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Open Adoption FAQs for Birth Parents

Listed below are some of the commonly asked questions about adoption. If you have additional adoption questions that you would like to see answered here, please email your adoption questions to us.

What is open adoption compared to a closed adoption?

Open adoption gives you, the birthparent, the right to choose the adoptive family for your child. While many adoptions are considered open, the amount of personal information shared between birth parents and adoptive parents varies with each adoption. This is based on your comfort level as well as the adoptive family. Some disclose all information such as full name, address, phone number, etc. and others may only disclose first names and have all contact through an agency.

You may select the adoptive parent based on their profile, letter, and photo album. You may or may not meet them. This is your choice. You can talk to prospective adoptive parents via email, the phone, or in person. You may talk to one adoptive family or many. This too is your choice. Remember you have many options and should do what is best for you and your baby. Many birthparents take the time before the baby is born to develop a friendship with the adoptive parents. This is a great opportunity for the adoptive family to get to know you so that they can always tell the child how much you loved them and also about you, what activities do you like, what is your favorite food, what you look like, etc. I also encourage birthparents and adoptive parents to share photos. We have a picture of our oldest daughter’s birthmother and sisters in her memory book and she enjoys looking at this. We are blest to have pictures of our second daughter's birthmother as well as her birthfather.

With open adoption, you have many choices when the baby is born. Do you want the adoptive parents at the hospital, in the delivery room, in the waiting room, or do you want them to come only after the baby is born or after you are discharged. Again this is your choice. You may see the baby as much or as little as you want at the hospital.

When a child is placed in open adoption, you have many options. Do you want pictures, letters, visits, email, phone calls, etc.? How frequently do you want contact? We encourage you to think about what you want and talk to prospective adoptive parents about this. You want to find someone that is open to your needs. If you want a very open adoption with phone calls and visits, we encourage you to develop a relationship with the adoptive family before the baby is born to help facilitate future visits and phone calls after the baby or child is placed for adoption.

What is a birthmother letter?

Adoptive parents are asked to write a letter to birthmothers. In this letter they will tell you about themselves, their interests, hobbies, careers, families, faith, etc. The letters also include pictures.

Adoptive parents traditionally gave these letters to their adoption agency to present to birthmothers pursuing adoption. With the increased usage of the Internet, adoptive parents are now choosing to also place their birthparent letters on the web. This allows potential birthparents to review letters when and where it is convenient for them. Also, the Internet allows birthparents to make their initial first contact via email if desired. This is sometimes an easier way to take that initial step.

Can I see my baby?

After your baby is born, you can see the baby as much or little as you want in the hospital. If you have chosen an open adoption and have requested visits, you may see your baby after he or she has been placed with the adoptive parents.

How do I know if adoption is right for me and my baby?

This decision can only be answered by you. We recommend that you talk to an adoption counselor for birth parents to discuss what your life would be like if you placed your child for adoption versus if you decided to parent.

What are the steps for placing a child for adoption?

You have already taken the first step by researching adoption. It is important that you are knowledgeable about adoption so you can make an informed decision.

We recommend that you talk to an adoption counselor for birth parents and/or an adoption attorney to make sure that you understand your legal rights. These will vary by state.

If you are committed to adoption, the next step is to select the family you want to adopt your child. Before you start this step, you may want to make a list of what is important to you in a family for your child. Do you want your child to be the oldest? Do you want the family to have other children? Do you have a certain religious preference? Do you care where they live? How much contact do you want with the adoptive parents and the child? After you have identified your desires, you may view letters to birth parents on the web or at an adoption agency.

You may find one family that seems right to you or you may consider a number of families to adopt your child. After you have narrowed your selection, you may wish to contact the families and get to know them better. You may do this via email or the phone. After the initial contact, you may want to meet in person to discuss a possible adoption plan. Often birthparents and adoptive parents meet at a restaurant, park, zoo, etc. Generally adoptive parents will be happy to come to where you live so that you do not have to travel.

At this point we recommend that both birthparents and adoptive parents work with a licensed adoption agency and/or adoption attorney to make sure that the adoption is completed legally and as easily as possible. Also, an adoption agency will be able to provide you with counseling and support as needed.

What is the cost of adoption?

Birthparents should not have any expenses related to the adoption.

We wish you and your baby the best!

Custom Search is not an adoption agency, attorney, or facilitator. The contents of the information in the letters to the birth parents are the sole responsibility of the prospective adoptive parents. will not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy of any information displayed in the letters or divulged by the prospective adoptive parents. We recommend that birthparents and adoptive parents obtain legal counsel for all adoption proceedings.

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