An unplanned pregnancy comes with a host of new situations and difficult decisions, and making the choice to give your baby up for adoption is one of the most difficult decisions any parent can make. One option that is sometimes presented as ideal for birth mothers and adopted children is the option of an open adoption. If you're considering an open adoption, here are a few pros and cons to consider when weighing your choices and making your decision.
Pro: Informed Adoptee
Most birth parents make the decision to give their children up for adoption because they want what's best for their child. However, in traditional closed adoptions, the adopted children are sometimes left lacking in important information about their family and medical history.
Open adoption gives you the chance to not only provide your child with a more stable home and family than you can provide at the moment, but also to provide them with something they'll want later on – answers. With an open adoption, you'll be able to provide your child with information about their birth family that can help them make important decisions, particularly medical decisions.
Con: Open Can Become Closed
Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents get to make the decisions. Even if you have a legal agreement allowing visitation, you may not be able to get a court to enforce it if the adoptive parents decide not to honor it.
The reason for this is simple – under the law, legal parents are generally considered to have the right to make decisions about who their child sees and where they go. Even though you're the biological parent of the child you gave up for adoption, legally you will have no relationship to the child. That means that you usually won't have legal standing to fight for visitation, the way that you would if you were considered the child's legal parent. Before you enter into an open adoption agreement, it's important to consider that you may not have the degree of access to your child that you might prefer, and that the terms of your initial agreement may change.
Pro: Greater Happiness
An adoptive child who has contact with their birth family may also be a happier teenager and adult. Studies show that by the time adopted children reach adolescence, those who maintained contact with their birth parents were more satisfied than those who did not have contact with their birth parents.
The same holds true for birth parents. Overwhelmingly, satisfaction with an adoption situation correlates with contact between children and birth parents, and both were more likely to report dissatisfaction if they had little or no contact.
The key to a successful open adoption is when birth parents and adoptive parents are willing to be flexible and put the child's well-being first. Only you can decide whether it's right for your situation, but an open adoption should definitely be considered when making decisions about how to handle your unplanned pregnancy. For more assistance with adoption, consider contacting the Pregnancy Center Of Wayne County.Share