Friday, July 11, 2014

Open Adoption, Plan It

Open adoptions can be wonderful! I love receiving email updates about cute things my (birth) son has learned to do and the adorable photos which capture the smile I passed on to him. 

When adoption was decided on and the family chosen, I think the only thing we didn't have a plan for was how open the adoption could, would, and should be.  I knew that every open adoption was different and I could not mirror a single one. 

With my adoption situation, I thought it would be fine and I wouldn't have any problems.  The couple was very friendly and we became close during the remainder of the pregnancy and for the first six months of the child's life.  Then life slowly went back to normal for them and I kept on grieving. 

I thought they would just know how and when to communicate, but they didn't, and I ended up being disappointed many times.

Usually pictures and emails arrived two to three weeks apart, then gradually it started to slow down.  When I did receive anything, I would be caught off guard and I would break down sobbing, like placement happened all over again. 

The important thing that I have learned is to make an open adoption plan.  This would be an agreement made between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents and would include the following:

  • Methods of Communication (email, text, Facebook, snail mail, etc.)
  • Frequency of Communication (once a week, month, etc.)
  • Visits (where, how often, who can come)

One thing that I learned from not having a plan was that I should have had a plan!

(Editor's Note: We'd be remiss if we didn't add that adoption plans are not legally binding in all states and that sadly, open adoptions can be closed without a birthmother's permission or even knowledge. But when done right with the best interests of the child involved, open adoption can be a positive thing for all involved.) 

Do you have an open adoption plan? What are some things you have learned about having a plan for open adoption? What has worked for you?  And what hasn't worked for you?

Please post your comments, they may help someone else. 


  1. Thank you for sharing. Having such a plan to help all involved is definitely something we will keep in mind when we are fortunate enough to adopt!

  2. Thank you for sharing. We are currently adopting a baby boy from foster care. I live in Tennessee and the state does not recognize open adoptions here, although I felt the need to offer birth mom contact. We wrote her attorney and offered monthly facebook pictures/updates, a one time meeting w/great grandmother and 3 visits per year. We did need to have stipulations to the offers but we feel at peace with the offer. DCS advised us that our offer was incredibly generous and they had not seen an offer as ours before. Since we offered and birth mom surrendered we have communicated every day, I have shared photos and updates each day. So far we have built an amazing relations and I can't wait to see what God does in her life. Again, thank you for sharing. Not all adoptions have to be bad.