Honest communication is the key to every successful relationship, and adoption is no different. If you’re a prospective birth mother or a hopeful adoptive parent, you might be wondering why having an open adoption is so beneficial for adoptees — and why open communication is healthier for everyone involved.
While open adoptions have numerous benefits for adoptive parents and birth parents, there are many reasons why a fully open adoption will have the biggest impact on the third member of the adoption triad — adoptees. Keep reading to learn more about some of the advantages of having at least some amount of contact.
Benefits of Open Adoptions for Adoptees
Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how open adoptions should work, how beneficial they are for everyone involved, any why they continue to be the preferred option for everyone in the adoption triad. Here are just a few of the advantages of open adoption for adoptees:
Building a relationship with the birth parents:
Adoptees that grow up in an open adoption can continue to grow their relationships with their birth parents into adulthood. Growing up, adoptees can get to know their biological parents through pictures, letters, and sometimes, in‐person visits. By building a relationship with the biological parents throughout their entire life, adoptees can continue to maintain a connection to their roots.
In a closed adoption, adoptees may have a difficult time trying to find their biological parents, and even when they do, navigating their post‐reunion relationship can be overwhelming. Open adoptions give adoptees higher self-esteem, and they experience fewer feelings of isolation.
Having answers to questions about their adoption:
In any type of adoption, there are some questions that the adoptive parents might not be able to answer. Having a constant connection to their birth parents can help answer difficult questions about the child’s history.
Building a relationship with the birth siblings:
The relationship between the adoptee and their birth siblings is just as important as the one with relationship they build with their birth parents. The adoptee’s siblings are a big part of their identity, and building that relationship can be beneficial for their identity and self‐esteem.
A stronger support network:
There’s plenty of room for every member of your child’s family (adopted and biological) to have a place in their life. Having plenty of people in their life to love and support them will do wonders for their self‐esteem and is one of the most amazing benefits of an open adoption.
Adoptees become more satisfied with their adoption over time:
In an open adoption, adoptees are better able to understand the reasons for their adoption.Because of this,adoptees who grow up knowing their open adoption story tend to have more positive feelings toward their birth parents.
No need to search for their biological parents:
For adoptees in an open adoption, there’s never a need to search for or dream about what their birth parents are like. Open adoptions help fill in the blanks for adoptees, giving them more self‐confidence as they get older. They’ll be able to ask questions like, “Who am I?” and learn about their own family history without any obstacles.
Adoptees will know their own medical history:
While providing accurate medical history is a requirement for all adoptions, an open adoption gives an adoptee the chance to obtain up‐to‐date information throughout their life, not just at the time of their birth. If any new symptoms appear as they get older, they’ll always be able to reach out to their biological parents if they have any questions.
The chance to share their story with others:
There are plenty of ways to connect with other adoptees who have grown up in an open adoption. Knowing their open adoption story and being able to share it with others, either through social media or blogs, can foster a sense of belonging.
The Next Steps
Although no two open adoptions are the same, having at least some amount of contact will do wonders for the adoptee, and will play a vital role in their development. If you’re considering an open adoption, it can be helpful to talk to an adoption professional who can help you make the best open adoption plan for your family.