There are many misunderstood things about adoption. Maybe the most common is this: that when a mother chooses adoption, she is “giving up.” It’s such common language that you may not have noticed it. “Giving up a baby” for adoption, while used often, really misses the point. When a mother chooses adoption, she is not giving up or simply “giving away” her baby.
Adoption comes from a place of love. It’s a brave decision, and a selfless one. If you’re an expectant mother considering adoption, you know this. You have immense love for your baby. You have hopes and dreams, and adoption seems like the best way to give your baby an opportunity to grow and thrive.
With all the love you have, you don’t want to lose the connection to your baby, even though you know adoption is the right choice. You’re left asking, “If I give my baby up for adoption, do I still get to see her or him?”
If I Give My Baby Up for Adoption, Can I See Her?
Yes, if you give your baby up for adoption, you can see it again. This is true, most immediately, after birth. When you choose adoption, your baby is not whisked away from you the moment you give birth. You will be able to hold your baby and spend time together before consenting to the adoption and placing him or her with the adoptive parents.
After placement, you still have the opportunity to see your baby through something called open adoption. This is an ongoing relationship between the birth mother, adoptive parents and child. Open adoption exists at varying levels, and every open adoption relationship is unique. In adoption today, the vast majority of cases are at least semi-open, meaning that if you give your baby up for adoption, you do get to see it.
If You Give Your Child Up for Adoption, Can You Still Have Contact With Them?
How does open adoption work? It depends on your unique situation. Open adoption is an agreed-upon plan between all the parties involved in an adoption. Typically, it’s not legally binding. So, an open adoption relationship is different from visitation rights. When giving up a child, visitation rights do not apply to the situation like they would in a case of custody between two parents.
Generally speaking, there are three different types of open adoption.
An open adoption is a relationship between the birth mother and adoptive parents where identifying information (last names, phone numbers, etc.) is shared, and an adoption specialist is not needed to facilitate the communication. If you are particularly concerned about seeing your baby in-person after placement, then an open adoption is the right way to go.
Semi-open is the most common type of open adoption. In semi-open adoptions, some identifying information may be shared, but privacy is usually protected and communication is facilitated by someone at your adoption agency. In semi-open adoption, the way you talk with the adoptive family can range from occasional photo and letter updates, to phone or video calls, to potentially in-person visits.
Closed adoption is the least common type of adoption, although it is still possible. If you give your child up for adoption, you cannot still have contact with them in a closed adoption. No identifying information will be shared between birth mother and adoptive parents, and there won’t be any contact post-placement
Once you give your child up for adoption, can you still see him or her? It all depends on the type of adoption you choose. And as the birth mother, it is your choice. When you start the adoption process, you create an adoption plan that includes the level of openness you would like in your adoption.
Benefits of Open Adoption
When you give babies up for adoption, are you allowed to see them? If you’re asking this question, then the biggest benefits of open adoption are already clear to you. Open adoption means “goodbye” isn’t forever. You will still have a chance to see your baby, and to communicate with them in a meaningful way. You can see them growing — learning how to walk, how to talk and developing other skills. Whether it is through phone calls, photo updates or in-person visits, you can know that your baby is being loved and cared for, which is all any mom really hopes for.
An overlooked benefit of open adoption is the relationship with the adoptive parents. Must people don’t expect this, but the adoptive parents can become real friends. This relationship strengthens many prospective birth mothers’ confidence in their decision. The more you get to know the adoptive parents, the better you’ll feel about them adopting your baby.
Finally, open adoption also benefits the child. As they grow up, they’ll have questions about their story. Adoptive parents are encouraged to be open and honest about the adoption from an early age, framing it as a positive step that a child can be proud of. With open adoption, a child can also hear from their birth mother. She can tell the child personally how this decision came from a place of love. This means that as a child grows and forms a sense of identity, they will know they are loved by their adoptive parents and their birth mother.
Will I see my baby after giving up for adoption? Thanks to open adoption, yes. And the effects of this ongoing relationship can be beautiful.