Getting to know the birth parents early in the adoption process can lay an important foundation. In future conversations with your child, you’ll be able to talk to them about their adoption story. But, many adoptive families likely don’t know how they plan to approach this subject when the time comes.
Although there is no definitive answer for how to do that, there are a couple of steps you can take to be proactive about it: having an open relationship with the birth parents and building a foundation of inclusion. Below, we’ll outline how you can do both of those things. Remember, you can contact us online at any time to get more free information now.
Having an Open Relationship with the Birth Parents
As an adoptive parent, you play a vital role in ensuring that your child is aware of their adoption story and origin. When your child learns about their past, they can avoid identity issues later in life. That’s why it’s important to use the adoption process itself as an educational experience.
Learning about the birth parent you match with is a way to create an even greater connection to the adoption experience. By extension, this also means you can forge a stronger bond with your child. When you have an open adoption with the birth family, you can learn about:
- Their reasons for choosing adoption
- Their cultural and ethnic heritage
- Their lifestyle and hobbies
Asking the birth parent about these subjects will help your child foster an identity in the long run. We understand that you simply want to give your child the love and care that they deserve, and having an open relationship with the birth parents can be incredibly beneficial for them.
Lindsey and Michael, an adoptive couple that worked with American Adoptions, emphasized why open adoption was right for them. They also talked about how adoptive families should be mindful of the birth parent’s wishes.
“The birth parent is a person just like you; they’re going through a lot,” Lindsey said. “My general advice is to be open and flexible to whatever the birth parent is comfortable with. Try to go with the flow as best as you can.”
Building a Foundation of Inclusion
Another way to make the most of your adoption experience is to build a foundation of inclusion. But, how do you do this, exactly? One of the best steps to take is by using positive adoption language. You may have noticed that a common phrase that people use when they talk about adoption is “giving a baby up for adoption.”
Although people likely mean no harm when they say this, a phrase like this completely misses the point. Choosing adoption is never “giving up.” The prospective birth mother is making a selfless and brave decision. Instead, you can use phrases such as:
- “Place a baby for adoption”
- “Put a baby up for adoption”
- “Choosing adoption”
Words have power, and using positive adoption language can help build a more inclusive foundation. As an adoptive parent, you’ll want to make sure that you create a positive atmosphere for your child and the birth parents alike. The birth family will likely be grateful to you for being mindful of this.
Aside from language, you can also include the birth parents by celebrating holidays and your child’s milestones with them. For example, you can all get together for your child’s birthday or go to sports games and concerts together. When you include the birth parents in activities such as these, your child will be reminded that they have two families that love them more than anything in the whole world.
Many adoptive families discover that they have made new friends or extended family members as a result of the adoption experience. That’s how Justin and Jenna felt when they worked with American Adoptions.
“You have this relationship with this woman for such a short time before it all happens, but she is going to always be our hero, and we will always love her,” Jenna said of their child’s birth mother.
If you have any more questions about how you can make the most of your adoption experience, then we’d be happy to answer them for you. Whenever you’re ready to reach out, you can fill out our online contact form to get more adoption information now.