A recent study by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute reported that about 95% of modern day adoptions in the U.S. are open adoptions (“New report details increase in ‘open’ adoptions” – Crary 2012). An open adoption can take many forms, from a simple meeting of the birth parents and the adoptive family to continual communication and interaction between the birth parents and the adopted child as he or she grows up. While each adoption may vary in agreed upon terms, research data from over 100 adoption agencies shows open adoption as the new paradigm for adoption in America.
Open adoptions offer many benefits for the birth parents, adoptive family, and, most importantly, for the unborn child. Communication between the birth parents and the adopting family helps dispel fear and increase confidence for everyone involved. The birth mother and birth father are reassured that they are selecting the perfect family for their child and the adopting family receives affirmation in their call to love and raise the child as their own.
Through open adoption, the adoptee receives the benefit of a widened support network. They are raised by a loving, encouraging adoptive family, while maintaining some degree of contact with their birth mother or birth father. As the child matures they grow to understand the selfless love surrounding their adoption, strengthening their sense of identity and belonging.
A key component of a successful open adoption is reaching an agreement with clear expectations for the birth mother, birth father, and the adoptive family. It is helpful to have a common understanding of how often and what kind of communication and interaction is expected from all parties. This is not to say the agreement should be inflexible, but mutually arriving at a clear understanding helps everyone build open, honest relationships for the benefit of the adopted child.
Adopting a child is an important decision that requires much careful consideration. Are you contemplating adoption or are you already planning to adopt a child? Do you have any idea about how or where to start? Providence Place will guide you through the adoption process while making sure all your questions are. Providence Place offers adoption services for birth mothers, birth fathers, adoptive families for children, and adoptees. They also provide supportive services, post adoption services, and much more. Providence Place is a national leader in open adoptions. Visit provplace.org today to learn more about adopting a child.