How We Support You During the Adoption Planning Process
- We arrange for the expectant parents to choose and meet the adoptive family.
- We assist in facilitating the exchange of names, contact information, and medical information, when appropriate.
- We help the families plan for a continuing relationship, which may include the exchange of letters, photographs, and the scheduling of visitations.
- We aid the families in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with realistic boundaries and expectations.
Open Arms. Open Adoption.
Catholic Social Services of Montana began practicing open adoption many years ago because we believe it to be in the best interests of the child. Our years of experience with open adoption have helped us to refine the process, balance the needs of everyone involved, and provide support necessary for healthy relationships.
CSSM strives to support all members of the adoption constellation (expectant parents, extended expectant family, adoptive parents, and child), but our goal is always to first consider the child. We believe that the child should have as complete a medical and social background history as possible, know the circumstances around the adoption plan, and have the opportunity to know his or her birth family from the very start.
In an open adoption, birthparents select adoptive parents with whom they want to place their child. The adoptive parents and birthparents, together, choose the level of contact and openness they prefer. They create an adoption agreement that outlines ongoing contact and communication. Montana law does not allow for legal enforcement of these contracts, so this is a covenant between the parties.
Ongoing contact provides birthparents reassurance that their child is thriving in the adoptive home. This helps them feel at peace with their decision. Knowing that the birthparents fully support the adoption, the adoptive parents feel secure in welcoming the birthparents into their lives.
Open adoption relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect. In an open adoption, adoptive parents and birthparents value one another’s unique role in the child’s life. By witnessing this relationship, the child feels an unconditional acceptance of his full identity. The child has direct access to information about his history and answers to his questions. This allows for healthy development of the child’s identity and self-esteem.
Benefits of an Open Adoption
A clear sense of identity.
An understanding of why they were placed for adoption.
Immediate answers and access to information and personal history.
Reduced sense of abandonment.
Reassurance about birthparents’ love.
Contact to biological siblings (if any).
Birthmother is not an abstract concept, but a concrete reality.
No need to fantasize or search for birth family.
Continue and maintain relationship with child.
Cope with feelings of grief associated with sense of loss much more quickly and easily.
Reduced feelings of guilt about placing the child for adoption.
Develop a positive relationship with adoptive family, who can become part of her extended family network.
Feel reassured and comforted from knowing the child is safe and thriving.
Able to offer reassurance to child that he / she was placed for adoption out of love.
Will become familiar with the birth mother –trust and understanding of one another develops.
Ongoing access to information (social and medical history from birth family).
Reduced fear of the unknown and reduced concern about birth mothers’ intention.
Develop positive relationship with birthmother, who can become part of the extended family.