25 Open Adoption Questions to Consider

Open Adoption Stories; The Adult Adoptees Experience

What should I consider before agreeing to enter into an open adoption?

The following questions are by no means exhaustive. In fact these are just a few considerations that might lead to a deeper evaluation of both the practical and philosophical ideas of how the biological family, adoptive family and the adoptee may be impacted by an open adoption.

This is not a “pro-adoption” post. Open adoption is highlighted by many adoption agencies and used as a coercive tool. It is often shown in a manner that evokes imagery of play dates in the park without addressing the concerns that will eventually arise. This list of questions is intended move beyond a surface understanding and provide a deeper understanding of possible difficulties.

1. Am I prepared to work through the challenges of communication?

2. Am I willing to seek professional assistance if communication breaks down?

3. Will I find it difficult to accept the biological/adoptive family’s extended family?

4. Will it be difficult to accept new family members of my child as life transitions happen such as marriage or divorce?

5. Will I be able to accept the adoptive/biological siblings of my child?

6. Will it be difficult to watch the adoptive/biological mother of my child interact and be affectionate towards him/her?

7. Will it be upsetting if my child is sad, depressed or upset at the end of a visit?

8. What are my expectations of the frequency of calls, texts or interactions and length of visits, and how might those change over time?

9. What is the biological/adoptive parent’s expectation of the frequency of calls, texts or interactions and length of visits, and how might their expectations change over time?

10. Will it be difficult to watch my child engage in activities I might not agree with? (i.e. dance, pageantry, etc.)

11. How will I feel if the adoptive/biological family has extreme changes in religion?

12. Can I respect boundaries set by my child’s other family?

13. What if my child wants to see me (the biological mom) more?

14. What if my child wants to see me (the biological mom) less?

15. How might my child feel at seeing pictures or hearing stories of events he or she didn’t get to participate in?

16. Will professional family portraits always be set up when my child can take part? How might my spouse feel about that?

17. Am I committed to remaining in a geographic location that allows for frequent visits? What if I, or my child’s other family, must move?

18. Will it be difficult if the adoption is closed by the other parent or the adoptee?

19. How will jealousy by the adoptee be handled?

20. Might there also be jealousy by the biological/adoptive siblings?

21. What if the adoptee eventually wants to live with the biological parent?

22. Will the adoptee feel like he or she is repeatedly saying goodbye to his mother and/or father on both sides?

23. Is my child expected to use logic to overcome emotions?

24. Legally will my child have ancestry, race, name and legacy of a family that is not authentically his or hers?

25. Will my child’s records and original birth certificate be sealed and held from him or her according to my state law?

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About the Author

Kat - Open Adoption Adoptee
Open Adoption Adoptee Kat is an adult adoptee, wife and mother. She was relinquished eleven months after her birth in 1972. She was adopted through a domestic infant adoption. She found out she was adopted at the age of four and had regular visits with her biological mom and siblings from that point forward in an open adoption. They spent time together at each other’s houses and Kat spent weeks at a time with her biological family during summer breaks from school. She has recently been trying to obtain her original birth certificate as all records are sealed in her birth state even in open adoption. She is active within the adoption community as an adoption reform activist, family preservation advocate and adoptee rights activist. Kat also blogs at sisterwish.com.

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