Why Open Adoption is Beneficial to Adoptees
The definition of open adoption, according the dictionary, is “a form of adoption in which the biological parents participate in the process of placing the child with an adoptive family and may continue to have contact thereafter.” With most adoptions in the past being closed (no contact), there have been studies conducted on open vs. closed adoptions. What are the benefits? Why should a birth mother consider this option? When looking at adoptees and discovering themselves, open adoption has many benefits. Below is a list:
It will give your child a sense of identity
With closed adoptions, adoptees and adoptive families have no contact with the birth parents. This often leaves adoptees with questions of identity. Open adoption opens that line communication wherein the adoptee can develop a sense of self. Knowing who you look like and why you may possess certain qualities will deepen their understanding.
It will give your child more understanding of their medical background
It’s no secret that adoptees may develop the same allergies, ailments, and predispositions as their birth parents. Knowing this background before is helpful for the adoptee – when an unexpected condition arises that may be genetic, they can examine the birth parents’ medical history. Open adoption can open those medical records as a valuable tool for understanding.
It will give your child understanding of the adoption placement
Adoptees oftentimes struggle with understanding why they were placed for adoption. In addition to blaming themselves for their placement, adoptees also create make-believe worlds about their birth parents, Open adoption eliminates this possibility – they will have the truth.
It will eliminate the “finding out” they are adopted
Adoptees who are a part of a closed adoption often are not told they are adopted until later in life. This presents possibilities of trauma and emotional disarray. It is more common in open adoptions that children know they are adopted because it is never abruptly brought to their attention. It becomes a part of their story.
It will give your child a connection with birth siblings and family
Open adoption opens the door to birth parents’ children, parents, siblings, etc. As an adoptee, they will be able to form a relationship with these family members (if they would like). This will make them feel connected.
If you are contemplating open vs. closed adoption, consider the pros and cons of both. Open adoption provides many benefits for the adoptee. However, in the end, adoption is another way to build a beautiful family and it is your choice!