One of the questions that comes up when you decide to adopt a child is what type of adoption you will consider. Some birth parents will only work with adoptive parents who want to be part of an open adoption. These adoptions are becoming more common than they were in the past, but that doesn’t mean they are appropriate in every case. It is important that you consider these four questions if you are considering an open adoption to add a child to your family.
#1: How much do I want the birth parents involved?
Open adoptions are a unique arrangement since they allow the birth parents to remain a part of the child’s life. The extent of the birth parents’ involvement varies from one case to the next. You and the birth parent should discuss this ahead of time so that clear expectations are laid out from the beginning. While the expectations for visits with the birth parents are included in the adoption paperwork, the birth parents have no recourse if the adoptive parents eventually decide that the visitation arrangements aren’t working. Many adoptive parents appreciate this point since they aren’t forced to continue dealing with a relationship that they don’t feel is in the child’s best interests any longer.
#2: How important is the parents’ medical history?
A benefit of an open adoption is that the adoptive parents can contact the birth parents if there are any questions about medical matters. With a closed adoption, the adoptive parents must rely solely on the information that the birth parents provided in a questionnaire during the adoption process. Some other very limited information might also be available. Adoptive parents may be able to ask the birth parents questions if it becomes necessary due to circumstances.
#3: How will I handle the child’s questions?
Before the adopted child is old enough to ask questions, the adoptive parents should decide how to answer any potential questions. This can include questions about the birth parents and what their role is in the child’s life. Some children might want to know why the birth parents made the decision to place the child up for adoption. They might even want to know why the adoptive parents chose them. Thinking about these questions now can help to prevent problems down the road.
#4: How will we handle special events?
Even when guidelines are made for how the birth parents will interact with the child, the adoptive parents should think about how to handle special events. Deciding whether to invite the birth parents to birthday parties, school events, holiday celebrations and similar events or not is often complex. Instead of waiting until right before an event to make these decisions, adoptive parents should think about this from the get-go. Ultimately, what is best for the child is what should occur.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001