healthy open adoptions​Q: What are some key points that pre adoptive parents and expectant parents should talk about pre-adoption in order to facilitate a healthy open adoption?​

A: According to Brenda Romanchik, adoption therapist and birth mother, people need to be honest with each other and not make promises they will have a hard time keeping. She also think that adopting parents should not assume that an adoption will happen before the papers are signed. There are so many points in this process where the decision needs to be remade, including after the baby is born. Given this, she is not a fan of adopting parents at the doctor’s visits or in the delivery room and hospital.

For the health and well being of both the mother and baby, the transition should be gentle. Only in adoption situations do we see the abrupt separation of mother and baby. In all other areas it is seen as traumatic to both. If adoption is to last a lifetime then there should be no rushing the process.

There needs to be an honest discussion on the role each will have in the life of the child, and what that may look like in terms of contact.

Brenda Romanchik is an adoption therapist and birth mother and the project lead for the Options Counseling Project with the Donaldson Adoption Institute. For more information on this topic, listen to the Creating a Family radio show: “Creating Relationship with Birth Parents in Adoption” and visit our blog: “The Key to Making Open Adoptions Work.”

Image credit: Lel4nd