Why I Chose Open Adoption

My pregnancy was unplanned, but never unwanted. Choosing open adoption was an act of love, not abandonment.

Annaleece Merrill July 05, 2018
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When I was 17 years old, I faced an unplanned pregnancy. Due to the circumstances, open adoption was the best option for both my baby and me. Adoption made sense. I was young and unstable, and placing her into a home where she would be safe and happy was in her best interest. But to continue to have contact with her afterward? That’s a little different. Here are three reasons why I chose an open adoption.

1. I still love her

Placing little R for adoption was an act of love, not abandonment. Yes, my pregnancy was unplanned, but not unwanted. I have loved little R from the moment my pregnancy test came up positive. I love her just as much as any other mother loves her child. My choosing not to parent doesn’t change that. Because I love her so much, I miss her every day. I treasure every photo I get from her wonderful parents. I savor the moments I get to snuggle and play with her when I visit with them. Open adoption means that I still get to love little R, even though much of the time, it’s from a distance.

2. She deserves an open adoption

Many adoptees struggle with problems that are so unfair to them. They didn’t choose to be placed for adoption. They grow up without their biological families, sometimes having little or no information about them. They may have feelings of abandonment or isolation. Many adoptees don’t even have access to their own medical history. With an open adoption, hopefully, little R won’t have to deal with those things. If she has any questions about her adoption story, she can come to me and ask. I will always be there to remind her how much I love her, and that I placed her to give her a better life, not because I didn’t want her. She will always know me, and I believe that it will help to alleviate any struggles she may have down the road.

3. I can live a full life

I’m not worried about my birth daughter. I know that I chose the most wonderful family for her. I know she’s happy and thriving because I’ve seen it. I will never have to wonder where she is or if she’s safe. Because I have a good relationship with her, I can heal so much better. I can spend time focusing on myself and being the best person that I can be. I can pursue an education and explore my own interests because I am at peace. I know she’s all right and that I will see her again soon.

My open adoption has been such a rewarding experience, and I treasure the relationship I have with little R and her family. I am so glad I chose to continue contact after placement, and that her family was so willing to have a relationship with me. Open adoption was without a doubt the best possible solution to my unplanned pregnancy.

Pregnant and considering adoption? You don’t need to do it alone. Click here to connect with a caring, compassionate adoption professional who can help you figure out what’s best for you and your baby. All consultations and counseling are absolutely free.

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Annaleece Merrill

Annaleece Merrill is a birth mother to the cutest little girl on earth. She loves being an advocate for open adoption by writing, mentoring, and speaking at adoption panels. She attends Utah State University in Logan, Utah.


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