Open Adoption Versus Closed Adoption – Top 5 Benefits of Open Adoption
For many couples entering into the adoption process for the first time, the idea of an open adoption can seem a little bit troubling. Common questions and fears many adoptive families have about open adoption are, “Will the biological parents attempt to get their child back? Will the adoptee be confused with two separate sets of parents? Will we still feel like the adoptee’s parents if his birth parents are present?”
These questions are completely natural. However, what most adoptive couple learns once they engage in an open adoption is that those concerns they once had ultimately turned out to be unfounded, often promoted by the media.
Let’s revisit those questions:
Will the biological parents attempt to get their child back? Legally, birth parents can’t reclaim their child, and furthermore, it is very rare that they would want to. The birth parents have plenty of time to think about their adoption plan and to decide whether or not to parent the baby. If they decide on adoption, it is a well-thought out decision that took many months to make. Indeed, many birth parents wish they didn’t have to make that decision, but once they do, rarely do they change their minds.
Will the adoptee be confused with two separate sets of parents? Most adoptive couples who are in an open adoption visit the birth parents no more than a few times every year, meaning it would be extremely rare for the adopted child to have any of these kinds of thoughts. The adopted child lives with his parents and sees them nearly every hour of every day, and is passed on all of their values and family traditions. The adoptee may see his birth parents as extended family, but not to where it would cause any confusion as to who his parents are.
Will we really feel like the child’s parents if his or her birth parents are present? As previously stated, there are many more factors in being parents to a child than just genetics. The values, relationships, and other family details trump blood relations every time. If the adoptive family visits the birth parents one day, it’s obvious who the child’s parents are by the way he behaves, and most importantly, who he loves. The child will undoubtedly love the ones who have raised him, and of course the adoptive couple will feel like parents. After all, they are his parents, without question.
Now let’s take a look at the TOP 5 reasons why open adoptions are beneficial to all parties involved in the adoption.
A. The Adopted Child Understands Why He Was Adopted – Growing up, an adoptee may question why he was placed for adoption. In closed adoptions, the adoptive parents will only be able to tell him what the birth parents have told them, if anything, about the birth parents’ choice to place the baby for adoption. So, in a closed adoption, there may be some wonder as to why the adoptee was placed for adoption that may never be fully answered to satisfy the adopted child.
This question can easily be answered in an open adoption. Many times, the birth parents will disclose that they either were not ready to become parents, or perhaps they wanted a better life for their child that they were unable to provide. Whatever the case, open adoption offers this information to the adoptee.
B. The Adoptee Will Know Where His Genetics Came From – Of course, the adoptee is going to want to know where his black hair, 6-foot frame or skills came from. He may wonder what his birth parents looked like, what their talents were, and other biographical information. In a closed adoption, it is unlikely he will be able to answer many of those questions, outside from what his adoptive parents were able to tell him about his birth parents, if of course they even know. In an open adoption, all of these questions are answered in one photograph, e-mail, phone call or visit.
C. Family Medical History Will Be Disclosed – Adoption agencies do all they can to retrieve all medical information from the birth parents. Sometimes, however, not all medical information can be recovered, particularly information about the birth grandparents. Also, medical issues may develop later in life, so in a closed adoption it may be unlikely to recover that information after the adoption occurs.
In an open adoption, up-to-date medical information is much more likely to be recovered. Any medical information the adoptee may need to know about his birth parents or their parents is a phone call or a visit away.
D. Gives Birth Parents Peace With Their Decision – The birth parents are faced with one of the toughest decisions they will ever make in their lives when choosing adoption. This decision may weigh on them heavily if they are not at all involved in their children’s lives. Many times, they simply want to know that the child is doing OK.
Open adoption allows this, and confirms to the birth parents that they made a good decision in adopting their child. Once they are able to see the adoptive parents and child interact as a family, their fears about adopting will be a thing of the past.
E. Extension of Friends and Sometimes Family – Most open adoptions begin with picture and e-mail, and eventually they may evolve into phone calls and visits. These relationships can turn into friendships and sometimes even more family-type relationships.
This isn’t necessarily the goal of open adoption, but sometimes it just happens, and when it does, it benefits everyone involved in the adoption triad: the adoptive family, the birth parents, and the adoptee.
The adoption landscape has changed – no more is it riddled in secrecy. Open adoptions are becoming increasingly popular every year, and it’s obvious why. The benefits are truly limitless and far exceed what is spoken of in this article. Only those who experience an open adoption can fully share the opportunities it provides their family and most importantly their child.
American Adoptions has much more information on open adoption for both prospective adoptive families and birth parents.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5547486
Image courtesy of SweetCrisis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Read More Stories on Adoption