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5 Red Flags Warning an Adoptive Family Won’t Honor an Open Adoption:

As a birth mother do you want an open adoption? Let's make sure when you place your baby, it’s with a family who truly wants the same adoption option you want.

Here are five red flags you might to watch for that suggest the potential adoptive family isn’t open to an open adoption.

Red Flag Number 1

The Child-Centric Profile: When you see their family profile it is all baby-centered. You are barely mentioned. Discussions focus solely on diapers and nap schedules with no room for you.

Example Conversation:

Birth Mother: “I noticed your family profile is very focused on the baby. What role do you see for me in the child’s life?”

Adoptive Family: “Oh, we just want to make sure the baby is comfortable and happy. You can visit, but let’s keep things simple.”


Red Flag Number 2

Undecided About Meeting: If the adoptive family can’t commit to a meet-and-greet, this is concerning. If they always have an excuse, you might want to look for another family.

Example Conversation:

Birth Mother: “I’d love to meet you and get to know you better. Can we schedule a time?”

Adoptive Family: “We’re really busy right now. Can we just wait until after the baby is born?”

Birth Mother: “I want to make sure we’re comfortable with each other before that. It’s important.”

Red Flag Number 3.

Lack of Boundaries: If the potential adoptive family isn’t ready to talk about boundaries or schedules, they aren’t ready for a commitment to you. They are probably planning but are leaving you out of the planning. This is not a good sign of a successful open adoption.

Example Conversation:

Birth Mother: “Have you thought about how we’ll navigate boundaries in our open adoption?”

Adoptive Family: “Boundaries? We haven’t really discussed that. We thought we’d figure it out as we go.”

Birth Mother: “I think it’s important to have a plan in place to avoid misunderstandings.”

Red Flag Number 4.

Reluctant to Work with the Adoption Agency: Potential adoptive families who don’t want advice or direction from a good adoption agency may have already decided what they want. Someone writing their own script is often hard to work with later.

Example Conversation:

Birth Mother: “The agency has some great resources for us. Are you open to taking their advice?”

Adoptive Family: “We’ve done our research. We prefer to handle things our own way.”

Birth Mother: “I’d feel more comfortable if we followed the agency’s guidance.”

Red Flag Number 5.

Absence of a Communication Plan: If the adoptive family doesn’t want to discuss the post-adoption communication plan, you will spend a lot of time in the dark, wondering what comes next. Conclusion: Open adoption requires collaboration, and a shared vision.

Example Conversation:

Birth Mother: “I was thinking about how we’ll stay in touch after the adoption. Any thoughts?”

Adoptive Family: “We haven’t really thought about it. We’ll just see how it goes, I guess.”

Birth Mother: “I’d like to have a plan in place so we’re all on the same page moving forward.”

Conclusion: Open adoption requires collaboration, and a shared vision. Ensure red flags are addressed for a successful and truly open adoption journey.