Monday, August 17, 2009

Open Adoption: Fear vs. Faith

By Brittany M. of Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal

I know that for a lot of people, the concept of an open adoption can seem kind of scary. I remember (when we were first learning about adoption) not really knowing what to think about open adoption. But then I remembered this quote by President Boyd K. Packer:

"Fear is the opposite of faith."

I wanted to have an open mind to it and see what it's benefits were. I'm so glad we learned about it in our adoption classes (and by reading other blogs) because in our opinion, it really is a beneficial thing. We love our birth mom so much and are so excited to have her in our life!

Adoption has drastically changed over the years and many new adoptions are now being negotiated as "open." The term "open adoption" is a relative one, meaning everyone can determine their own level of openness.

What "open adoption" means to one family may mean something different to another.

For example, some adoptive couples agree with their birth families that they will only exchange emails, letters and photos. Others take it one step further and exchange last names and/or phone numbers. Some adoptive families meet with their birth mothers a few times a year at a restaurant; whereas some birth moms regularly go to the adoptive couples' home to visit. Some couples agree with their birth mom that everyone will be open at first with the shared and mutual intention to slowly break off contact. Some have a set schedule: Maybe an email is sent once a week with pictures, perhaps combined with 1 face-to-face visit every so many months until the baby turns one year old, etc. Some play it completely by ear. Other families have their birth parents come to their child's baby blessing, baptism, ordinations, etc. And some adoptive families have their birth families babysit for them!

Each adoption situation is unique and different from another because of the many factors and variables relating to them. The beauty of an open adoption is that each adoptive couple and their birth family can come up with their own plan that works just how they need it to.

Stay tuned for testimonies of open adoption from the perspective of both birth mothers and other adoptive parents! I asked them to talk about their individual circumstances and how open adoption has been a blessing in their lives.

You won't want to miss them!

(If you have an open adoption and would like to contribute to a future post, email me at

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