Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What is open adoption?

Dear Mardie,

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby unsuccessfully for three years now with no luck. We've been looking into adoption as a way to have children, and see the term "open adoption" on many websites. What is open adoption?
-Amanda


Dear Amanda,
Open adoption can mean many things, from just speaking over the phone with a birthmother, or having a single meeting with your birthmother, to ongoing letters and photos, phone calls, or visits after the adoption. The degree of contact is something to be agreed upon between the adoptive parents and the birth parents.

Lifetime Adoption supports some degree of openness among all members of the adoption triad (the birth parents, adoptive families, and children). It is widely believed that such openness, in most adoptions, is in the best interest of all parties, and has proven to result in safer adoptions with fewer reclaims. For you, the adoptive parent, it is also helpful to have the opportunity to know your child's medical history. With some conditions it is vital to know of any medical problems that may arise as the child grows into adulthood. In addition, should a rare situation arise that your child needs something from a biological relative, you would be able to find one easily.

Many birth parents seek contact through periodic letters and photos, or possibly phone calls, from the adoptive family. In most all cases, birth parents who choose open adoption are simply seeking reassurance that their birth child is growing up safe and happy. Some birth families do not want any further contact after the adoption until the child is 18 years old. The choice is as much the birth parents' as it is yours. The degree of openness you seek will be taken into consideration during the matching process.

To learn more about open adoption, visit www.OpenAdoption.com. To work with Lifetime Adoption to adopt your baby, please fill out the free online application.

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