Nancy & Tim
We met Lena's birthmother, Rikki, , over a wonderful four-hour dinner and two days later she told us she wanted to move forward with an adoption plan. Rikki told us she looked at several hundred "profiles" of hopeful adoptive couples. She found us on a popular web site called ParentProfiles.com. Like Rikki, the Hallmark people found our profile on ParentProfiles.com and called about filming our journey to parenthood. What an incredible, more ...
Every post-adoption relationship is different. Some are healthy and some are volatile. Some birth parents and adoptive parents respect boundaries while others refuse to do so. Because the topic of adoption can be such an emotional issue, many members of the adoption triad find agreeing or keeping to a post-adoption agreement difficult. If you're looking to create a successful open adoption relationship, there are a few things to keep in mind as you progress through your pregnancy, the placement process, and post-placement experiences.
Your unconditional love for your child is truly touching and remarkable. To a couple longing for a child, your sacrifice means more than words can express. Becoming parents will be a dream come true for us. Thank you for taking the time to read about us.
Creating a successful open adoption relationship begins pre-placement. Every little thing can make a huge difference in how you are perceived and treated. For starters, treat the adoptive parents with respect, even if they choose not to show you the same respect in return. Understand that while it is an emotional journey for you, it can also be a difficult time for the adoptive parents. Have empathy and understanding. Again, with your example, they may be able to have a better understanding of your feelings and your situation. Even when there is a disagreement--and there will most likely be a few disagreements--remain respectful. If it escalates and intensifies, find a mediator or ask your adoption attorney or other adoption professional to speak for you and handle some of the details.
During the placement process, you'll probably create or agree to an adoption agreement of sorts. This agreement may include the specifics to your post-placement open adoption relationship. And remember that what constitutes an open adoption is different for each relationship. You may have agreed to gather with the adoptive family during momentous family occasions, like birthdays, graduations, or weddings. Or, you may be asked to only correspond through emails or letters. Some birth parents do not visit or speak with the adoptive family or child, but are sent update letters, emails, and pictures.
One type of an open adoption relationship isn't better than another. Each is completely dependent on the needs and desires of those involved. So, with that in mind, know that it's important to abide to what you previously agreed. While you can't force the adoptive parents to keep up their end of the agreement, you have complete power over what you decide to do. This doesn't mean that you have to keep with the current agreement if you're unhappy. You can always request to revisit the agreement. When you get together with the adoptive parents, discuss any changed needs or if you'd like anything added to the agreement. Having a current adoption agreement is best for every side of the adoption triad.
The most important part of any successful open adoption relationship is communication. Without healthy and respectful communication, problems can't be fixed, issues can't be addressed, and needs can't be met. Do your part to communicate effectively and consistently. Encourage the adoptive family to do the same. Another important part of a successful relationship post-placement is to heal emotionally. Adoption can be a painful experience. Holding on to that pain isn't beneficial to anyone. Take some time to heal, forgive, and move forward. Be patient with yourself. It will take time, dedication, and perseverance, but it will happen eventually. And when it does, your post-placement open adoption relationship will be happier and healthier--and so will you.