Birth Mother Blog

Open Adoption: What it is and Why It’s the Preferred Adoption Option in Missouri

Are you a birth mother in Missouri who is considering an open adoption? If so, you might have some questions about putting your baby up for adoption. The good news is that at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we have answers.

Adoption has evolved with the times. While many people still think of a closed adoption as the most common choice, that isn’t actually the case. Birth mothers choose different types of adoption based on their personal needs, but open adoptions have become more common.

Open Adoption: what It is and Why It’s the Preferred Option

  • What is Open Adoption?

Open adoption refers to an adoption in which all parties maintain communication. This means that you will stay in contact with your birth child and his or her adoptive family pre, during and post-placement. As opposed to a closed adoption, both you and the adoptive family will share identifying information in an open adoption.

In an open adoption, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with your birth child in person. This can help establish a strong bond and grow your relationship. If both you and your child’s adoptive family agree, these meetings can include grandparents and extended family members as well.

In an open adoption, you will get to choose your child’s adoptive family. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, you’ll have the chance to look through our potential adoptive family portfolios. These contain information about each family for you to review. You can select a family that feels like a good match and your adoption caseworker will facilitate a phone call and an in-person meeting.

  • What Does Communication Look Like in an Open Adoption?

Because each adoption is as unique as each birth mother, communication in an open adoption will look different for everyone. However, there are a few common factors you can expect. For example, you might communicate through direct emails or letters, as well as meet in person.

If you choose an open adoption, you will need to establish boundaries with your child’s adoptive family. By doing so, you can make sure that all parties are in agreement about what type of communication is acceptable. Your adoption caseworker can help facilitate this discussion. It is helpful to remember that the best agreements are the ones that are best for your child.

  • Why is Open Adoption the Preferred Option?

Open adoption has become the preferred option for many reasons, one being that it anticipates the needs of your child. It is common for adopted children to develop questions about their birth mothers as they grow older. In an open adoption, you will remain a part of their lives from the beginning. This can help your child as they navigate the challenges of discovering and forming their own identity.

Another reason that open adoption is often preferred is because it can lessen any negative stigmas around adoption. Because information is readily available, questions can be answered as soon as they are asked. Keeping something private can sometimes lead to the misconception that it is shameful or embarrassing. Rather, adoption is a process that is many things—joyful, complicated, emotional—but never something to be ashamed of.

Is an Open Adoption Right for You?

Now that you have more information around open adoption, what it is and why it’s the preferred choice, you might be ready to select the type of adoption you’d prefer.

Only you can decide if an open adoption is the right choice for you. Because you are an expert on your own needs and situation, the final choice ultimately has to come from you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for some support! At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we provide you with an adoption caseworker who can help you walk through the benefits and drawbacks of an open adoption.

Additionally, if you have supportive friends and family in your life, you can always turn to them for advice. Be sure to listen to your heart when making this choice. At the end of the day, the best decision is the one that will benefit you and your baby.

Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 1-816-527-9800

Meet the Author: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie. 

She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.