would in a closed adoption. Maintaining contact post adoption allows the birth parent to know that they made the right choice, and their child is safe and happy.
- Access to Medical and Health Records – unlike with a closed adoption, adoptees and adoptive parents have access to the adoptee’s medical and health records. This provides a sense of comfort and security
- Understanding for Adoptees – similar with the grieving mentioned above, open adoptions permit adoptees to gain insight into why they were adopted. As a result, open adoptions play a crucial part in diminishing identity crises, and feelings of shame, rejection and abandonment. Without the need for an adoption lawyer, adoptees can get answers to big questions directly from their birth parent, lessening the risk of believing lies about themselves and their adoption story. Adoptees knowing their origin from the very beginning has had positive results in the adjustment process, and with accepting the roles of both their birth parents and adoptive parents.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Adoption is all about creating your family. It will change your life in the best way possible, and present you with learning curves every step of the way. To better help you through the pros and cons stage of your adoption journey, consider these questions: what are your true motivations to adopt? Why do you want to be a parent?
Think through these carefully. Be transparent and honest with yourself and your partner. You may find that answering these helps you find the response you already know deep down.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Craft, Carrie. “Why Should Parents Choose an Open Adoption?” Verywell Family, www.verywellfamily.com/why-choose-an-open-adoption-26609.
“Open Adoption – The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship.” Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/adopting/open-adoption/open-adoption-how-it-works.
Ryan, Bethanie. “Work.” Feminists for Life of America, 23 June 2017, www.womendeservebetter.com/pros-and-cons-of-open-adoption.