Question: What is open adoption? May we choose either open or closed?
Answer: Open adoption occurs on a long continuum from only slightly open to completely open. In open adoption, birthparents and adoptive parents agree to have some degree of communication regarding the child they share. As opposed to the closed adoption of the past, adopted children grow up with information about their birthfamily, knowing where they have come from, who they resemble, etc. Birthparents have some knowledge of the adoptive family and may be more able to feel confident that their child is in a loving home.
As supporters of both families, Sunflower hopes to aid the two in making an agreement for openness (or not) which feels right and comfortable to both sides. As the mediator or neutral party, the agency helps to define the amount of openness and to facilitate the continued relationship with the birth and adoptive families.
Options to choose from include:
1) Completely closed adoptions
2) Meeting between birthparents and adoptive parents prior to birth
3) Agreement to exchange photographs and letters through the agency or between parties
4) Agreement for visitation of birthparents with child and adoptive family
5) Building relationship which brings both families together to recognize birthgrandparents, extended family, etc. Accepting birthfamily as “part of the family”.
Although we do not mandate that all our adoptions must be open, we do encourage this relationship, and have found in all our previous adoptions that this can be a positive and fulfilling relationship which often appears to have a very spiritual quality.
Frequently Asked Questions.........continued