If you are thinking about adoption, you have probably heard a lot about open adoption. With an open adoption, the birth mother maintains contact with the adoptive family. This can vary greatly, depending on what works for both the birth mother and the adoptive family. Before you decide whether open adoption is right for your unique situation, be sure to ask the birth mother these key questions.
What Are You Looking for in Adoptive Parents?
Ask the birth mother about what sort of adoptive parents she wants for her child. Getting insights into what the birth mother wants will help you understand who she is. If the birth mother is looking for adoptive parents who are not a match for your values and beliefs, that is a red flag that an open adoption with her is likely to be problematic. If you are going to be in ongoing contact with the birth mother, you want to be sure that she won't be asking you to make changes in your life or wanting more than you are willing to give.
How Involved Do You Want to Be in the Child's Life?
In some open adoptions, the child may be aware of the birth mother, but she may not have any sort of real relationship with the child. On the other hand, some birth mothers are actively involved in the lives of their children. They may spend time with them every week or every month, or they may see them occasionally. The important thing is that you and the birth mother agree on how much she will be involved after the adoption is finalized.
How Important Is Religion to You?
Some birth mothers want their baby to be raised in their own faith. Not only should you about the birth mother's religious beliefs, but you should find out what sort of religious upbringing she'll want the baby to have. If you decide that the birth mother will often see the baby, will she discuss religion with the child as it gets older? Get as much information as you can about what she will expect when it comes to religion.
Do You Have Expectations About Location?
If you might want to travel across the country or may move in the future for your career, that's something you'll want to address with the birth mother. Ask whether she expects the child to stay in a certain region. Although you aren't obligated to stay in one place, it's important that you and the birth mother share expectations about where the baby will grow up.
Finally, keep in mind that the birth mother will probably have many questions for you. Make sure that you are prepared to give thorough and honest answers. Be open and detailed when answering questions. The best way to ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience with an open adoption is for all parties to be communicative and honest about their needs and expectations.