Open and semi-open adoptions always involve communicating with birthmothers. That’s an important part of the adoption process, but it also presents a nerve-wracking experience for birthmothers and adoptive parents. This is normal because both parties want to create a unique partnership and communicate without stress. Adoptive parents and their birthmother can affirm one another by maintaining healthy and open communication. This can be a struggle for both sides, so here are some suggestions and tips for communicating with birthmothers.
Before the process…
The first meeting or phone call is usually a stressful experience. This is normal because you want to make a good first impression. You should remember that the stress is certainly not one-sided.
- A birthmother also feels stressed out during the first meeting, so try to make a connection with her. Talk about casual interests such as movies, books, hobbies, and sports. Don’t ask too many personal questions until you have a more established relationship.
- If you want this meeting to go smoothly, choose a friendly location.
- If possible, arrange to meet your birthmother before the hospital stay. This can help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable.
- Always communicate with a birthmother in a respectful way and speak in an adult-to-adult manner.
- Talk openly and truthfully about everything to lay the foundation of an open communication.
During the process…
Open adoption allows you to arrange things with a birthmother in a way that will suit both of you.
- Continue communicating with your birthmother throughout her pregnancy. By doing so you can get to know each other better and form a solid relationship that you can continue to build on after the adoption.
- Talk about every single detail regarding adoption and the hospital stay. Respect birthmother’s wishes when it comes to her adoption and hospital plan.
- It’s also important to talk about the level of openness you are all comfortable with during and after the adoption.
- When making these decisions it’s important to set clear boundaries and be guided by what is best for the baby.
After the process…
In some states, it’s possible to create post-adoption contact agreements which may be beneficial for everyone involved in the process. These arrangements describe how often communication will take place following an adoption.
- Stay focused on what is in the best interest of the child.
- Some things and desires may change over the time, so it’s important to be flexible.
- Let the birthmother know you’re thinking about her. A thoughtful gift, such as an adoption journal, is a wonderful gift to nurture your relationship.
- The time after the placement is very emotional, and when you maintain an open communication, you’re assuring her that the baby is loved and safe.
- When you’re working together you can create one happy family unit, so always talk openly and honestly about your relationship.