Open adoption – is an option of adopting a baby, leaving the possibility for the biological parents to participate in the life of the adopted baby to a certain degree or have access to the information about the adoptive family, related to the adopted baby.
No one is indifferent to the topic of adoption and adoptive families. This happens largely because the mind of most adults still keeps memories of childhood fantasies about the “other parents”. Open Adoption reveals new horizons for restoring the once broken links. But what are the real benefits of Open Adoption and why has this tendency acquired the force of the law?
A man has always asked himself “Who am I?” in philosophy, religion, culture. However, this question (which everyone asks himself in life) for the foster children has a different life dimension. Because those people who grew up in their families know clearly that “wherever I go, no matter how I’m developed, whether we keep in contact, am I happy with it or not, I will always stay a child of my parents.” The adopted child has two couples of parents, and his story begins not from the date of adoption, regardless of whether the parents keep the secret of adoption or it’s an open adoption from the beginning.
Separation is a Little Death
Each foster child suffers from severe psychological trauma in the first year of life. For a baby, separation is equivalent to death. Growing up, he might be able to understand that he was given away, and learn to live with it, but the injury will affect a lifelong. “Triggering mechanism” switches on during life crises and is experienced dramatically.
New Parents – Old Wounds. Open Adoption Benefits
The decisive role in the further development of the abandoned child plays the behavior of his new parents. The most important thing is the place in the child’s life that they wish to take: whether they want to be his real parents or they are willing to be the second, receiving.
The attitude to this question depends on the reason why people decided to adopt someone else’s child. The inability to have their own children is in the first place according to statistics. In today’s society, childlessness is still experienced as a painful fact, it can be seen in the development of such tendencies as artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, and sperm banks. Adoption seems to be the most humane solution to the problem of childlessness compared with all these things.
At the same time, in our country, the adoptive parents used to keep the secret of adoption, and hence, the knowledge about the child’s biological parents remained closed. Naturally, this kind of taboo affected the child, because the child feels what he feels: that he’s not like the others. According to researchers, adopted children are much more likely to suffer from mental disorders.
The story of his family and the adoptive parents, including the reasons for the adoption and fears, influence the child’s socialization. Generally, the higher the degree of secrecy is, the higher the fear. If the adoptive mother, for example, feels an unconscious feeling that she “robbed” the child from another woman, the fear is particularly high. If she can thank this other woman and give her due, the fear disappears. Thus, open adoption may help to resolve the issues raised by the adoption itself.
This idea may seem strange, because in our society, women who have left their children, are usually severely condemned. But most of them say that they wouldn’t do it again. Many of them were left to their fate, betrayed by loved men, my parents; they often were forced to do so in varying degrees. If they had more support, they would not leave the child in most cases. They also suffer from the trauma that remains.
We are so quick to criticize these mothers while to bear, give birth, and leave the child in terms of morality – is a less sufficient sin than to kill him before the birth which means having an abortion.
However, if the family keeps the secret of adoption and the child is carefully concealed about his origin, the adopted child will have another severe shock – because sooner or later the fact of adoption is revealed. It leads to a shock regardless of how the child learns about it, – if he was digging the documents of this or someone spilled the beans.
Such a shock can have serious consequences and lead to a serious crisis. It’s especially difficult to handle this news in adolescence or in early adulthood when everyone is going through an identity crisis. This can cause, for example, running away from home, drug abuse, very early sexual relations, suicide attempts or depression, excessive desire for success, and psychosomatic diseases. This shock is associated with the collapse of confidence in the relationship with the adoptive parents, which sometimes is very difficult to overcome.
To summarize, we can say that there are two directions in which efforts should be put in this area. The first – is the support of all pregnant women in difficult situations or crises. Perhaps some of them will resist the decision to leave their child. The second – is to help the adopting parents, first of all, psychologically, to let them take their role, which is harder, than that one of the biological parents of the foster child. Only the acceptance of such a complicated family structure will help the child to take their own, different from the other’s face, and be happy.
If Challenge of Adoption is Accepted
However, may you not be discouraged to adopt children! Remember the fact that the only thing the baby needs – is having caring people around. Any orphanage child would have a better chance of equal development at being adopted rather than passing his whole life as an abandoned, waiting for a mother that will never show up. And the new parents will finally have someone to patronate, take adult care of and share their everything despite not being biological parents of the adopted child.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.