There is a saying that “you don’t marry a person; you marry their family.” I feel that those words also apply to adoption. You don’t just adopt a child; you adopt their culture, heritage, and biological family.

I wish people not in the “adoption community” would recognize this fact. Our society is very undereducated regarding adoption, especially open adoption. The majority of our society views adoption as someone doing a favor for the child or believes the child is so lucky to be adopted.

Open adoption is so important to everyone involved; they will learn and benefit from each other. The child can ask questions to both the biological parents and the adoptive parents. The child can learn about their heritage and culture firsthand from the biological parents. The child can learn medical history from their biological parents. The biological parents will have the opportunity to watch the child grow. The adoptive parents will have a larger support system surrounding the child.

Many people don’t understand open adoption. No, it is not co-parenting. No, they cannot take the child back. No, the child will not be confused about the different relationships; the openness actually helps the child understand the relationships.

Open adoption is a two-way street. Once the misconceptions lessen and cease, open adoption will become the wonderful gift that can be provided to a child.