How Does Open Adoption Work?

This girl is considering open adoption.

From finding out you’re pregnant to wondering if adoption might be the best option for you — this process is anything but simple. Liberty Women’s Clinic is here to partner with you as you walk through your adoption plan. An important step in this process is learning about open adoption and what it could mean for your future. If you feel alone, a great place to start is BraveLove.org, which is a site dedicated to birth moms and their stories.

What is open adoption?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make as you design your adoption plan is whether you want an open or closed adoption. Open adoptions involve some level of relationship between the birth mother and child, while closed adoptions do not and are largely anonymous. 

Ninety-five percent of adoptions in the United States today are open in some way. As the birth mother, you are able to decide how open you would like the relationship to be. You can even choose the family you would like your child to be placed with.

Will I be able to see and talk to my child?  

Yes! If you choose to have an open adoption, you will be able to decide how and when you would like to communicate with your child, including whether you want to schedule in-person visits or simply communicate remotely, via calls, texts, or letters.

Scheduled Visits

If you want to be as involved as possible in your child’s life, in-person visits might be a good option for you to explore. As you design your adoption plan, you can determine how often you would like to see your child and if there are specific days or occasions on which you want to schedule visits moving forward. 

Text, Calls, or Emails

For some birth mothers, the thought of in-person visits sounds overwhelming or difficult. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected remotely. Your adoption plan can include phone calls, video calls, texts, or email communication.

Letters and Photos

If you’re hoping to stay up-to-date on your child’s life moving forward but don’t think remote communication or in-person visits will work for you, you have another choice.  Consider the idea of sending letters and photos back and forth by paper mail.

How do I find an adoption agency? 

As you develop your adoption plan, it’s important to find a trusted adoption agency to help you along the way. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your local pregnancy clinic where you’ll receive free healthcare services and resources, including referral information to trustworthy adoption agencies in your area.

Will I be able to select who my baby is placed with? 

Yes! As the birth mother, you are able to decide who your child will be placed with. Once you’ve selected an adoption agency, you’ll be able to provide specific criteria and preferences to help you and the agency narrow down the list of families that will be eligible to adopt your baby. Some questions to think through include:

  • Do I want my child to stay in a specific geographical area? 
  • Do I mind if my child is placed in a single-parent home?  
  • Do I have preferences regarding race, ethnicity, religion, etc.? 
  • Do I want my child to have older siblings? 

It’s important to remember that you are in control of this process and you should feel empowered to voice your desires and hopes for yourself and your child. 

Once the adoption agency narrows down the search, you will most likely be able to see photos and profiles of the families who are interested in adopting your child. Eventually, you will be able to meet prospective families and make a decision you feel confident in.

I’m ready to start my adoption journey! 

Open adoptions are not one-size-fits-all and it can be a challenge to know what kind of adoption is right for you.

Liberty Women’s Clinic is here to help empower you in this process as you design a plan that fits your needs, desires, and boundaries. We want to hear your hopes and dreams for the child you are carrying.

Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more!

 

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