It is up to every prospective birth mother to decide how much — or how little — contact she wants with her baby and the adoptive family during and after the adoption. While you might have a pretty good idea of the type of contact you want at the beginning of the process, you may find that as your relationship with your child’s adoptive parents evolves you want a different level of contact. If you’re looking for advice on how to navigate contact in your open adoption, read on to learn more.
Can I Change My Open Adoption Contact?
The best thing about open adoptions is that they are extremely flexible and can change at any time. There is no singular definition of what an open adoption can, or should, look like, so you’re free to make an open adoption plan that’s specifically tailored to you. There will always be benefits to having at least some amount of contact, of course, but it’s completely up to you and the adoptive family to decide what the right amount of contact is. Depending on what you initially decided during your adoption plan, you may want to change:
- When you’re ready to receive pictures and letters
- The number of visits you’re open to, if any
- How much direct communication you’d like to have
- Whether you want to communicate through text, email, phone calls, video calls, etc.
- And more
How much contact you’re okay with in an open adoption is all about you and your boundaries, so it’s okay if you change your mind later on down the road. Remember, every open adoption is unique, just like the people in it. The relationship between yourself and the adoptive family is delicate, and you may be anxious about how to talk to them and what to say when you do. If you’re worried about telling the adoptive family or your adoption specialist about the changes you’d like to make to your open adoption plan, here is what you should know.
Talking To Your Adoption Specialist about Your Decision
The first thing to remember is that your adoption specialist is always going to do what they can to support your decision. Changing your mind about how much contact you’d like to have after placement is normal, as you may not be entirely sure about how you’re going to feel after the adoption is over. Some women think that they’ll be ready for visits and pictures and letters right after placement, but come to find out soon after that they need more time and need to wait a few more years before they’re ready for contact.
Other women come into the adoption with the mindset that they’re going to have very little contact with the adoptive family and their child, but realize that they need more communication to feel happy with their adoption decision. This is perfectly normal, too. You are an important part of your child’s life, so it’s only natural if you realize that you to have more contact with them and the adoptive family. If you’ve decided that you’d like to have more or less contact after the adoption, your adoption specialist can give you tips and advice on all of your options.
Reaching Out to the Adoptive Family
Depending on your relationship with the adoptive family, you might consider reaching out to them directly about your request for more or less contact. If you initially decided that you wanted to have very little contact with the adoptive family, you may want to reach out your adoption specialist first so she can mediate the conversation and help you and the adoptive parents set boundaries everyone is comfortable with. But, if you feel comfortable, you can also talk to the adoptive parents more directly about what you’re looking for. Most families know that how much contact you’ll need can change over time and will be open to making any adjustments that you need.
If you’re having trouble coming to a new agreement on how much contact feels comfortable for both parties, don’t hesitate to involve your adoption specialist in the discussion. They can give you some helpful suggestions that might make it easier to come to a decision. In some situations, it might be helpful for your adoption specialist to talk to the adoptive family on your behalf — whatever you’re comfortable with. It’s important to discuss the new arrangement thoroughly so that it meets everyone’s needs.
Your New Open Adoption
It’s normal for communication to change after placement. Like any relationship, your needs will change as time goes on. The relationship between you and your child’s adoptive parents is unique, so it may take some time to figure out what it needs to become a successful open adoption. If you have any questions about the next steps, or if you need advice about making changing to your open adoption agreement, don’t forget that you can always reach out to your adoption specialist for help. They would be more than happy to answer any of your open adoption-related questions.