Post Adoption Contact
Adoption STAR encourages openness in adoption. Adoption STAR believes “Open Adoption” benefits the child, the adoptive parents and birth parents.
Open adoption, also known as Post Adoption Contact, represents the joining of two families based on love and trust. With an open adoption birth families and adoptive families maintain significant ongoing contact after a placement. In some cases this takes the form of sharing non-identifying information and sometimes it means the full exchange of identifying information between birth and adoptive families, if all parties are comfortable.
Open adoption can be a scary proposition for many prospective adoptive parents, as well as expecting parents . During the beginning stages of your relationship with the agency, you will be given the opportunity to learn more about open adoption, to discuss your fears and to eliminate any lingering doubts you may have about this type of adoption.
Open adoption benefits all members of the adoption triad. There are several benefits for adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees. Here are just a few:
Open adoption provides the adoptive parents with the unique opportunity to “get to know” the birth parents of their child, enabling them to answer questions that their child might pose to them as s/he grows. The fear of an unknown birth parent returning to claim a child is gone. Birth parents become real people. Open adoption is not co-parenting; the adoptive parents are irreplaceable as Mom and Dad in the life of their child.
Open adoption also allows birth parents the peace of mind they can only get by meeting the family who will raise their child into adulthood. They have trust that the child is well. They are given the proper respect for themselves, their decision, and the important role they play in their child’s life.
Most importantly, open adoption provides adopted children with the understanding of “why” they were placed for adoption and the ability to be able to contact their birth parents, should they want to. This helps with identity issues-knowing whom s/he looks like and having a sense of connectedness with biological family members. The child has a direct ongoing source of medical and other important information. And most especially, the child knows that an adoption plan was made out of love.
Ideas for Post Adoption Contact Visits
Open adoption visits between adoptive families and birth families should be a time to celebrate the adoption journey and create relationships. These visits can be as simple as a picnic in the park or going swimming at a local pool, to theme parks and adventures. On this page you will find extensive lists of open adoption visit ideas for that have been suggested by Adoption STAR clients and staff members in specific areas of New York, Ohio and Florida. To download a PDF for the city closest to you, just click the city name below.
This list can be updated regularly, so if you have any suggestions that you do not see on the list, please email [email protected] with the subject “Open Adoption Visit Project” and we will work to add your idea.
A Message About Post Adoption Contact for Families Who Already Adopted
Open Adoption Contact
Just a reminder that you signed an agreement to supply the agency with photos and letters for your child’s birth family, whether or not the birth parents wanted an open adoption. It is imperative that you provide these photos and letters in a timely fashion. If you haven’t it’s not too late to do so now. It’s very sad to have to inform a birth mother or a birth father that there are no photos waiting for them in their file. Even if you have not heard from the birth family, it is still important to keep to the schedule provided to you. Many of our schedules fall into the following category (but check your placement paperwork to be sure that your agreement is the same or if it requires more frequent contact):
- photos/letters to be sent the first two weeks after placement
- one month after placement
- every month through six months after placement
- at 12 months, 18 months and 24 months
- yearly thereafter, until age 18.
Send us pictures
PLEASE remember to include photos for Adoption STAR. We update your files with these photos and pass them around to the staff, as we all love to see our babies growing up. Additionally, we continuously change the photos on our bulletin board! Please send all photos via regular mail to:
131 John Muir Drive
Amherst, NY 14228.
Time passes so quickly and our children grow up so fast. We are working, playing, parenting… we are so busy! Even with our busy lives, we need to remember that our adoption journey has continued from waiting, to placement, to parenthood, and continues forever. Adoption does not end at the placement of our children, but grows throughout the years. What does this mean for us adoptive families? It means that your children may have unique issues due to their adoption experiences, questions about themselves and their birth families, etc. Adoption STAR can provide you with a list of professionals who provide post adoption counseling to provide you with the support necessary when dealing with unexpected special needs or other parenting issues.
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Adoption STAR has several support groups including online groups for you to become involved with before, during, and after you have a child placed in your home. Support after adoption is encouraged and enhances the well being of the adoptive family. For more information on the agency’s support groups, visit the agency’s website.