If You Give Your Child Up for Adoption, Can You Still Have Contact with Them?
If you’re considering adoption, you probably have many questions about the process ahead of you. However, because of the emotional complexities of placing a child for adoption, some of them may be more pressing than others:
Will I see my baby after giving them up for adoption?
If I give my baby up for adoption, can I see her as she grows up?
If you give your child up for adoption, can you still have contact with them?
Can you put your child up for adoption with visitation?
Many women inexperienced with the process of adoption wonder about what happens after they place their child with an adoptive family, so questions about post-adoption contact are common. After all, many people still think of an outdated version of secretive, closed adoptions — in which a mother and her child share no contact or information after the adoption is complete.
Fortunately, adoptions are very different today. In the majority of modern adoptions, expectant mothers can set expectations for contact with their child after they are placed with an adoptive family. This means if you give your baby up for adoption, you can see him or her again — and you can have a meaningful, positive relationship with your child as they grow up with their adoptive parents.
This process is known as open adoption.
What is Open Adoption?
Often, prospective birth mothers ask, “When you give your babies up for adoption, are you allowed to see them?” Not only are you allowed to see children you place for adoption, but this post-adoption contact is encouraged by adoption professionals. Having a relationship with your child and their adoptive parents helps your child develop a strong, positive identity as an adoptee and will be integral in answering any questions they have growing up.
But, how do you give a baby up for adoption and still keep in contact? What does this relationship look like?
At its most general, open adoption is any adoption in which a birth mother and her child’s adoptive parents share contact. Open adoption contact can occur before, during and after the adoption process, and the type of contact shared is always determined by the preferences of the mother placing her child for adoption. What kind of open adoption you want will be determined in your adoption plan, which your adoption specialist will always help you create.
With this kind of relationship, you can put your child up for adoption with visitation expectations. Your adoption specialist will help you find a family that shares your contact preferences, and they will be responsible for upholding their end of the agreement. If you give up a child, visitation rights are usually not legally enforceable — but finding the perfect family with an agency like American Adoptions helps ensure that your open adoption communication continues for years to come.
As you create your open adoption plan, you will determine what kind of contact you want. This can include:
Pictures and letters mediated by your adoption specialist
Emails and text messages
Phone calls and video calls
No two open adoption relationships are exactly the same. You always get to choose the contact preferences you are most comfortable with. Just know one thing: After giving your child up for adoption, you can have contact with them in the way that best suits your needs.
What is a Semi-Open Adoption?
When putting a baby up for adoption, the arrangements for the parents to see their child afterward can vary greatly and will always be handled by your adoption specialist.
Not all adoption relationships between a birth mother and adoptive parents are fully open. If you wish to maintain your privacy, but still want to see your child grow up with their adoptive family, you may consider a semi-open adoption instead.
In a semi-open adoption, your identifying information (like your last name and contact information) is kept private from the adoptive family. You will still have the right to choose parents for your child, but you do not have to meet them if you do not want to. When your adoption is complete, your adoption specialist will work with the adoptive family to make sure you receive updates, pictures and letters, according to your preferences. You may even consider using a non-identifying email address (specifically for the adoption) to communicate with the adoptive family and receive updates from them directly.
Creating a Plan for Your Open Adoption
If you are considering adoption for your baby but wondering, “If I give my baby up for adoption, can I see her or him?” knowing about the possibility of a post-adoption relationship may help you finalize this decision for your unplanned pregnancy. Many women choose adoption only after finding out about the opportunity for this post-adoption relationship — a way for a mother to receive reassurance as her child grows up that she has done the right thing for them. If you are interested in an open adoption relationship with a child after you place them with an adoptive family, American Adoptions can help.
To start creating your adoption plan and finding an adoptive family who shares your contact preferences, please call our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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