The entire adoption process is fraught with fear. Both potential adoptive parents and birth mothers have very real and valid fears. A good agency and facilitator will try to address these fears and help all sides come to terms with them. For birth mothers, an ethical agency will provide outside counseling as well.
The majority of these fears center around the birth mother and her baby. Adoptive parents worry the birth mother will change her mind. Birth mothers (and fathers) worry that they will be forgotten and ignored. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fears!
The adoption agency, Family to Family, we used for Charlie is very pro-open adoption. Even 11 years ago when we started the adoption process, open adoption was always discussed with us as the best way to adopt. Robert and I met Charlie’s birth parents and 2 siblings several times before he was born. Charlie’s birthmother chose a semi-open adoption but I have worked at opening up communication with her over the years.
October’s Family to Family newsletter addressed adoption fears. I don’t agree with the title but I love what is said in the article.
Secondly, a child should not have to choose one parent or set of parents to love. Contrary to the fears, birth parents really want one thing. To know that the piece of them that they gave to you hasn’t been lost. That it is still being cared for and being cared for well. And they also want to know that they have not been forgotten in the process.
A child can never have too many people who love him or her. A child has enough love for every one in his/her entire family, including his birth family. The reality is that open adoption has proven time and time again to be healthiest for all parties involved. It takes TONS of work and time but all worthwhile relationships do. Just like when you marry, you gain an entire new family and adoption is the same. You gain a new family when you adopt. That family has its own quirks, structure, baggage, etc. JUST like your family does. Working together in the best interest for the baby, all family members can develop healthy emotional attachments and eliminate many of their fears.
After all, being a parent is doing what is best for your child no matter what.