The choice to place a baby for adoption is one made out of deep, unconditional love — it is a brave and selfless sacrifice that you make so that you can give your child the best life possible. It can be scary to know that once your baby is placed with his or her adoptive parents, you won’t always be there to remind him or her of that every day.
Because of this, many women considering adoption start to feel anxious when they imagine their child growing up without hearing how much they’re loved. They might wonder:
“If I don’t tell my child how much I loved them, then who will?”
“Will the adoptive parents tell my child how much I love them?”
“If I’m not there to remind my child of how much I love them, will they start to resent me?”
“Will my child be able to understand my adoption decision was made out of love?”
We completely understand these fears. But while you may not get to talk to your baby or hold them every day, there are plenty of ways to let your child know how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Your child can grow up knowing that they’re loved by their birth and adoptive families, and they will develop a deeper understanding for your adoption decision as they learn their story. They will know how much love and care you put into their adoption decision and how much you scarified to give them a life full of opportunities.
If you haven’t had a chance to think about your post-placement relationship, or if you haven’t started the adoption process yet, we’d be happy to help. By filling out our free online form, we can connect you to an adoption professional who can offer advice and guidance when it comes to showing your baby how much you love him or her.
How Can I Show My Child How Much I Love Them?
Even if you are not physically present 24/7 in your child’s life, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to show your child just how much you’re thinking of them. Here are some ways to ensure your child feels your love long after they’ve been placed with their adoptive family:
- Talk with the adoptive parents – As you get to know prospective adoptive parents, ask them how they plan to talk with your child about adoption. Will they tell your child that you chose adoption out of love? Let them know that it’s important to you that they assure your child that you love and care about them very much.
- Stay involved in the child’s life – You will have the opportunity to choose how much contact you’d like to share with the adoptive family after the adoption. In an open or semi-open adoption, you will have the opportunity to maintain a relationship with your child and his or her adoptive family. You may exchange pictures and letters, phone calls and emails or even visit each other. Staying in touch with your child’s family can give you the opportunity to tell him or her in your own words how much you love them.
- Film a video or record your voice – Consider recording yourself reading a book or giving a special message for the adoptive parents to play for your child. Audio or video files allow your child to see and hear the sincerity in your voice as you tell them how much you care about them.
- Give a special gift – When a baby is born, many birth parents give them a special gift that they can cherish forever. A keepsake book full of heartfelt messages and photos, a special stuffed animal or blanket, a book with a special message or a piece of jewelry can all serve as symbols of your love. A gift you give your child at birth can serve as a constant reminder of the loving and selfless decision you made.
It is important to remember that most adopted children grow up knowing that your choice was the ultimate act of love, and that your love is the root of their adoption story. These simple gestures are often the only reminder a child needs to understand the immeasurable love you have for them.
What Should My Open Adoption Relationship Look Like?
The amount of contact you have in an open adoption is entirely up to you! This is by far the best way to tell your child in your own words just how much you love and cherish them. For birth mothers like Randi, they wanted to be 100 percent sure that their child would grow up knowing how much their birth mom cared about them:
“I just have this feeling that every baby is going to wonder when they get older who their birth mother is and why they weren’t involved and why they didn’t care or all that stuff. So I just didn’t want Juniper to ever think that.”
Like we mentioned earlier, you can exchange contact through pictures, letters, phone calls, emails and even in-person visits. There are no “rules,” or a “right” or “wrong” way to have an open adoption. It’s all about what’s best for your child and your personal comfort levels.
While many birth mothers are comfortable with a fully open adoption, there are others who prefer the privacy of a semi-open adoption. In a semi-open adoption, contact is usually mediated by the adoption agency. But, you’ll still be able to exchange emails, phone calls and pictures and letters with one another. Your open adoption plan is completely flexible, too. Over time, your relationship with your child and the adoptive parents can change. If you decide that you want more or less contact, it’s never too late to reach out to your adoption professional to adjust your preferences.
The adoption agency you choose — hopefully one made up of adoptive parents, adoptees and birth parents — should have personal experience with adoption. This means that they should know how important it is to create the perfect open adoption plan. With their help, you’ll never have to worry about your child not knowing that they’re loved.
If you haven’t had a chance to reach out to an adoption agency yet, we’d be happy to help. You can fill out our free online form to get more information from an adoption professional.