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Trusting the Adoptive Family in an Open Adoption [5 Steps]

If you’re choosing adoption for your baby, you’re making your choice out of love for your child. You want what is best for your baby.

With the help of an adoption specialist and other resources, you will learn about adoption and create your own adoption plan. But, while there are many steps in the adoption process that are straightforward, you may feel a level of uncertainty during the process.

An open adoption helps ease many of these concerns, as it allows you the chance to interact with the adoptive family and receive updates about your baby. This ongoing relationship and involvement ensures the child is being taken care of in a safe and loving environment, providing peace of mind that you have made the right decision.

Even though there are many positives associated with choosing an open adoption, there is still one concern that remains common with many birth parents: How can we fully trust the adoptive family?

There is not a specific answer or piece of advice that can put an end to all concerns, but there are different steps you can take during your adoption process to help build a trusting relationship with the adoptive family.

Continue reading this guide to learn how to ease your fears about trusting the adoptive family, all while strengthening your relationship with them at the same time.


When prospective birth parents pursue an open adoption, they will need to decide on the level of openness they would prefer to have with the adoptive family throughout the pregnancy and after placement. This will help determine the amount and the means of communication used, while also setting a precedent for future interactions.

 Here are a few thoughts to consider as you decide the level of openness your adoption will have:

  • How often would you like to communicate with the adoptive family?
  • What form of communication would you prefer? Letters, email, text, calls?
  • Are you open to in-person meetings and interactions?

Open adoptions are a learning process, as most of the time it is a completely new situation for everyone involved. Determine what you are comfortable with and express any concerns or changes you would like to make. Sharing the same level of desired openness and being able to discuss likes and dislikes can go a long way toward building a trusting and lasting relationship.


No matter the level of openness you choose, communicating with the adoptive family is a great way to begin building a relationship and trust. Pre-placement communication helps both sides get to know each other during the adoption process, while also determining expectations moving forward. Some things to remember when communicating with the adoptive family about goals and expectations are:

  • Be clear, open and honest about your expectations for the adoption. This will help avoid any confusion and build trust knowing that they fully understand where you are coming from.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Assuming or failing to discuss important issues can lead to misunderstandings and frustration. The best way to find out the information you are looking for is to ask.
  • Discuss any concerns or disagreements you may have regarding your adoption plan. This ensures your opinion is heard and may help you reach agreed-upon boundaries and expectations for your open adoption.

“Not far from a week before we met, we got the chance to talk on the phone. I was so fearful at first. However, as soon as they opened their mouths and started talking, I had a feeling of comfort,” said Natasha about getting to know her baby’s future parents.  “I instantly fell in love with them just by talking on the telephone with them. The call went great. They answered tons of my questions and we talked for quite some time.”

Keep in mind, you are in complete control of deciding which family you would like to adopt your baby. Until placement occurs, you have the right to change your mind if you determine there is an expectation that cannot be agreed upon or changed, or you simply do not feel like it is the best fit for your baby. Your adoption specialist will be able to answer any questions you may have about communicating with the adoptive family prior to placement.


Although communication plans are discussed and decided upon pre-placement, it’s beneficial to reiterate these expectations after you have placed your child with the adoptive family. With open adoption constantly evolving for both the adoptive family and the birth parents, keeping everyone on the same page helps everyone understand their role.

When both sides have a role in creating expectations and an open platform to communicate, it increases the likelihood that everyone fulfils their commitment to the expectations put in place.

“Cliff and Julie are definitely a blessing to my life. They continue to keep in touch by email, and keep me updated on Nolan’s progress. They also include pictures fairly regularly, allowing me to see his growth,” said Amanda about communicating with her baby’s adoptive family.  “This is such an amazing gift to me, and always reassures me that he is very well loved and cared for. I am so grateful to have found such wonderful parents for my baby!”

In the days, weeks, or months following placement of your child, handling communication properly will be an important component of developing trust in your relationship. For birth parents and adoptive families, placement is considered to be one of the most emotional aspects of adoption. Often, both parties need time to adjust to their new situation.

Respecting boundaries and allowing everyone their own personal space helps toward building trust, as it shows they respect your needs and care about your feelings (and vice versa).


Much like in life, open adoptions and the relationships involved are going to evolve over time. This may be for better or worse, so you want to be able to adapt to the changes along the way.

Certain periods will include more or less involvement. At times, the level of communication may not be exactly what you would prefer, or it may be perfect. Each adoption will depend on the specific situation the adoptive family or birth parents may be experiencing at any given time. Try to remember that everyone is on the same team during these changes.

Everyone wants what is best for the child.

Giving the adoptive family the opportunity to prove their intentions, as opposed to jumping to conclusions during times of more or less contact, will help earn and build trust for both parties involved. Providing and listening to input on changes and how to handle them also helps grow a trusting relationship.


When you search for an adoptive family, you are presented with adoption profiles of families who share the same goals. You base your decision on the family you feel the strongest connection and sense of trust with.

As an expectant mother considering open adoption, you will be informed of the numerous benefits an open adoption can provide for you and your baby. The same can be said for adoptive families. Throughout the course of their adoption planning, their professional will educate them on the advantages of an open adoption and the positive impact it can have on the child.

There have been many scientific studies in recent years that confirm the benefits of the open adoptions. Open adoption has been shown to help birth parents process t their grief after the adoption. Open adoption gives them peace of mind knowing that their child is being well taken care of. For both adoptive parents and birth parents, open adoptions typically result in a more fulfilling adoption experience.

You can find trust in knowing the adoptive family understands the benefits of open adoption and wants what is best for the child. This understanding will push them to maintain a successful open adoption and remain loyal to the expectations put in place.

The adoption process itself is designed to bring birth parents and adoptive families together, with the common goal of providing the best opportunity for the baby. If you are willing to trust the process and the steps involved, it will help strengthen your relationship, as well as lessen any doubt or trust issues you may have with the adoptive family.

It takes somewhat of a leap of faith, but with open adoptions becoming more common every day; trust that it is a great opportunity for your baby to have a relationship with you as they grow older.

If you are considering an open adoption for your unplanned pregnancy, or could just use a little help building trust with your adoptive family, contact us anytime to get connected with a professional. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, walk you through the process or even get you started on your adoption journey