Open Adoption

Open Adoption  - ABC Counseling and Family ServicesThe choice is yours. You can choose to have a closed adoption, where you do not have any contact with the adoptive parents before or after the placement. You can choose a semi-closed or semi-open adoption, in which you may meet the adoptive parents before or after and/or exchange pictures and letters through the agency, but you do not exchange identifying information with each other.

The most common type of adoption currently is an open adoption. Most birth mothers feel more at peace with their decision if they can periodically hear or see how their child is doing. Generally, the most difficult thing for a birth mother who makes an adoption plan, is not knowing how their child is doing.

Open adoptions can vary greatly from one to another. Ultimately, it is considered an open adoption if the birthparents and the adoptive parents know identifying information about each other (ex. Last names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.).

In most open adoptions, the birthparents will meet the adoptive parents shortly after choosing them and before giving birth. You can also choose to have adoptive parents involved in your pre-natal appointments and/or time at the hospital, or you can choose to have that time for just you and your baby.

In an open adoption, you can also choose how much contact you want with the adoptive parents and your child after the placement. You can choose just to receive pictures and letters at designated or requested times of the year, and/or you can decide to have visits on a scheduled basis. Many birthparents are looked at as members of the adoptive parents family in a some adoptions, but it is not meant to be shared parenting.

It is generally best to sit down with the adoptive parents and ABC before you have the baby, to write out a specific Open Adoption Agreement. This outlines the frequency of pictures, letters, and visits. Though it is not legally binding in the State of Illinois, the agreement is based on mutual trust and respect. All parties are expected to honor it, as long as it is in the best interests of the child.