Birth Parents, Domestic Adoption, Open Adoption

Myth Vs. Fact in Open Adoption

MYTH: Adoption agencies “talk” pregnant women into placing their babies for adoption.

FACT: Pregnant women contact agencies who provide information, counseling and support as the woman considers her options. The goal is for birth parents to feel that they have made the right decision for their child and themselves. With open adoption, birth parents are fully involved in the adoption process.

MYTH: In an open adoption, birth parents never resolve their loss and try to co-parent the child.

FACT: In Open Adoption birth parents relinquish the rights and responsibility of parenting. Open adoption is not co-parenting. We think that Open Adoption helps birth parents overcome their loss, through the counseling and support of their social workers as well as through their ongoing contact with the adoptive family and the child.

MYTHIn Open Adoption, pregnant women have all of the “control” and the adoptive parents are vulnerable.

FACT: Open adoption does allow pregnant women to have more control than they used to, and this is healthy. Agencies and attorneys are not making decisions for them but with them. However, it allows women to be comfortable with their decision to place their child and openness promotes sensitivity for the feelings on both sides. Birth parents realize that adoptive parents have experienced a loss (of a biological child), and adoptive parents see the loss birth parents experience at placement. Many adoptive parents recognize that their child benefits from an on-going relationship with birth relatives. Trust, respect and care grow between birth and adoptive parents.

MYTH: Parents who adopt a child from another country do not have to worry about the child always thinking about their birth parents because the child knows he/she will probably never see them again.

FACT: Adopted children never forget that they have birth parents even if they cannot meet them. In fact, more and more often internationally adopted children return to their native countries to experience the culture, and search for their birth families.

MYTH:  Most birth mothers are young, unmarried women under age 21.

FACT: Birth mothers are usually between 21 and 24 years of age, but can range in age from 13 to 40. They are usually unmarried but sometimes a married couple will choose adoption because they feel unable to care for the child, they have other children and cannot provide for another, or the pregnancy is the result of an extra-marital affair.

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