Many, who are not familiar with Open Adoption, do not know how families get-together and keep in contact. The first year is spelled out, usually in the PACA agreement adoptive and birth parents sign in their adoption agreement, but what about the years that follow. Often, contact is left up to the families. We asked families on our Facebook page to talk about how they arrange their visits and maintain contact. And for those that have a closed adoption, how do parents talk to their children about the lack of contact? Here are the great responses we received!
- Brandy — We get together a few times a year and talk via text and phone often we meet at restaurants and play grounds and places that mean something to each of us. I am a birth mother and am overwhelmed with love for my son, his family and our unbreakable bond.
- Wendy — I don’t get to see often, they moved out of state… But we are on facebook together, we txt, we send pics… I am a birth mom, but I love the parents of the child I gave them.. we are close and always will be… It’s been 4yrs now and very happy we have a good relationship.
- Jennifer — We are in our first year, but we have done 3 visits so far and have 2 more planned this year. Ultimate goal of 4-6 per year. I also send letters and we occasionally talk on the phone. Our birthmom doesn’t have a computer or cell phone, so it is pretty “old school.” We don’t yet feel that closeness so many people describe, but we are working hard on our relationship.
- Susan — We visit a couple of times each year. We’d like it to be more often but the distance is limiting. We have visits in our home, playgrounds, kids museum and play centers. It’s usually very casual and over the course of a long weekend. Contact is via phone, text, email and FB.
- Denise — Its too bad that the message here is such a dichotomy…open=good and closed=bad…It’s never really that simple. You take what you have and you make the best of it, as honestly as you can in whatever way makes sense for your family at the time. And at end of the day, that is the most our children can ask for.
- Mary — We visit with her birthmom 5-6 times per year. We’ve met at her birth Grandma’s house, they’ve come to our house. We’re lucky to be an hour away from each other. She has 2 younger half-brothers but is our only child so it’s nice she has the boys, too. We talk on the phone monthly, meet halfway and stay at hotels with pools once or twice per year (always fun in winter!). Our daughter is 9 and just recently had the “aha moment” where she realizes she has two moms. She even described N as her “real mom” which I said yes, she’s your birth-mom and you grew in her belly for nine months, but at the same time, you grew in my heart. She seemed to like that. We exchange gifts for birthdays, Christmas…I send them school pictures every year. We are so incredibly blessed.
- Dawn — I have two children with an open adoption …we see their birth mother and my daughters birth father several times a yr . It was important to us to have them in the children’s lives as well as their siblings …would never want them to go through life wondering. That is what we chose and they seem very well adjusted and very excited to see their birth family ! Our son is almost 13 and our daughter is almost 8 . We talk openly about their adoption because we don’t want them to think its a bad thing..it’s a beautiful gift filled with unselfish love and we feel it should be treated as such!!
- Sarah — We have an open adoption with bmom. The 1st yr was spelled out, but now that we’re in our 2nd yr we try to get together every few months. We usually meet at public places so that MaryRae can play & be comfortable. We actually just had a visit & went to the pumpkin farm. Bmom has met both of our moms along with Mary’s godfather. We usually text which is how I send a bunch of pics almost daily & we’ve connected on fb. It’s difficult for bmom to get a lot of places so sometimes we pick her up & spend the day together. It’s still early in the relationship so we’re still feeling it out, but hopefully we become closer.
- Susan — We also have one closed adoption and we try to work birth family and adoption into occasional conversations so our daughter feels comfortable talking about those things. We also have open conversations regarding the lack of contact as compared to the openness we have with her siblings’ birth family. So far she seems content.
- Erin — Two or three times a year. We email all the time! I love it. My son can be a part if his sisters life and vice versa. Weve developed a great bond!
- Alison — We have open adoptions with each of our sons’ birth families. But each looks different. We have had a very open adoption with our youngest son’s birthmom and her family from the very beginning. We see them several times a year (typically 4-5 times). We also text and facebook frequently. When we get together we usually go somewhere fun for the kids (zoo, children’s museums, pumpkin farms). We always go to the star Birth Mother’s Day celebration w them. And they come to our house in Jan to celebrate Christmas together. With our oldest the adoption is technically semi open with his birth parents. Although it is evolving with his birthdad. Despite that we have an extremely open relationship with his birth siblings. We skype often. And this summer we met in person for a long weekend vacation. Our plan is to get together once a year. We wish it could be more frequent but the distance makes it hard. We ♥ open adoption. And as we are waiting for #3 we are hoping for another open relationship.
- Lisa — These post are so helpful to hear from all of you as we are at the beginning, the waiting part of the adoption process.
- Pre-Adoption Baby Showers: To Do Or Not To Do?
- How Did You Know the Adoptive Parents you Selected were the Right Parents for Your Baby
- From Our Social Media: Profiling Opportunities
- Naming Your Child
- What Does National Adoption Month Mean to You
For more information on healthy post-adoption contact, please reference our page on Adoption and Social Media Recommendations for Health Ongoing Communication.
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