If you’ve chosen a semi-open or fully open adoption, you will be communicating with your baby’s adoptive family to some extent before, during, and after your baby is born. Some relationships between a birthmother and her adoptive family feel awkward at first. But after some time and effort, the relationships grow to become strong and meaningful for all involved.
If you’ve already met or talked with your baby’s adoptive family, it’s a good idea to continue communicating with them throughout your pregnancy. That way you’ll all get to know each other better and form a solid, healthy relationship you can build on after the adoption.
We encourage you to be as open with your adoptive family as you are comfortable with. A good starting point is to talk with the family to figure out what level of openness you are all comfortable with before, during, and after the adoption. Consider the following questions during your discussion. Your answers will guide your communication throughout the adoption process.
During Your Pregnancy
- What forms of communication work best for all involved? Would you like to talk in person, on the phone, via text, via email, or via social media?
- Are you comfortable with any of the adoptive family members coming with you to your doctor’s appointments?
- Will you be sending updates about the growth and progress of your baby? How about ultrasound pictures?
During and After Delivery
- How will the adoptive family be notified when you go into labor or when your baby is scheduled to be delivered? You can tell them directly or we can notify them for you.
- Are you comfortable with any members of the adoptive family being in the room with you when you deliver your baby?
- How much time would you like to spend with your baby in the hospital after he or she is born?
After the Adoption
- How often would you like the adoptive family to send you updates? What would you expect these updates to include?
- Would you like to have in-person visits? If so, how often?
- Would you like to give the adoptive family a picture of yourself and/or the birthfather, a letter, a video recording, or something else for them to share with your baby in the future?
- Would you consider providing the adoptive family with your family’s medical history and the birthfather’s medical history if possible? This will help during your baby’s future doctor appointments.
It may be beneficial for you all to consider creating a post-adoption agreement. This could be a formal written agreement or an informal verbal agreement where you outline everything about the adoption you have agreed on. (Note that depending on the laws in your state, these agreements are not always legally enforceable.)
If you iron out these details early on, you’ll all be on the same page throughout the adoption process and avoid any misunderstandings or hard feelings along the way.
While making these decisions, it’s important to set clear boundaries, show respect, and be guided by what is best for your baby. Also try to be flexible in order to accommodate changes that may happen over time.