How can you keep an adoption relationship open from a distance? Maybe you have just adopted a baby across state lines, or you or the birth parents have moved away. If regular visits become impractical, it can be hard to know how to maintain your open relationship. Here are 4 ways you can keep your long distance adoption open.
As with any open adoption relationship, communication is key. Both birth and adoptive parents need to have a clear understanding of what ‘open’ means. How often will you text, call, or visit? Make every effort to keep your promises. Long distance open adoptions add a level of complication, so effective communication is even more important.
2. Snail Mail
Everyone loves finding something in their mailbox that’s not an advertisement or a bill. Sending your child’s birth parent a handwritten update, some photos, or a picture drawn by your child will help him or her feel remembered and appreciated. If you are a birth parent, sending your birth child a card will help her or him remember you with fondness because what kid doesn’t love getting mail?
Just because you can’t see each other in person doesn’t mean you can’t talk on the phone or video chat! Skype is the next best thing to in-person visits. Catch up on each other’s lives, and just enjoy each other’s company. Even if the children are too little to understand or carry on a conversation, make calls and just talk to each other!
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It takes thirty seconds to send a quick photo or text to your child’s birth parent to let her or him know you care. This small amount of effort will go a long way in maintaining your connection. Updating birth parents on the cute things your child does in his or her day-to-day life will help them feel connected to you and the child.
No matter how you do it, maintaining a long distance relationship is totally possible. At times it might be harder than it would be if you were nearby, but it is worth the effort. Children deserve to know who their birth parents are and to know that they are loved by both their biological and adopted family. Frequent, small acts like the ones listed above will help to build a strong open adoption relationship, even if it’s from a distance.