In 1985, Executive Director Maxine Chalker, established Adoptions From The Heart – the first open adoption agency in the Tri-State area. AFTH recognizes the importance in allowing birth parents and adoptive parents the opportunity to collaborate with one another throughout their adoption journey. Although open adoption isn’t for everyone, it’s estimated that 95% of U.S. infant adoptions have some degree of openness. Stigmas surrounding open adoption have proven to be false, therefore families have become receptive to various levels of openness.
Here are some benefits of open adoption:
Gives birthparents peace of mind
There are numerous reasons why someone decides to create an adoption plan. Nonetheless, they still feel a great deal of loss knowing that they are not able or capable to parent. An open adoption gives birthparents the chance to be involved in their child’s future. Choosing a family they feel should raise their child, allows them to have some control over the process. After placement birth parents and adoptive parents may send photos or schedule visits – which helps birth parents with separation grief.
Adoptees will have knowledge of their background
An open adoption eliminates the adoptees’ need to search for their biological parents. With access to their birthparents, children can gain insight and ask questions regarding their roots and identity. Furthermore, birthparents that are known and accessible, allow the child to have a better understanding of their adoption story – and gives him or her a chance to ask any questions that may arise.
Adoptive parents will know more about their child’s family history
For adoptive parents, having a relationship with their child’s birthparents means they can obtain any necessary information, such as medical history or having detailed knowledge of birthparent characteristics. Studies reveal, that adoptive parents who met the birthparent(s) prior to adoption significantly more likely to feel well prepared for the adoption, in comparison to those who did not know or meet the birthparent.
More expectant parents may choose adoption
Because open adoption allows men and women to continue some level of contact with their child, they are more comfortable with choosing to create an adoption plan. With more expecting parents pursing adoption, more children are available, and may assist in decreasing the wait.
Open adoption may also benefit the child by expanding their association of supportive adults. The adopted child is able to view their birthparents as extended family members, such as an aunt or uncle or simply a close friend.