Here are a few common misconceptions on how open adoptions work.
- Open adoption is confusing to the child. This is false! Children growing up in open adoptions do understand the difference between parents and birth parents. In healthy open adoptions, both adoptive and birth parents help define their own roles and responsibilities.
- Open adoption is a form of co-parenting. This is false! Open adoption is not shared custody between adoptive and birth parents. Adoptive parents have full legal responsibilities over the child once the adoption is complete.
- All open adoptions eventually turn into closed adoptions at some point. This is false! As in any relationship, contact with one another can change as life events happen. It is important that the unique relationships formed through open adoption are recognized and honored. All relationships involve challenges at some point. The key to positive relationships is mutual understanding and respect. When children know their adoption story from the very beginning there is less chance for resentment about being adopted.
Adoptive and birth parents are supported through each stage of the adoption process at LSS. Birth parents receive free options counseling and decision making services. Adoptive parents are provided education to equip them for successful adoptions. For more information on how open adoption works, or for pregnancy counseling services, contact LSS at 605-221-2346, toll free at 888-201-5061, or http://www.LssSD.org.
-Submitted by Hayley Van Den Brink, Supervisor, Adoption Program