Open adoption, where both biological and adoptive families have some amount of personal information and there’s the option for contact, is argued to either have a positive or negative impact on the child. In our experience and based on feedback from birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees, we have seen the positive influence it has had on children that have been placed for adoption.
Often people ask what can come off as offensive and accusatory. We recommend the following answers to keep it simple and halt further insulting questions.
People might ask, “Isn’t the child confused?” “No, he’s not confused.”
“Does the child know that you’re his real mom?” “I’m his birth mother.”
“What does he call you?” “He calls me by my name.”
We recommend staying away from any phrases beginning with the word “real” in adoption.
The fact is, this is the child’s reality. It isn’t confusing for him. He’s not confused by what he has been raised to know. Be willing to answer questions honestly. Open adoption means that he can have unlimited answers to all those questions adoptees find themselves wondering: “Did she like strawberries as much as I do?”, “Does he have a cleft chin like me?” It’s an integral part of building your own foundation to life, knowing where your roots are from. For adopted children, they have roots that spread further than the norm, but how wonderful to know that it was because they were so loved that their birth parents sacrificed so much for their well-being?
A few more universal truths:
1) Openness makes adoption easier to understand.“In closed adoption, the words ‘birth mother’ and ‘adoption’ are difficult for [young] children to understand because there is nothing concrete to attach to these words. In open adoption, the child has concrete information, and the birth mother is a concrete reality in his life. Therefore, it is much easier for children of open adoption to understand their adoption.” – Independent Adoption Center.
2) Openness provides access to important information.For example, access to familial medical history and other pertinent information about the child’s biological predecessors. The child knows who he “takes after” and he is familiar with people who may share some of his traits.
3) Openness helps adopted children know that they’re loved. While in closed adoptions the parents can reiterate that birth parents place children out of love, in open adoptions the child can see the love in ongoing and direct interactions.
Open adoption eliminates a lot of worries and clears up any confusion that adoption might have on children.
If you are considering adoption please contact one of our professional, compassionate adoption specialists at Adoption Choices of Arizona.