Relationships between family members, friends, or even co-workers typically come with a clear set of established behaviors between those involved. You can assume your actions with a co-worker might involve a positive attitude toward each other and completing your work duties in a timely manner. A friendship might include helping them with tasks or knowing what they like and don’t like to do for fun.
But what happens in a situation where one might not be totally clear with limits and where each person stands in a relationship? Boundaries between the adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive family can be foggy if not established from the beginning. These are some things to think about when creating an adoption plan for an open adoption:
1. Creating a thorough adoption plan between birth parents and the adoptive family may be slightly nerve-wracking. However, developing a set of parameters will only ensure a healthy, cooperative, and overall positive relationship between all involved. Remembering that the child is the most important person in the relationship is number one. Things like determining what to do in a situation where one party relocates, what should happen if divorce occurs, or how holidays and events should be taken care of. What personal details do you feel inclined to share? Determining the when and where for the first meet and all after are also things to think about. All adoptions are different and the level of openness can vary depending on what both parties see as fair. Meeting with a professional like Adoption Choices of Arizona to facilitate these terms and then committing to said terms is very important.
2. Giving adoptees a say in what they want as they grow older creates a healthier environment as well. While plans may have been agreed to, as the child grows older it is vital to let them decide what they feel comfortable sharing or partaking in. It is important to keep promises made to birth parents to keep a friendly relationship alive, if that’s what the adoptee has chosen.
3. Birth parents should remember that respecting the family’s wishes is crucial. While being involved in the child’s life is exciting and filled with love and a sense of pride, making sure what you may share to others in person or on social media is a privacy that needs to be discussed before being done. Having a conversation about what you should be able to share can forgo any distress in the future. It’s also important to remember your role in the child’s life. While you may be the birth parent of a child, you have agreed to relinquish the right to make parenting decisions for the child. Knowing that you are there for advice or help is wonderful and can provide much meaning for the child–but knowing that his/her parents are the ones that make decisions for the child is a high priority to keep in mind.
Overall, the level of openness in every adoption is different, as is every relationship.
While boundaries you may choose can vary, emotions are something that each relationship should try to keep the same: happy. Thinking of all people involved while making decisions will help your open adoption thrive and bring everyone as close together as possible.
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