Are you comfortable with an open adoption?

I am unfamiliar with the adoption process, but one of my very best friends is going through the adoption process through an agency after suffering 5 pregnancy losses. She really wants to me a mommy more than anything.

Her profile just went live on her angency's website a month or two ago and she has just started being contacted by birth moms. During the last 2 weeks she was contacted by a woman who has 3 other children and a 2-month-old daughter who wanted to place her daughter up for adoption. The birth mom stopped all contact with my friend and the agency so we are assuming she changed her mind. My friend was devastated.

Now my friend tells me another bm is interested in her and her husband, but she wants a "very open adoption" and lives 20 minutes away. My friend says she doesn't think it's the right situation for her but just wants a baby really bad.

This question is really for adoptive parents. I know adoptees really support open adoptions, but how do adoptive parents feel, and how do they handle it? I am worried my friend is going to jump into a situation she is not comfortable with. Again, I know nothing about this process or the emotions since I have never adopted, but I want to protect my friend.

Advice???????

Update:

Thanks Randy, I agree! I don't think she should rush either but am afraid to tell her since I have no idea what she is feeling. :( Would love to hear some more thoughtful answers!!!

Update 2:

Thanks so much for more thoughtful answers. JennaBea, I understand the pain of losing babies as I have had 4 miscarriages in addition to my 2 bio kids. My friend and I went through some of our losses around the same time, but I went on to have kids. I understand the desperation it can bring, so I guess that's why I feel like it's not my place to tell her not to rush, you know? But I totally do not understand the adoption process and all the highs and lows it can bring.

Kathryn, I am so sorry (((hugs))) I can't even imagine what you are going through.

Update 3:

Just wanted to let you guys know my friend is not going with the 2nd bm after all. The first one (with the 2-month-old) called her and said she had been out of town but wants to still continue the adoption.

10 Answers

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  • Willow
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I'm an adult adoptee as well as an adoptive mom. Until a month ago our adoption was very open. My daughter's first mom (birth mom and the abbrieviation BM is offensive to first moms) would call several times a week, was on my myspace so she could get all the pix I posted and would visit whenever she could. Sometimes it was once a month, sometimes every few months (she moved to another state)

    Last year she married a man and apparently he has issues with her continuing contact. Last month he threw a hissy fit when we asked her to come stay the night with the kids. (We don't allow him here when we aren't here because he give me a bad feeling)

    SO now she has removed herself from my myspace...SHe hasn't called in a month. SO I guess for now she has backed off.

    I was completely comfortable with the situation and considered her a friend and member of the family. I miss hearing from her.

    However if your friend is not comfortable with this situation, she should be honest with the mother considering adoption...It would be unfair to all involved if she adopted this child and then had a hard time honnoring the open adoption or closing it....

  • 1 decade ago

    The issue here is really how your FRIEND feels about it. Even if a hundred people tell you open adoption is amazing and wonderful, if she can't bring herself to go through with her promises, then her opinion is the only one affecting the situation. And the fact is, it's tough to impossible to make an open adoption work if not all the adults are 100% committed, and when it doesn't work, someone gets hurt.

    I do think you need to talk to her, even if it's awkward. I understand wanting a baby, but an adopted baby has another family, and they matter too. Your friend needs to be thinking hard about that. It's better to be honest and turn down a situation she isn't comfortable with, than to promise something and break the biological mom's heart by cutting her off later. Your friend shouldn't let her desire for a baby get in the way of being ethical to the baby's other mother.

    While I personally support open adoption, I would NEVER recommend a person promise a more open adoption than they are really comfortable doing in the long-term or truly plan on. I would rather see an adoption become more open later than slam shut in someone's face. It's better to be honest and realistic from the start about what you really want and what you can really do. It's better for your friend to pass on this situation than to wound another mother, and possibly the child, and possibly herself.

    Open adoption is like adding another family to your family, not just a child-- so your friend should not do that lightly or against her better judgement just to get a kid.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The advantage of an open adoption is that you get to choose the parents for your baby. Unlike a closed adoption, where both sides remain anonymous to each other, an open adoption lets you meet the parents before the baby is born. You'll probably be given a list of various couple who want to adopt, along with information about their occupations, hobbies, religious views, and so forth. You can choose the family based on whatever critieria matters most to you. However, you may or may not be able to have continued contact with them after the adoption. Whatever they promise you (to send photos, let you visit the baby, etc.) may not be legally enforceable. They may start out fully intending to involve you, but then decide that it's too overwhelming. So if you opt for adoption, be aware of this before you sign anything. You may still want an open adoption, so that you can at least meet the people who'll be raising the baby. Just be aware that they may, or may NOT, allow you to be involved in the baby's life after adoption, no matter what they tell you beforehand.

  • 1 decade ago

    I really think your friend should wait until a situation comes along that she really feels comfortable with. I personally believe that any adoptions that take place should be as open as possible, because children deserve to grow up knowing their biological roots, but if your friend is uncomfortable with the arrangements, then she shouldn't adopt this woman's child.

