Open adoption happens when prospective birth mothers and potential adoptive families have a personal interaction with each other. In this kind of adoption, the identities of everyone involved are disclosed. Interaction can differ family by family and might comprise of letters, e-mails, phone calls, or visits. There are various possible disadvantages to open adoptions that should be addressed by birth parents, potential adoptive parents, and adopted children.
The Disadvantages of an Open Adoption
Disadvantages for Birth Parents
The open adoption journey differs from person to person. Agencies are poised to help each individual work through matters that may include:
- Abuse of trust– Your relationship with the adoptive family could create the possibility for the abuse of your trust. The adoptive family might abuse the trust you give to them by manipulating different circumstances.
- Possibility for disappointment- The chance for interacting with the adoptive family carries the possibility for disappointment when the adoptive family does not fulfil expectations.
- Obligated Feelings-The birth mother may feel overly obligated to place her child for adoption due to the financial dedication and emotional investment on the adoptive family’s part.
- Minds Changed– The adoptive family can decide to stop or discontinue the adoption process any time they wish. This could leave the child in limbo and can potentially lead to the child being put in foster care until other arrangements are able to be made.
Disadvantages for the Adoptive Family
The open adoption journey can vary from family to family. For adopting families, some potential risks and disadvantages of open adoption can comprise of:
- Added pressure-In many cases the birth mother or birth family may want a greater degree of transparency than the adoptive parents. As a result, the adoptive parents might feel pressured to accept the requirements of the birth family for fear of not adopting the child.
- Unbalanced relationships– The adoptive family could discover that their relationship with the birth family has a relationship with an unhealthful or emotionally unstable birth family member.
- Added support– The adoptive family may feel some pressure to offer emotional support for the birth family.
Disadvantages for the Adopted Child
The open adoption journey can differ from child to child. For an adopted child, potential disadvantages of open adoption comprise of:
- Decreased ability to integrate into a family– Interacting with the birth family might make it more difficult for the child to integrate into the adoptive family.
- Feelings of rejection– When, for some way there no longer is any interaction between the birth family and the adoptive family, the adopted child could feel rejected.
- Peer communications- The adopted child with continual interaction with their birth family can struggle with the requirement to explain the different relationships to their peers.
- Struggles of power– The adopted child might attempt to exploit the adoptive and the birth family by pitting one against another.
- Confusion of identify– As the child reaches maturity, they could experience a greater confusion with their identity from trying to understand their family history and genealogy information concerning more than one family.
The open adoption can differ by individual to individual. Communication continually seems to be the most important aspect of success for all those involved in the adoption process. As discussions concerning wishes, hopes, and desires increase, the more comfortable those involved are going to tend to be.
Open adoption: Disadvantages. American Pregnancy Association. (2021, December 9). Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://americanpregnancy.org/child-adoption/open-adoption-disadvantages/
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