For couples looking to adopt an infant, nothing matches the joy of holding an infant especially for the first time. The experience of adding a new member into the family matches no other. The bundle of joy brings so much joy to the family especially if it is the first child for the couple. Infant adoption allows the parents to have the feel of what it is like to raise a child right from the start; it gives them a chance to experience child-rearing right from the beginning. One question that lingers in people who are looking for infant adoption is whether to go for open or closed process.
Defining the processes
An ‘open process adoption’ is where there is some kind of association that is maintained among the adoptive parents, birth parents and the child. These associations can come in different forms; they can be in terms of naming the child, sharing of photos, contact, and occasional visits among other interactions. Closed adoption on the other hand denotes a situation where there is no identifying information about the birth parents. The adoptive family does not keep any contact with the birth parents. The adoptive family does not receive any identifying information about the birth family or the child before adoption. Once the infant adoption process is complete, the records are sealed and depending on the local adoption laws, they may or may not be opened to the child upon reaching eighteen years of age.
A shift to open process
There has been a shift from a closed to open process, and most infant adoption agencies prefer to maintain some level of association with the parties involved. Couples entering into the process, especially for the first time, may find the idea of openness somehow troubling. Questions that come up during the process include attempts by the birth parents to get the child back and the confusion that may come because of the separate sets of parents and will the adopted child seek to find the birth parents if they are present. These are questions that may disturb the couple and it is important to have a thorough understanding of what the process involves before making a decision. While this may seem a problem to new parents, it is important to know that adoption law is clear about some of these issues. First the issue of birth parents getting the child back may not arise as they are mostly given time to think about the action. Giving up a child for adoption is not something that just happens overnight, it is a process that takes considerable time. When it formally finished, there are agreements that are signed and the adoption law takes charge. The birth parents, apart from serious considerations of adoption, are also aware of what they are getting into in infant adoption process.
Issues that arise
The issue of attachments, confusion due to two sets of parents is a concern to many new parents. However, it is important to know that the birth parents will not be meeting the adoptee often. If this is to happen it will not be more than five times a year, and again this is for a limited time. The time in question may not be enough for the child to develop connections; therefore, chances of attachments and confusion may be rare.
Benefits of open process
Open adoptions have several benefits, some which outweigh the fears that the newly adopting parents may have while making the decision. Knowing the birth parents will come in handy when the child is of age, and the issues of identity crops up, it will be easier to explain and possibly avoid the stress which may arise on such occasion. It also comes in handy when identifying parents’ genetics for whatever reasons, when there is an association, this process will be easy. A child may want to build a family tree and information about his or her birth family will be required. An open process, though challenging, ends up benefiting all the parties in question, however this can only be achieved when the process is handled right.