As a Birth Mother, one of the things you can discuss with the Adopting Parents you choose is whether you want to have contact during your pregnancy and after the birth.
Today, most adoptions are open adoptions, which means that contact may range from photo/letter updates to visits. Every adoption is unique so the level of contact, if any, will depend on what works for you, the Adoptive Parents and the child as he/she grows up. Here are some things to consider as you think about the level of openness you would like in your adoption plan.
View Waiting Families
Whether you want a closed adoption with no contact, or you want to receive photos and updates, or you want an Adoptive Family open to visits, reach out to an adoption professional like Adoption Network Law Center. Your adoption professional can help you find families waiting to adopt that will have similar preferences regarding the level of contact.
Contact With The Adoptive Parents During Your Pregnancy
If you are creating your adoption plan prior to giving birth, contact with the Adoptive Parents during the pregnancy is an option. Some Birth Mothers and Adoptive Parents will call/text during the pregnancy and some Birth Mothers will even ask the Adoptive Parents to accompany them to a doctor’s visit. Some Birth Mothers are not comfortable maintaining contact directly with the Adoptive Parents during their pregnancies and instead ask their adoption professionals to be the point of contact to share important information and updates.
Contact With The Adoptive Parents At The Hospital
You will also have the right to decide on what level of contact you would like with the Adoptive Parents during your hospital stay. You may choose to spend time alone with the baby or you can choose to spend time with the Adoptive Parents and the baby. Whatever you decide, it is important to know that you have the right to make decisions during your hospital stay.
Contact With The Adoptive Family After Birth
Today, most adoptions have some level of openness but the level of contact will vary based on what works for all parties involved.
Many Adoptive Parents will give the Birth Mother or Birth Parents access to a private photo sharing site or a private social media account and post photos and updates there. This allows the Adoptive Parents to continue to share the photos and updates while allowing the Birth Family to view them when they are ready to do so. Other Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents choose to call/text/email updates directly and some will even arrange for visits.
Some Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents enter into what is known as a Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA), which allows for certain, specified contact between the Birth Parents and the Adoptive Family. Some states will enforce PACAs so long as they serve the best interest of the adoptee, while other states will prohibit or not enforce them at all.
Benefits Of An Open Adoption
While open adoption will not work for all Birth Mothers, there are benefits to being able to maintain a healthy open adoption as Birth Mothers are often able to better deal with their grief and loss as they are able to affirm their adoption decision.
It is important to understand that there will not be one best method in terms of type and amount of contact. It is also important to understand that the level of contact may also change over time. The most important factor in type and amount of contact should be what is in the best interest of the child.