Adoption is much different than it was in the mid-1900s. Closed adoptions reigned supreme, so adoptive parents and birth mothers alike would never see or hear from each other following the adoption. But, adoption has moved past that standard.
Today, the vast majority of adoptions are open, but there is still some confusion surrounding how it works. That’s where we come in. We’ve put together nine of the most important open adoption facts and statistics you need to know.
If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today. In the meantime, continue reading to learn about open adoption facts for birth parents and adoptive families alike.
1. Adoptees Know Why They Were Placed For Adoption
In an open adoption, adoptees can ask their birth parents about their adoption stories and why they were placed for adoption. This allows for more transparency and a deeper bond among everyone involved. In closed adoptions, adoptees rarely knew why their birth parents placed them for adoption, and it would be nearly impossible to find them later in life if they didn’t share identifying information.
Open adoption research has shown that discussing the adoptee’s story with them is highly beneficial for their well-being. Adoptive parents and birth families alike should be open about any questions their child may have about the reasons for their adoption. Also, open adoption statistics show that most children today know about their adoption stories.
When Cole’s adoptive mother, Amy, asked him how he feels about being adopted, he said, “It’s just like you’re growing up knowing to spell your name.”
2. Adoptions Today Usually Involve Some Level of Openness
Although open adoption isn’t the right path for everyone, most birth and adoptive families today pursue open adoption. Generally, there is some degree of openness in the vast majority of today’s adoptions, even though a handful of birth parents still choose a closed adoption. There’s even semi-open adoption for those who want to mediate contact through a trusted adoption professional.
3. Everyone Can Build a Lifelong Bond
One important piece of open adoption information is that it allows for birth parents, adoptive families and adoptees to share a lifelong bond. You can all stay in touch through various forms of communication, and this is determined by what you’re personally comfortable with. Some people prefer to stick with emails while others enjoy in-person visits.
Here are some ways that you can all maintain contact:
- Phone calls
- Handwritten Letters
- In-person visits
- And more
4. You Get to Know Each Other Before the Adoption
Most hopeful adoptive families today are interested in open adoption, so one of the facts about open adoption is that everyone gets to know each other ahead of time. Both birth parents and adoptive families enjoy developing a relationship before and after the adoption, and open adoption statistics have shown that more communication is better for all parties.
“It felt like I had known them my entire life,” Sara said about meeting her baby’s adoptive family. “I was more confident in my choice – not just in adoption but in picking the perfect couple to raise the baby.”
5. Benefits of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents
Hopeful adoptive families can develop a beautiful relationship with prospective birth parents. Through open adoption, some birth parents even consider adoptive families their second family. When you choose an open adoption, both parties get to understand the decisions behind why they’re pursuing adoption. For adoptive parents who are struggling with infertility, adoption is a wonderful alternative that allows them to realize their dreams of parenthood.
6. Benefits of Open Adoption for Birth Parents
Maintaining a close relationship with adoptive parents can be important for the well-being of birth mothers. Many birth mothers that have gone through the adoption process experience some form of grief after going separate ways with their baby. This is a completely normal feeling, and one of the most crucial open adoption facts is that birth mothers can feel some sense of reassurance and closure by staying in touch with the adoptive family.
This is because birth parents get to watch their children grow up in happy, loving homes through open adoption. With a closed adoption, birth parents never know if their child is raised in a caring household or pursuing what they love. Little to no identifying information is shared in these closed adoptions. But, with open adoption, birth parents get to experience the growth of their babies and watch them blossom into wonderful people.
7. Benefits of Open Adoption for Adoptees
Information on open adoption also shows that, when adoptees stay in touch with their birth parents, it’s incredibly beneficial for their general happiness. Through open adoption, adoptees can ask their birth parents questions about their placement, their cultural heritage, their extended birth family and more. They won’t have to hold any resentment toward their adoption because there will be more transparency.
Also, when adoptees have both their birth and adoptive parents as emotional support, this helps them go through life feeling more fulfilled.
8. Birth Parents Get to Choose the Adoptive Family
As an adoption resource, we hear from many prospective birth mothers asking if they get to choose the adoptive family for their child. If you’re a prospective birth parent, then we can reassure you that, yes, you can choose your child’s adoptive parents. This is often one of the most reassuring parts of the adoption journey because birth mothers can tailor searches to their preferences.
When searching for waiting hopeful adoptive families, prospective birth parents can ask themselves questions such as:
- Do I imagine my child growing up with family pets or siblings?
- What values do I hold dearly? What religious holidays do I want them to celebrate?
- Do I envision my child in an urban, suburban or rural environment?
This is one of the most vital open adoption facts because it allows all the hopes and dreams that prospective birth mothers have for their children to come to fruition.
9. You Become Part of a Community
When closed adoptions were the norm, it was difficult for both adoptive and birth parents to find a supportive community filled with other people in similar situations. Now that open adoption information has become more widespread, more birth and adoptive families have formed tight-knit communities for guidance and bonding.
There is even World Adoption Day. It takes place one day in November, and people worldwide celebrate their adoption journeys and share their stories with others. If you would like to learn more about open adoption, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would love to help you at any time!