Next Steps: Open or Closed Adoption
Once you decide who will help you, you should consider the type of adoption arrangement with which you are most comfortable. Keep in mind that adoption is an emotional process for all parties; therefore, there are many degrees of openness. Birth parents frequently elect to meet the prospective adoptive family prior to birth or placement of the child. This does not mean the birth mother will need to know the last name, address, or other identifying information of the adoptive parents -- or vice versa. Keeping in mind human curiosity as well as the need to comfort a birth parent with the personal knowledge you will provide a stable, loving, and secure environment for her child, you must determine how much contact is enough or too much.
While we still hear of closed adoptions with birth parents simply trusting the attorney or agency to find an appropriate home for the child, more frequently birth parents want to be involved in determining where and to whom the child goes. Making a plan and choosing a family may help them to overcome feelings of guilt or abandonment resulting from the relinquishment of the child. Pictures and or update letters sent through the attorney/agency in the future may also help with the grieving process.