In an open adoption, a birth mother selects the adoptive parents for her child and participates in the placement of her child. The birth mother relinquishes all legal rights to the child, of course, but she keeps the right to have some future contact. Staying in touch can be as minimal as an email exchange or as extensive as visits with the child and adoptive family.
The Benefits of Open Adoption
Open adoption is better for the birth mother, for the child, and for the adoptive family, especially for Christians. With open adoption, the birth mother can meet the adoptive couple. Doing this allows her to decide whether they have the Christian values she desires for her child to be raised with. Prospective adoptive parents can find out the wishes of the birth mother, and they can all work together to develop a plan.
Open adoption dramatically benefits the child. They grow up knowing their birth mother, and when the child is old enough to ask, the reasons why she chose adoption. This has been deemed to be better for the child’s emotional well-being.
Contact with the birth mother provides adoptive parents with crucial medical information. Years ago, we heard of an adoption where the adoptive parents agreed to exchange emails and photos with the birth mother but never made any effort to stay in touch. Their adopted son needed a bone marrow transplant, and the doctors were searching for a match. Their best hope was the biological mother, but she had moved, and the adoptive parents couldn’t find her. If that birth mother had known the child needed her, she would have come on the next plane.
What About Closed Adoption?
Closed adoptions used to be the norm and the preferred method of adoption. On the surface, closed adoptions might seem less stressful. But actually, the opposite is true. Today, closed adoptions are rare. Open adoption with annual visits is much more common now, creating a smooth transition for the birth mother and child.
Lifetime Christian Adoption feels blessed to be able to help thousands of people every year with open adoptions.