BIRTH MOMS: CREATING AND MAINTAINING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH AN ADOPTIVE FAMILY
As a birth mother, you will be faced with many important decisions. One of the very most important things you will decide is the family who will adopt your baby. Your adoption agency can help you through this difficult and emotional process. You will generally have the opportunity to choose from many different adoptive couples to find the family who will be the best fit for your child. Once you have chosen your adoptive family, you will then need to decide whether to have an open adoption or a closed adoption. In making this decision, you should choose what feels best for you and your baby.
In modern adoptions, open adoption is increasingly common. Open adoption allows for ongoing communication between you and the adoptive family throughout the adoption process. If you choose to have an open adoption, you will be able to meet and get to know the family that will adopt your newborn, prior to the baby’s birth. This time spent together helps you develop a relationship with the adoptive family that can continue after placement. In an open adoption, you can choose to have contact with the child you have placed and their adoptive family throughout your child’s life. So the bond you form now can be very important later as you work through issues in your relationship with your child and their adoptive family.
All healthy relationships require effective communication, and your relationship with your child and their adoptive family will be no different. For this reason, you will work with your adoption agency case worker and the adoptive couple to develop a communication plan. Your plan will outline the types of contact you and the adoptive couple are comfortable with. This can include texts, emails, letters, pictures, videos, phone calls, blogs, virtual visits, and in-person visits. You will be able to work with your case worker and the adoptive couple to determine the frequency and types of communication that will work best for you.
Part of developing your communication plan includes setting appropriate boundaries. These boundaries may include specific guidelines regarding the times, places, and frequency of contact and communication or gifts that may be given or received. Your adoption agency can help you set boundaries that will protect everyone involved. Be sure to be honest about your feelings so you will be comfortable with the plan you create. Throughout the process of developing your communication plan, it is essential that you and the adoptive couple respect each other. Above all else, try to remember that the needs of your baby now and in the future are most likely to be met when you and the adoptive couple maintain a positive relationship. The best interests of your child must always come first.
After you place your baby with the adoptive family, you may find that your communication preferences change, or that the communication plan you developed needs to be re-evaluated. You may find that you need to give yourself some space and time to heal. If you need help navigating this process, your adoption caseworker is available to help you. Additionally, adoption counselors are available to help you work through any difficult emotions or situations that may arise. Your adoption agency offers many adoption services that can help you not only during the adoption process, but throughout your life. Some of these services include ongoing counseling, support groups, and education assistance. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel you could benefit from any of these services. We are here to help you!
Ultimately, we want you to maintain strong communication with your child’s adoptive family so you can continue to build a lasting relationship. Watching your child grow, thrive, and receive love from the adoptive family you chose for them can help you find the peace you seek about your choice to place your baby for adoption.