As a prospective birth mother, you’re in charge of the adoption process.
You’re making a difficult and brave decision when you create an adoption plan. It’s important that you feel honored and respected during this process. That’s why, at American Adoptions, we always put you in charge. With the help of an adoption specialist, you’ll create an adoption plan laying out all of the details from start to finish of your adoption process.
The biggest part of this plan is choosing the adoptive family. You’ll be shown many adoptive family profiles and be able to pick the parents you believe will be best for your baby. There are plenty of factors to consider.
- Do they want other children?
- Do they live in a rural or urban area?
- Are they of a specific faith, like Catholicism or Judaism?
All of these questions are important. The one we’re considering here may not seem as obvious, but it’s just as important: where does the adoptive family live?
Distance in Adoption
How far away the adoptive family lives can play a big part in how your life looks post-placement. This most likely won’t be the first factor that comes to your mind when considering adoptive parents, and that’s okay. You should prioritize the things that matter most to you. A family’s religion, for instance, could matter more to you than how close they are.
But, as you’ll see, distance can still be an important factor for some women to consider.
Modern-Day Adoption Communication
Most domestic infant adoptions today are at least semi-open. This means that there is a good chance you’ll communicate with the adoptive parents both before and after placement.
How do you know how open your adoption will be? You get to choose. Like we said, you’re in charge of the adoption. You can decide, with the help of your adoption specialist, how much communication you want to have with the adoptive parents and the type of communication you want it to be. This could mean photo and letter updates every few months, or it could look like video calls to catch up. Some fully open adoptions include in-person meet-ups, too.
This is where distance matters — it can have a role in determining the type of adoption communication you will have.
Open Adoption when the Adoptive Family is Far Away
Technology is pretty amazing. “Long-distance” relationships don’t feel so far away anymore. With the tap of a screen, you can talk to someone face-to-face from across the country. This has actually increased the number of open-adoption placements that occur when the birth mother and adoptive family live far from each other. Distance used to exclude most forms of personal communication. Today, that barrier has been knocked down.
What long-distance may still somewhat limit, however, is the opportunity for in-person contact. As a prospective birth mother, this can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you want from your open adoption relationship.
Distance doesn’t exclude in-person contact. It’s just that travel can be logistically challenging. Still, all adoptive families who work with American Adoptions are open to at least one in-person visit in the first five years, and many are willing to meet more often than that.
Ultimately, it is up to you how much you contact you would like to have. Your adoption specialist will find an adoptive family whose communication desires match your own. For example, if you want annual, in-person visits with an adoptive family, your adoption specialist will help you find hopeful parents who are willing to go the distance to make that happen. After you choose the adoptive family, you can work with them to develop a unique post-placement communication plan, no matter where you live.
On the other hand, many birth mothers actually appreciate a little distance. For some women, it makes transitioning to post-placement life easier. There is still a connection with their baby through other forms of communication, but they can also move forward with their own lives.
Open Adoption when the Adoptive Family is Nearby
Other birth mothers desire more frequent in-person interaction with their baby post-placement. This has become increasingly common as the benefits of open adoption are backed up by research and experience. This level of contact is not right for everyone, but it may be what you desire. In that case, proximity to the adoptive family may matter a little more.
If you want frequent in-person contact with the adoptive family and your baby after placement, you may want to prioritize the distance between yourself and the adoptive family.
However, whether an adoptive family lives in another state or in your city shouldn’t be the deciding factor in this decision. There are many other qualities that might make a family perfect for your baby. Keep those things at the top of your priority list. Being close can be great, but people move — and, as we discussed, distance doesn’t have to determine communication.
It’s something to consider, not necessarily something to base your choice on.
Talk With an Adoption Specialist Today
Whichever way you want to take things, you can do it with the help of your adoption specialist. Your specialist will help you determine the type of adoptive family you are looking for, the level of contact you want to have and how far you’d like to be from the adoptive family.
Based on all of these factors, you adoption specialist will find adoptive family profiles who fit your outline. You’ll be able to look at all of these profiles and choose the family you think is best.
If you have more questions about choosing an adoptive family, you can request more information or call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.