Adopting a baby is a special event that is completely unforgettable. Searching for a child that needs a home and bringing them into your family is a purposeful event like no other. If you are interested in adoption, you will always remember the day one of your adoption agencies calls to tell you that there is a child available for you. As adoptive parents of a newborn baby, there is often another set of parents in the matter to consider.
If you are interested in an open adoption, there will be an adjustment period for all of the adults involved. The birth parent(s) must get used to the idea of the child that they are birthing going into a home that is not theirs. Adoptive parents must get used to having a child, with the birth parents possibly involved. Effectively, the only person who will not need to adjust is the baby. For the adults, here are some methods to seamlessly get through the adjustment period of an open adoption.
Clearly set boundaries
No two open adoptions are alike, as no two adoption stories are alike. Some adoptive parents give the birth parents visitation rights. Others will allow the birth parents to get to know the child only after they are older and the child can understand the situation. No matter what your particular wants are, make sure everyone is clear on the boundaries and everyone is comfortable with them. Adoption agencies can help set up contracts so that each party knows what is expected of them, legally, financially, and in a custodial manner.
Talk about the future
While the birth mother is still pregnant, speak to the birth parents about your home, your environment, and what you will provide for the child. One of the biggest fears for parents is the unknown. Showing the birth parents that you can and will properly care for their child, and telling them how you will do so, can put them at ease.
Respect the birth parent's emotions
After the baby goes home with you, the birth parents may have different emotions, or even mixed emotions. If the birth parent needs some time and space before getting to the open portion of the adoption, it may be a good idea to allow them the time to work through their emotions. Sometimes, birth parents may decide that they cannot be involved early on, due to attachment problems and emotional pain. If either the birth or adoptive parents need counseling or help with the next steps, adoption agencies have tools and counselors that can help progress open adoption cases into joint efforts in the child's best interest.
Talk to an agency like Family Creations Adoptions to learn more.