Opening your heart to Christian adoption is a big step toward providing your child with the future you wish. You are likely concerned about making the best choices that will set your child up for a life full of love, happiness, and the Christian values that are important to you. There are many decisions ahead to secure that bright path for you and your baby. As you research your options, you are sure to come across the term “open adoption.”
Today, most domestic infant adoptions in the United States are open, semi-open, or somewhere in between. Over the years, research and experience have shown that open adoption is a healthy, fulfilling choice for everyone involved – for you, your child, and your child’s adoptive family.
So what makes open adoption such a loving choice? You may wonder, what does open adoption mean for me?
Open adoption means choosing the perfect Christian parents for your baby
In an open adoption, you are in control. During a time in your life when your future may seem uncertain, it can be comforting to know that you will be in charge of laying out a life plan for your baby. A big part of that plan will be the parents you choose to raise your baby.
The caring Adoption Coordinators at Lifetime will help you find prospective Christian adoptive parents that match the values and lifestyle you wish for your child. You can browse profiles and get to know the hopeful Christian families before you make any decisions.
You are in the driver’s seat every step of the way, and you have the right to change your mind throughout the open adoption process. Only you can decide which Christian adoptive family is the right choice for your child.
Open adoption means giving your child a greater chance to develop a positive self-identity
In an open adoption, you and the adoptive family share identifiable information and agree to keep some form of contact throughout your child’s life.
When you keep the lines of communication open between you and your child, you provide her with access to her birth history. It’s human nature to want to know where you come from. Your child’s adoptive parents will nurture her with love and support, but you will be able to provide your child with something that they can’t – a link to her past.
Research has shown that adopted children who are satisfied with the amount of contact they maintain with their birth parents are better adjusted and demonstrate fewer behavior problems.
Your child will know that you did not just “give her away.” You can write her a letter of love that explains your decision’s circumstances and answer her questions when she is older. She will grow up with a fuller understanding of her identity and the adults in her life who made their choices out of love.
Open adoption means easing your fears and doubts
Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest concerns for birth mothers. By choosing open adoption, you ease that fear.
Your baby will not disappear from your life. You can rest assured that she will be loved and cared for by the Christian family you chose for her. Your baby will be raised with the Christian values you desire, and you will see that through the open communication you have with your child’s adoptive family.
An open adoption plan will also help you process the complicated emotions that come with adoption. Even if you are certain that adoption is the right path for you and your child, you will still experience a loss. However, knowing that your child will always be a part of your life can help you process your grief. You will feel confident in your decision because you will get to see your child thrive firsthand.
Open adoption means an opportunity for a special relationship with your child and the adoptive family.
As you set up your adoption plan, you choose the amount of communication you are comfortable with. The contact you keep with the adoptive family after your child is born can range from periodic updates and pictures through email or a private Facebook page, to phone calls, to visits once or twice a year.
This agreement is also subject to change over time as you and your relationship with the adoptive family evolves. As your child grows older, you may decide that more or less contact is in your child’s best interest, and you can work with the adoptive family to make those adjustments.
There is no one “right way” to design an open adoption plan, which makes it an appealing choice for birth mothers. You can tailor your plan to meet your needs best. The details may vary, but one thing will be certain: through open adoption, your child will know you and know the loving choice you made for her.