In an open adoption that focuses on keeping the child the center of the
relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents, it’s important
to start with a close and trusting give and take between all parties.
It’s a unique balance with mutual respect and a common love for
the child allows both birth parents and adoptive parents to recognize
and enjoy their separate and distinct roles. Working together can create
a healthy foundation for the child, allowing them to naturally piece their
identity together while receiving plenty of unconditional love, acceptance
and support from adoptive parents and birth parents. It’s a great
way to make sure that the child knows that these important people all
believe in them and love them.
How Can Adoptive Parents and
Birth Parents Create this Type of Affirming Relationship in an Open Adoption?
Be yourself and allow others to be themselves. Hiding who you are will
only create a tense environment. If you have fears or insecurities, do
everything you can to settle them. If you fear the other parties’
disapproval or grief or connection to the child, get it out in the open.
Work through the issues so that you can relax and enjoy the relationship.
Be open and affectionate. Don’t hold back if you feel the need to
express yourself. This will allow the atmosphere to become one of inclusion
and belonging for all parties. If all are sincerely welcoming, there will
be little standing in the way of the healthy relationship.
Acknowledge Shared Traits: As adoptive parents, acknowledge characteristics
the child has that they share with their birth parents (i.e. eye color,
talents, etc.) As birth parents, acknowledge the characteristics that
the child got from their adoptive parents (i.e. mannerisms, values, hobbies, etc.)
Communicate Freely: Be direct and clear. If a conversation or visit is
uncomfortable, advise the others involved of the problem and pinpoint
exactly what happened that created the discomfort so it doesn’t
occur again. While expressing concerns, be gracious. Then make a simple
plan for the next contact including changes to make sure everyone feels
If you are having difficulty keeping in touch with birth parents or adoptive
parents, attempt to find a support group in your area or online where
you could benefit from the advice of many others in similar situations.
Often, the desire to have a healthy relationship is there, but differences
in lifestyle, age and even location are causing efforts to break down
before they succeed.
If you have questions about adoption in Arizona, the
adoption process or open adoption in general, please get in touch with one of the experienced
Arizona adoption lawyers
at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.