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What are the benefits of an open adoption?

Going through the adoption process is an exciting and sometimes stressful time. You are working to fill out all the paperwork and get your home prepared for a child. You are also making decisions about how you will raise your future child.

When you adopt, one of the big questions is whether you will keep in contact with the birth mother or birth parents. Remaining in contact with the birth parents is called open adoption. About 60 to 70 percent of adoptions occurring in the U.S. are now open.

How open you decide to keep the adoption varies. You and the birth mother may decide to keep in contact by email, phone call or the occasional letter. Maybe you want your child to meet their birth mother. Or perhaps you just send the birth mother occasional updates. An adoption can be as open as you both feel comfortable with. It is up you and birth family to come to an agreement on boundaries.

There are some positives to agreeing to an open adoption. Here are three of those benefits.

It helps adopted children understand themselves better

According to American Adoptions, adopted children may feel like something is missing from their lives, if they have no contact with their birth parents. They may have questions about why they love science, how they got their hair color or if they have any siblings. Having a relationship with the birth parents will answer many of these questions. It can also destigmatize the adoption process and make your child feel less different.

It gives you access to medical information

Even if you are provided with medical histories immediately after the adoption, things change. The birth mother could develop a chronic illness later that you may want to know about. Likewise, your child could become ill, and having open lines of communication with the birth parents could provide useful information.

You can help ease the loss for the birth parents

Adoption is one of the greatest gifts a person can give another. Even though the birth parents are certain that they should give up the child, they will likely experience sadness about the decision. By keeping in contact, you can help relieve their fears, and perhaps ease some of the pain of giving up their child.

Keeping in contact with the birth parents may get complicated, but it can provide many benefits and make the adoption process easier to understand for your child.

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