Open Adoption in Florida
These days, most adoptions are open adoptions. This means that birth parents usually have some level of contact with the adoptive family. However, the definition of “open adoption,” is different for each unique situation. Some relationships may just be letters and photos, while others may include meetings, phone calls, or ongoing communication through email or text. Regardless, one thing is clear: open adoption is often the best choice for everyone in the adoption triad.
What Open Adoption Means for Birth Mothers
Even if a child was placed with their adoptive family immediately after birth, that child will always be a part of their mother’s identity. Therefore, it’s critical to understand just how important it is for both the child and the mother to stay connected in some way. For a birth mother, the simple act of looking at a photograph of their child can bring her a sense of connection to the child. It will also help ease her anxiety and reassure her that the child is thriving and that she made the right decision.
Helpful Tips for Sharing Letter and Photos with Your Child’s Birth Mother
Show AND Tell. Life gets busy, we all know that. But don’t just take a couple of photos of your child and send them to their birth mother. Take some time to sit down and really put some heart into the project. Share some photos of the child by themselves, with friends, and with you and the rest of the family. Also, add captions on the photos or write a letter describing what’s going on in the photos.
Example: If you add a photo of your child going to their first Major League Baseball game, you could include some details like, “This was Jacob’s first Marlin’s game and he LOVED it! He was really excited to meet Billy the Marlin and eat Cracker Jack’s. In the fifth inning, a foul ball was hit in our direction. Jacob flinched, naturally, but his Dad caught the ball in his mitt and gave it to him. You should have seen the smile on his face the rest of the night. He was over the moon about it. He even took the ball in for show and tell the next day!”
Get Creative. Photographs and letters are always great, but do you know what warms a mother’s heart more than anything? Some artwork made specifically for them! Next time you’re working on an update, consider having your child draw a picture or write a little letter themselves. This personal touch would mean the world to a birth mother. And for holidays, you could even have them make their own handmade card for their birth mother.
Less is Not Always More. Most post-adoption relationships follow a set of guidelines that were agreed upon during the matching process. Sometimes these agreements may specify how many times each year you’re supposed to exchange photos and letters. Don’t let that limit you. It’s always okay to send updates more often!
Ask For Something in Return. If you’re comfortable doing so, we recommend you ask your child’s birth mother to send some photos of herself, along with letters and updates. This is a great way to reinforce the concept of adoption to a child. They will be able to see who their birth mom is, what she looks like, and learn more about what she’s doing in life. This may also help them answer some internal questions they may have about their identity.
Have Other Questions about Open Adoption?
The experienced adoption team at Heart of Adoptions, Inc. would be happy to speak with you more about open adoption or answer any questions you may have about adoption in Florida. You can feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-GO-ADOPT or Contact Us online.