Open Adoption

Setting boundaries in open adoption

Every Adoption is Different 

When beginning the process, it’s important to note that every adoption is different. There isn’t a strict set of guidelines’ when it comes to the relationship between adoptive parents and birth parents in open adoption. Instead, the boundaries are set by both the adoptive and biological parents depending on what they feel comfortable with. 

Be Honest

Don’t be afraid whether you are an adoptive parent or a birth parent to be truthful when it comes to setting boundaries. Basing the relationship on honesty will provide a healthy foundation for the relationship to grow. Adoption is an emotional process and birth mothers can be hesitant towards communication and visitations in the beginning. As a prospective adoptive parent, preparing yourself for a possible lack of involvement from the birth parents immediately after the birth will help to prevent disappointment. This being said, not every birth parent will be hesitant towards being involved, so having a open mind will be beneficial.                                  

Social Media  

Social media poses a relatively newer obstacle for open adoption especially. In today’s society social media posts are a quick and easy way to keep friends and family updated on a daily basis. Having a conversation about what is appropriate to post on social media will avoid any surprises on both ends. It can also be a benefit as well. Kristy, an adoptive mother to a 5 year old who was adopted as an infant explains, “we use social media as another means of sharing and connection. We created a private Facebook group where we send updates and share photos and videos and have discussions. Our daughter’s birth mother has also included her mother as well. One day, our daughter will have access to it too and she can see all the openness over time.”

Knowing your role  

Before the adoption takes place discuss what the child will call the birth parents. It is common for birth parents to send cards or letters in an open adoption. Agreeing on titles prior to the baby’s birth will help not only the birth parents but will also help to eliminate confusion for the adoptee.  

Keeping Promises  

Trust is vital to any relationship and an open adoption relationship is no exception. Sticking to the boundaries agreed upon is important so that both sides feel comfortable and respected. It’s important for birth parents to fulfill the promises that they make so that the child’s well-being is not compromised. It’s also important so that the relationship between the adoptive parents and birth parents is easily maintained.

If you want to learn more open adoption and boundaries:

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