    I understand your friend's desire to have children, but she should remember that adoption is primarily a service to provide homes for children who need them, not just to provide babies for families who want children. From a psychological perspective (I'm a counselor), it seems like you friend should really talk to someone about her desire to have children...I'm always concerned when people feel the desperate need to have something that they don't...not that she shouldn't continue the adoption process, but there are likely many emotions that she is experiencing and it would be helpful for her to come to terms with the grief over the fact that she lost 5 pregnancies and cannot have children the "old fashioned way." To be honest, that child that she adopts is not going to take away the pain of those 5 lost pregnancies...it will be a child, but its responsibility is not to be a band-aid for her pain, ya know? That's a big task for a child to fill...and one that I don't feel is appropriate.

    If you would like to know about what she is feeling you could talk with her and provide a good listening ear. You may want to also research the emotions that are involved in adoption (because, many people aren't aware, but there is pain on the end as an adoptee....so adoption should not be entered into lightly). Unforutnately I don't have any specific websites or books dealing with what AP's go through, but you could look up grieving and information related to miscarriages and the feelings it brings about in people.

    Source(s): adult adoptee & counselor
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  • 1 decade ago

    Here's the thing, someday her adopted child is going to be an adult. Someday that adopted child will have to be told, "Your mother wanted to know you and visit you when you were a child, but I wasn't comfortable so I prevented it." How will that child react? All adoptive parents really need to think carefully about the child's whole lifetime, not just the few years of young childhood. Adoption is a lifetime committment and lifetime relationships are built. There will always be another family and your friend needs to understand that before becoming an adoptive mother. It doesn't have to be a bad thing, it's just a different way of being a parent. : )

    Source(s): Mom to a daughter with a completely open adoption.
  • Cam
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Another poster is right...open adoptions are not legally enforceable. Either party could refuse contact at anytime.

    For open adoptions to work the AP's and natural mother have to go into the process committed. For us open adoption was the number one criteria. I truly believe there has to be a chemistry and trust with the people involved and that's not easy to find.

    If your friend is not comfortable about open adoption then she should not persue it any further with this mother. It wouldn't be fair to her or the child.

    Source(s): Adoptive mom-very open adoption for 12 years
  • cmc
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I think for an adoption with that much contact their personalities would have to click. It might be worth it to meet the mom and just see. Open adoption or not - that doesn't mean a woman won't change her mind before the baby is born. That is one of the hard parts about domestic adoption from an a-parent point of view. You really have to keep that in mind when you are talking to any mom who you are hoping might pick you. It is really the mom's right to decide. She needs to decide what is best for her and her child - so your friend should try to keep that in mind.

    We talked to one woman for about a month, but she decided to parent her child. That would have been an open adoption with ongoing contact. A few weeks after she decided we were contacted by someone else who turned out to be our daughter's mom. We met at the hospital but she doesn't want ongoing contact. I'm somewhat disappointed, but realize she needs to decide what is best for her. I think it might be easier for my daughter to grow up knowing her, but as it is my daughter will contact her when she's older.

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In most areas in north america "open adoptions" are not legally enforceable. Once adoptive parents become the legal parents of a child they are legally entitled to determine who their child has, or does not have, contact with.

    If your friend doesn't think its the right situation for her then it won't be the right situation for the child and she should reconsider going ahead with the process. This is not something like buying a car with a colour you are not keen on and hoping it will grow on you over time. If she does not feel comfortable, then wait for a situation where she does feel comfortable. The need to rush is only in her mind and it will only cause problems in the long run.

    ETA: In this situation, if your friend goes along with the open adoption and there is a problem of some sort in the future she may find that given the proximity to the birth parent(s) that she is trapped in a situation that she may find is detrimental to the child and her family. Our youngest child was the 10th baby born to a very young mother (27 years old) who has numerous drug and alcohol issues and has had numerous run ins with the law (including attempted abductions of her other children who had been placed for adoption). We (naturally) chose not to have any contact with her other then through the post adoption registry. Three of her other children were adopted by a relative of hers and we have chosen not to have any direct contact with them either for fear that the birth mother would find out more info about us then we were willing to divulge. At the same time however there is another family that adopted one of the siblings and we do have contact with them but only because they have no direct contact with the birth mother either. In our case, security was an issue but regardless of that the issues can be complex and as I noted if things don't feel right for your friend then she needs to take a long hard look at things and think with her head, not her heart.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think if your friends gut says this is not the right situation for her then she shouldn't do it. There will be other first moms who are interested in them. If she is feeling this way now she will likely not be as open as the first mom wants and your friend is gonna hurt her. Also the child will be mad that she doesn't respect her first moms wishes. Also it will always be a struggle for your friend.

    I know it is hard to walk away because, she really wants a baby. It is the right thing to do though. There will be lots of others encourage her to wait for the right situation.

    Good luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I just put my baby girl up for adoption, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do....

    It is a lot harder to put a baby up then anyone can explain or understand...

    Be their for your friend! That's about as good a thing you could do...

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