Adoptive Families Blog

How to Encourage a Healthy Open Adoption

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on October 17, 2019

When most people think of adoption, they imagine adoptions of the past when closed adoption was the norm. Society's views on adoption have evolved over the years, and now most private or independent adoptions are open adoptions. In fact, only 5% of infant adoptions are closed, according to a 2012 survey of 100 private adoption agencies.

What this means for you is that more than likely, you will have an open adoption with your child's birth mother. 

There are varying degrees of contact in an open adoption arrangement, from emails sent through an adoption professional to annual in-person visits. Open adoption comes with many benefits for everyone in the adoption triad: adoptive parents, adoptee, and birth parents.

Birth parents know that open adoption does not mean that you share custody. You are the parents, and they will respect this. They simply want to know how their child is doing and that they made the right decision. I've seen so many great open adoptions and wonderful birth mother relationships. You should be open and honest about the amount of involvement she will have with the baby. 

By setting healthy boundaries, the adoption experience will be a happier one for you, your baby, and the birth parents. Keep reading to learn about open adoption agreements, the hospital experience in open adoption, topics to discuss with your child's birth parents, and more!

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Topics: Open Adoption, visit with birth family, open adoption visits, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?, open adoption agreement

What You Need to Know About Birth Mother Substance Use

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on September 19, 2019

When you begin the adoption process, your adoption professional will ask you several questions to determine your adoption preferences.

As Lifetime asks you what kinds of substance exposure you're open to in your baby, we understand that your main concern is the health of your future child. 

The expectant mothers that Lifetime Adoption serves are typically already facing personal challenges when they discover that they're pregnant. And sometimes, their challenges include substance use or addiction. While most of the women that Lifetime works with don't use any drugs or alcohol during their pregnancies, we do occasionally help women who are struggling with substance use issues.

This tends to make some hopeful adoptive parents anxious. We understand that you want to make sure the baby you adopt is healthy and safe. At Lifetime Adoption, we work hard to find the right adoption situation for each adoptive family, birth mother, and child. That includes making sure you're comfortable with substance exposure in your baby’s background.

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Topics: Infant adoption, prenatal drug exposure, drug-exposed baby, relationship with birth mother, adoption preferences, substance use during pregnancy, domestic infant adoption

"His Adoption Was Without a Doubt Part of God’s Plan!"

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on July 2, 2019

Last year, adoptive couple Casey and Johanna were blessed to adopt a baby boy through Lifetime Adoption.

In this family’s story, we hear from Johanna about receiving "the call," the bond they've established with their son Isaiah's birth mother, and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption. Now a forever family, adoptive mom Johanna shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog. 

We love it when adoptive couples share the happy ending to their adoption story after the wait.  It’s a beautiful reminder for Lifetime of why we do what we do and the impact it has on creating families!

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Topics: Open Adoption, Waiting to Adopt, adoption wait, Adoption story, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?

How to Show Your Love to Birth Parents

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on February 14, 2019

Birth mothers have a bond with their baby from the start. She’ll wonder what her child will be like, how she’ll care for him or her, and what she’ll need to give her baby the best she can. And sometimes this means making an adoption plan.

It’s a difficult, heart-wrenching choice to make, but it’s one made out of love. A birth mother loves her child so much that she wants to give them a better life; one that she’s unable to provide. After the adoption, she’ll think about her child often and love them for the rest of her life. Adoption is a choice made out of love.

So in honor of her love, this Valentine's Day we're sharing seven ways to extend love to your child’s birth mother!

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Topics: Open Adoption, Communication, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?, gift for our child's birth mother, forever family

Get a Real-Life Glimpse Into Two Types of Adoption

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on January 24, 2019

"Our relationship is very near and dear to my heart, and I sincerely love these women. 
Their sacrifice allowed me to grow my family!"

Adoption relationships can be easily misunderstood, until you see them through the lives of actual adoptive families and birth parents who came together for a child’s adoption.

Today, we hear from Lifetime adoptive mother-in-waiting Emily; she shares about her relationships with their sons' birth mothers. You'll discover how open adoption allows for a flexible and respectful relationship between adoptive families and birth mothers!

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Topics: Open Adoption, Adoption journey, Waiting to Adopt, Adoption story, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?

How to Deal With Fear About Birth Parents

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on January 17, 2019

Many adoptive families fear relationships with their child’s birth family. They are unsure of how it will impact their relationship with their child. Patricia Dischler, author of Because I Loved You, helps adoptive parents understand what it means to have a relationship with their child’s birth family. Today, over 90% of domestic adoptions are open adoptions, with relationships between birth families and adoptive children.

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Topics: Open Adoption, visit with birth family, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?, is open adoption co-parenting?

"We’re forever thankful for her birth parents' sacrifice and love!"

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on January 3, 2019

Oftentimes, Lifetime connects with adoptive couples in the midst of their route to parenthood, at a crossroad where loss meets the possibility for positive things ahead through adoption. In this post, Lifetime mom, Lisa, shares how she and her husband Frank moved from infertility to adoption.

In this family’s story, we hear how Frank and Lisa moved through their adoption wait to a match and embraced the opportunity open adoption gave them to develop a friendship with their daughter’s birth parents.

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Topics: Open Adoption, Adoption story, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?

A Healthy Open Adoption Needs These 6 Things

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on September 19, 2018

Decades ago, almost every adoption was closed. Back then, people thought that closed adoption was best for the child. Today's adoptions look much different. An estimated 95% of domestic adoptions now have some level of openness between adoptive parents and birth parents. 

Even though there are varying kinds and levels of openness in open adoptions, there are healthy traits that many have in common. Here are 6 traits that adoptive families should strive for in healthy open adoptions:

 

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Topics: Open Adoption, adoption tip, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?

What If She Changes Her Mind About Adoption?

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on May 30, 2018

Many adoptive parents who are matched with a birth mother get anxiety about whether their adoption might fail. They wonder, "what if she changes her mind about adoption?"  When a birth mother changes her mind before signing legal paperwork, it's known in the adoption world as a "fall-through."

Lifetime encourages you to remember that this risk in adoption is so worth it. After all, taking the chance is how you’ll be led to your child. At Lifetime, our goal is to see you adopt successfully, not just get matched. In most cases, if adoptive parents face a fall-through we will continue to help them to find a successful match. While failed adoptions are less common at Lifetime, because of the way our program supports each side of the adoption match, it’s good to understand why a birth mother might change her mind, and what happens if she does.

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Topics: birth mother, relationship with birth mother, adoption match, what if a birth mother changes her mind?, fall-through

Is There Such a Thing as a "Typical Birth Mother"?

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on February 12, 2018

Many hopeful adoptive parents wonder what birth mothers are like. They worry about speaking with a birth mother on the phone because they don't know what to expect. How old are most birth mothers? Why are they choosing adoption? Are they married or single? What's their background like? Is there such a thing as a "typical birth mother?" Join Lifetime as we share the answers to these commonly-asked questions, and more! 

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Topics: Open Adoption, Adoption Myths, Birth Mothers, relationship with birth mother, talking to birth mothers, phone call with birth mother