Tips for Avoiding Stress in Open Adoptions
Open adoptions can be intimidating, but they can also be rewarding for everyone involved. When adoptive parents and birth parents begin an open adoption, they cannot truly know exactly how things will work out for all of them as they go along. Knowing what to do if and when you encounter difficulties with your open adoption can set your mind at ease, which can help you keep your focus on parenting your child.
Communication can make or break an open adoption. Starting an open adoption relationship by establishing a pattern of clear, honest communication gets everyone’s expectations and concerns out into the open where meaningful discussion can take place. Effective communication involves being able to listen well before speaking, committing to using a respectful tone of voice and words that are kind, yet firm if need be. When each adult who is involved in the open adoption commits to learning how to communicate effectively, the relationship will be able to withstand even the most intense of challenges.
Clear boundaries are another essential piece of a successful open adoption. There are some things simply are not negotiable, and the sooner everyone knows that, the better. Boundaries provide structure in a relationship, as well as a set of ground rules for respecting each other. Another essential element of an open adoption is the ability for both the adoptive parent and the birth parent to make compromises. None of you will be able to be in complete agreement all of the time, so it is imperative that you all practice the skills that are associated with negotiating the give and take that is part of your relationship.
Two other essential attributes of a healthy open adoption relationship are apology and forgiveness. If you can learn to be quick to do both of those things, you will be able to address hurt feelings shortly after they occur, which could prevent bitterness or anger from taking root and poisoning the relationship. The more quickly a misgiving is acknowledged and dealt with, the sooner peace can return to the relationship, which benefits everyone.
Learning the skills mentioned above and making them a priority in your open adoption will help you to keep your focus on doing what is in the best interest of your child, rather than on relationship issues and drama. Open adoptions can provide a family with a unique opportunity to love and parent a child while being able to know and love that child’s biological parent, too. Both biological parents and adoptive parents will benefit by working with an adoption attorney as they pursue an open adoption. Your attorney can help you understand and prepare for your open adoption, as well as plan and prepare for life as an open adoption family.
If you have questions about any Kansas adoption, call McDowell Chartered at (316) 633-4322 to schedule your initial consultation with Kansas Adoption Attorney Thomas McDowell.