Many adoptive parents and birthparents are embracing the benefits of open adoption. Heart to Heart, a Utah adoption agency offers abortion alternatives to unplanned pregnancies and strives to provide information about private adoption and open adoption options.
The benefits of an open adoption are numerous and include:
- Birthparents – An open adoption helps many birthparents feel in control of what was most likely an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of feeling as though they are abandoning their unborn child, many birthmothers participating in an open adoption, report feeling less grief and fewer abandonment issues.
- Adoptive Parents – Open adoption allows birthparents to pass on parenting to adoptive parents, which helps adoptive parents feel more secure when raising their adoptive child. In fact, many adoptive parents and birthparents report more feeling trust and understanding towards one another, especially related to the adoption decision-making process. When birthparents select adoptive parents, it allows them to feel important and entitled, as though they were chosen to be the vessel of life for an infant. Birthparents can also provide helpful medical information and family history.
- Adopted Children – Open adoptions eliminate the awkwardness involved in children finding out they were adopted as teenagers and undergoing a confused identity crisis. In fact, adopted children feel more comfortable asking questions such as, “Which parent do I look like?” “Why did my mom give me up for adoption?” etc. When a child asks adoptive parents a question that they do not know the answer to, they can turn to the birthparents for helpful advice and answers. When an open adoption is entered into, it allows the adopted child to understand that he/she was indeed loved, but there were special circumstances that did not allow his/her birthparents to offer a family environment. This type of openness allows adoptive parents to experience less confusion and frustration, especially where the adoption process is concerned. Young children often have a difficult time comprehending the meaning behind “adoption” and “birthmother.” Allowing a young child to physically meet his/her birthmother gives hi/her a sense of security and understanding.
- Extended Family Models – Open adoption essentially recognizes a birthmother as an extended family member, as she is a part of the adopted child’s life. When adoptive parents are able to accept birthparents into their lives, it helps provide a more comfortable adoption process.
- Difficulties – Open adoptions do not experience more difficulties than a normal family. As with all families, there may be relationship issues, but with counseling they can generally be worked out.