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Open Adoptions Should Be Designed to Benefit Children

mom-1231445_960_720“I’m glad my adoption wasn’t an open adoption,” Karlie said as she posed for a picture with her birth mother.

Karlie is beautiful. She is a stable 25 year old with a career and more shoes than could be found in a small Portuguese village.  Shoe fetishes are apparently something that can be inherited, because the recently found birth mother also has more shoes than can be comfortably contained in a large walk-in closet. The adoptive mother, on-the-other-hand, has but a meager supply of footwear.

“If I would have known you before,” Karlie said to the woman that gave birth to her, “I think I would have acted like kids who are in divorced homes always trying to get play one parent against the other.”

Certainly, one mother would have been more predisposed to feed the shoe fetish.

In our last blog, we discussed some of the many advantages to open adoption, including:

  • Eliminating secrets and shame.
  • Providing answers for children.
  • Giving birth mothers a window into their children’s lives and relieves fears or an improper placement.

There are so many forms of open adoption. On the one extreme there is the yearly letters exchanged through social workers and no identifying information. On the other extreme is the birth mother living with the adoptive family.

With social media, openness often takes on a whole new form. Will the biological or the adoptive mother be “stalking” the other on Facebook or Instagram? Will you be friends on social media? Are you going follow one another on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or exchanges “chats?”

When deciding on what type of openness between the birth family and the adoptive family, everyone involved needs to remember that this arrangement is about meeting the needs of children, not adults.

The children are the one who suffer when suddenly a birth mother who has been available and involved disappears. The children also suffer when they are expected to forego a sleepover with peers because the birth mother is dropping in expectantly.

Of course, there is also the possibility that children will learn how to manipulate parents.

Open adoptions require open and frank communication between all the adults in the child’s life.

At Heart to Heart Adoptions we try to help you find the situation which will work best for you.

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