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Openness of an Open Adoption

The Open Adoption you are a triad member of that was agreed upon, is it now in comparison to how it was originally? More open? Less open? Exactly the same? How do you believe that has affected the Adoptee?

After placement, we agreed to 5 visits a year with pictures, letters, e-mails, phone calls, etc. in between. Ours is definitely on it's way to becoming more open and in talking to DH today, I learned that not only is he not fully comfortable with it becoming more open, but he questions if it is best for our 4yo DD. We discussed it for quite some time and he did have some valid points that I didn't really consider and definitely plan to do some research on.

But in the meantime, what are your experiences with this?


Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 12:13 AM on Apr. 3, 2010 in Adoption

Level 33 (59,731 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Whether or not to keep things the way they are or go for more communication, etc with the is something only you and your husband can answer. Not knowing his concerns, I really can't say one way or the other. To be honest, I really wouldn't depend too much on what others say because everyone's experience is different. You know what is best for your little one, whether or not it is or would be upsetting for her in any way. There are a couple of things to remember, 1) No matter how often she visits/sees/talks to her, you will ALWAYS be mommy and daddy. You will always be the ones she depends on, feels secure with, loved by and loves in return. 2)..Take your cues from she happy or does she seem upset or insecure after a visit? 3)..Remember SHE will take HER cues from you....if you are nervous, upset, whatever about the visits, etc, she will pick up on that. If you treat the visits, letters, etc (cont)

    Answer by meriana at 1:44 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • as you would visits, calls, letters, etc. from an old friend...then that is most likely how she will view them also.

    Answer by meriana at 1:45 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • Our adoption is more open than originally discussed simply because 5 yrs ago we didnt predict texting, facebook, etc etc being so popular and so easy.
    We never discussed visits at all and may have the first this summer. My stress point around this is mostly because I dont like having houseguests (of any kind).

    To your question, you cant put the toothpaste back in the tube. If you open it up more, it is hard to take it back again and not look like the bad guyt

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:13 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • 5 visits a year seems plenty open to me. If your husband is not comfortable opening more then just stick to your agreement for now and maybe address the issue again in a couple of years.

    Answer by onethentwins at 1:43 PM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • Our level of openness really never took off and it disappointed me. We started out pretty good and it fizzled pretty fast. I sent letters, cards, pictures (all detailed and tons of pics per letter), gift cards for Wal-Mart (because she truly was in need of just basic things), and gifts for the few holidays that came up. I also sent baby gifts for the child she had after my son and many of my son's nice but gently worn clothes and toys. She always called us because her number would change quite often. But at first she did call. And we welcomed it. I was nervous but we wanted to give it a go. She hit another bad patch and the last I heard from her she was a month a way from giving birth again for the second time after my son was born. Since then we don't know where she is. I have mixed feelings. But mostly we did not want a bmom to have no contact. We told her we would send pictures, cards, letters, and


    Answer by frogdawg at 9:54 PM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • we will visit when he gets older. Older was left up in the air. She was satisfied. I met her extended family. I said I want them to be our family to and to have a lot of contact. I gave everyone my phone number and address. Not anything. People talk about the adoptive parents not following through but no one ever discussed with us what to do when the birthmother does not call anymore. I made some mistakes. But I did some thing right. I bought into the open picture but their were many things not discussed by the lawyers and organization that should have been. Like what happens if the bmom is not well and pushes for things? How do you walk the line between compassion, fairness, and also setting boundaries. Everyone says set boundaries but no one ever says how.  Ours went from very open (with exception of visits) to no contact by birthmom.


    Answer by frogdawg at 10:02 PM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • We ended up with more contact with DD's bfamily than we agreed to, and it has been a good experience. We have gained extended family. Her bmom has some serious issues right now, but we knew from the beginning that this could happen. The nature of contact has changed with her, but we'll still have contact. We'll still see the rest of her family face-to-face. DD is very attached to them and we wouldn't want to think of our lives without them now.

    We have less contact with DS's bmom than we'd hoped, but not less than we agreed to. We agreed to an open adoption with a level of contact that was comfortable for her.

    If your DH is not comfortable with increasing contact, you may need to wait until you are both in agreement. Instead of more face-to-face visits, can you talk on the phone more often? Facebook or e-mail? That may be a good compromise.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:29 PM on Apr. 4, 2010

  • Oh - I forgot to answer how I feel it has affected our kids (the adoptees). I think they have both benefitted from the contact with DD's bfamily, because they have more people who love them. DD will know that her bfamily loves her and is still involved in her life. DS, unfortunately, does not know that yet. I've saved all phone messages with his bmom's voice and I've saved a blanket and Christmas stocking she gave him as a newborn. We hope to have more contact in the future. As young as he is (1 1/2), I don't think he's been hurt by having no contact, but she is a stranger to him right now. We didn't want that, and we hope it doesn't stay that way. We want him to benefit from the same relationships with bfamily that his sister has.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:32 PM on Apr. 4, 2010

  • I'm a birthmom. We started out semi-open, sending stuff whenever (no set times) through the adoption agency, and also set up meetings the same way - also not pre-agreed upon as far as how many or anything. We said from the start we'd see how everything went, for if it would stay that way or open up more. This was in Dec'99. I married (not the biodad) in Aug'01, and a month later when 9/11 happened a-parents talked, decided that if anything like that happened again closer to us, they wanted to be able to get ahold of me right away, or me get ahold of them, without having to make multple phone calls via the agency. So we've been fully open since then. They told her from day 3 (when they first met her) that she was adopted, so that's never been an issue - she's always known that I'm her birthmom, and she calls me by my first name. It's nice this way, we can decide with 1 phone call when & where to meet, we've been to each (cont)

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:51 AM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • others houses, I participated in their oldest child's wedding a couple of years ago, all that fun stuff. It would be hard for me now, after this long, for them to say it's been too much. Shoot, when she was 4, it would have been a blow. I wouldn't "close off" from where you're at, just don't open up any farther. If anything talk to the birthmom about cutting back to 4 visits a year, so it's easier to plan - every 3 months. I can't honestly answer how it's been for my child, but for me it's helped, having gone open. She's happy, she knows who her Mom is and who her "mom" is, she had extra grandparents & aunts and uncles that she knows are there, but she has her other ones who are her "permanent" ones. IMO it's probably been better for her, knowing all about us and being able to spend time together.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:55 AM on Apr. 5, 2010