How open can an open adoption get?
Im curious..how open can an open adoption be? and how open does a open adoption normally get? what happens if it was to be super open or not that open?
All adoptions look different. Our's is semi-open. I send pictures throughout the year. When I forward one to my parents, I usually send one to T so she gets several during the year. We communicate via email. We do not have visits though. That was her choice.
Cami337 said...
Im curious..how open can an open adoption be? and how open does a open adoption normally get? what happens if it was to be super open or not that open?


I can tell you that for every person on this board with an OA, you will get a different answer of how open their adoption is...In fact, we have 4 OA's for our 2 kids, and THEY are all different.

We're 9 and 11 years in, and if I was going to give some thoughtful advice, it would be to start cautiously and move slowly, ONLY at a pace where you're comfortable. With some work, mutual respect and a leap of faith, you will build it into something that satisfies everyone.

Did you ever have a friend where you thought things "clicked" and you got super close super fast, only to realize that maybe you should have treat lightly? That's kind of what OA reminds me of - you have these visions of what you think it will be or what you hear it will be, but ultimately reality is far different.

From experience, I can say that it is easier to start slow and work up to more openness than to go all in and have to pull back and redefine the relationship.

The most "open" we have is with our youngest son's bmom. We call, text, email, she comes to our son's soccer/basketball games, etc. and my son goes places with her without us. I've gone to her baby shower, her dad's funeral, etc. If we had something special for our family, they would be invited. The relationship extends to her fiance, their children, her mom and sister, and goes even further to her extended family. Next summer, our families are getting together for a bbq, and we may do a weekend away together.

We've built a really great relationship where we genuinely love and respect each other - but it's taken 9 years, a lot of work and a lot of patience.

Having said that, our "least" open relationship consists of our youngest son's bdad calling us once a year or so, meeting at Burger King for an hour, and that's it. We let him move at a pace where he is comfortable, and honestly, at this point that's what WE are comfortable with as well.

The other two fall in between, and even though they aren't the same, I would consider them all "normal".
We adopted our DD(now 5.5 yrs old,she was 18 months when she came to us) through foster care, so it took time to develop a good relationship with her Biological Parent family. This past weekend her first Mom and Dad took her to the mall and the playground with her younger brother, who they are raising. This is the first time that we have allowed them to leave our house with her. We go visit them(about 75 miles away) about every 3-4 months. We know grandparents,Aunts, uncles and all sorts of cousins. I forsee a future where she will be able to go places with them and possibly stay at their house.

Her case is not the usual foster care story in that the parents do not and have never done drugs, nor have they ever abused her.
My adoption is open granted it has only been two weeks and the plan is to text/email, send as many pics as the Amom wants and 1 to 2 visits a year. I look forward to the pictures she sends me. From the people Ive talked to all adoptions are different but So far mine is open. I talked a lot about this with the adoptive parents before little man arrived and we had agreed on staying friends which we had become during the pregnancy and I am hoping that doesn't change.
We have an open adoption. I send pictures often. We text regularly. We have visits a few times a year. I'm sure it would be much more often if we lived closer to each other. But seeing how we live 7 hours apart, we can only visit a few times a year. My mother actually owns a vacation condo in the town that my ds's bparents live in, so it works out great! We even call each other our extended family. For the most part, I enjoy having an open adoption. It scared me when we first looked into adopting, but the more educated we got in adoption, the less frightened we became. We even feel that open adoption (in our case, anyway) is healthier for our ds's bparents, and will be for him as well as he gets older because he'll have a relationship with them already and will hopefully not question their love for him and their choices concerning him. I hope he won't feel that anything is missing in his life and know that he has two mommies and two daddies who love him completely.

Some friends of ours who have adopted and have even taught adoption classes, told us (before we adopted our ds) that when talking with a potential birthmommy who asks about certain things that she wants that perhaps you're not sure you're comfortable with, to say that you haven't really thought about that and you and your husband will have to discuss it. But if you say this, you need to get back to her with some answer that you and your husband feel comfortable with. Because you really don't want to promise her the moon and then after the adoption renege on your promises. Start small and then build up to what you're comfortable with.
The term "open" or "semi-open" is not recognized by law, so any agreement you come to with your child's adoptive family is between the two of you. Should you, or they, not uphold your shared agreement together on either side, the court system can do nothing about it. So, legally speaking, there is really no such thing as an "open adoption."

However, there are so many thousands of hopeful adoptive families out there that are willing, honest, loving, and loyal and who have done their research and understand adoption at its core both from their perspective, their soon to be child, and yours! These families will understand that the dynamics of placement require an open communication.

My best advice to you is to do a lot of research and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions! You owe it to your own healing and to your future relationships with your birth child's adoptive family and to your child!

I wish you the very best!
[URL="http://www.ravensinkwell.wordpress.com"]INKWELL[/URL]
I have a friend who has had her daughter's Birth Mom babysit her once in a while-- VERY open adoption and it works for them.

I have another friend who isn't even comfortable sending recent pics to birthparents, so she sends older pics, no straight on pics of faces, and gives a generic update (all safety related).

I am somewhere in the middle. We did visits with my son's bps during the year following the adoption, but stopped them for now because of how bps were reacting to the visits. We never did visits with my daughter's bfamily, and likely won't.
I send pictures and updates to everyone. There is not a big enough safety issue (both of mine are adopted from foster care) that I wouldn't feel comfortable with bparents having recent, clear pictures of my kids.

Looking back on mistakes I've made-- I feel like my relationship with my son's bparents would be a ton better if I hadn't allowed them instant access to ME (via text and email). They shot off so many rude/demanding/angry/accusing emails and texts to me, and I honestly feel that if I'd had a po box from the beginning (like I do now), we'd have a better relationship because all of those angry emails would likely not have been sent as letters-- they were very "heat of the moment" type things.
We have a very open adoption with DS's Birth Mom with contact. She'll invite us to family events so her extended family gets to see DS. They had a birthday party for him this past year. She came to his one year birthday party with our family. We feel very blessed to have her as the Birth Mom of our son and hope that we will be able to have a similar relationship with the parent(s) of our future child(ren). It really varies person to person though.
We have 1 very open and one old kind of open. DD #1's first mom can have pics and updates anytime she wants them but she rarely asks. DD #2's first mom is extremely involved. We're still finding our way and navigating the relationships. We have a lot of respect for each other so we're just moving along. But very close. So I think it honestly changes for each kid and family. It's just so individualized.
Adoptive Mom of two amazing little girls. Several others have come and gone. We've been foster & adoptive parents and a general home for wayward children.
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