I am of the personal belief that the only reason not to have an open adoption would be for the safety of a child and their family. Other than that, I feel it is beneficial for everyone in the adoption triad to have an open adoption.
The short answer is: you should have an open adoption with your child’s adoptive family so you can have a relationship with your child. Once a placement has been finalized, it is legally binding. Your child’s adoptive parents are your child’s parents. They have the right and privilege to dictate who their child interacts with. If you would like a relationship with your child, having a relationship with their parents is also quite necessary. This does not mean you need to like them, agree with their parenting style, or spend copious amounts of time with them, but an open adoption will allow you to maintain contact with your child.
However, there are so many other reasons I think an open adoption is right. Some of those include:
- Seeing for yourself that your child is safe, healthy, and well taken care of
- Forming relationships with both your child and their family making it feel as though you’ve gain more family rather than lost part of it
- Getting to watch your child grow and progress
- Being able to answer medical questions should your child’s family need to know more medical history about you or the birth father
- Being accessible to answer your child’s questions should they ever have any for you
- Teaching them about their biological culture
- Closure from the stress of placement
- Making sure your child grows up knowing you love them because you’ve been able to show them rather than their parents just telling them you do
- Allowing your family to know your child, giving them a chance at a relationship and to feel that same closure
There are so many reasons having an open adoption with your child and their family is a great way to go! But if you don’t feel it’s right for you and your child, that is okay too. You just do what you feel is best for your child. Do know that if you don’t choose to have an open adoption, they may try to find you later anyway to have their questions answered and a relationship formed. It’s is up to you as to what you feel is right. Try your best to keep their best interest in mind, and you won’t go wrong.
Lindsey Olsen is a birth mother who placed her son in 2012. She is also a parent to a beautiful little girl, and wife to (who she thinks is) the most amazing man in the world. Her favorite things are her faith, her family, and her country.