Pregnancy Support & Open Adoption Services
Why Open Adoption?
Catholic Charities offers adoption as one of many resources to women coping with an unplanned pregnancy. The birth mother and other birth family members are considered worthy of much regard for choosing life for their unborn child.
Out of respect for the birth family, Catholic Charities seeks adoptive parents capable and willing to embrace a life-long relationship with birth families. Not all birth families will want a fully open adoption (an adoption where all identifying information is shared) but all adoptive families must be capable of inviting the birth family into such a relationship. We believe that birth families are deserving of this and have a right to this type of a relationship. Early research is showing that the adopted child benefits most from this type of an adoption but all other parties seem to gain as well.
Open adoptions are not easy adoptions. Just as in any important relationship, there can be conflict and adjustments. It is very important for the birth family and the adoptive family to put the needs of the child first. Everyone must be considerate and capable of maintaining boundaries.
Reaching this level of trust takes much time and commitment. Information must be shared slowly as the trust is build. The role of the counselor is to help the parties reach this high level of trust. Some of the meetings may take place in the counselor's office, while other meetings may take place in settings such as restaurants, homes, parks, etc. The counselor must never personally share identifying information about the parties, yet must always encourage the parties to negotiate their own individual rules for their particular adoption.
An “Open Adoption” is not an antidote for a painless adoption. It is an opportunity for all parties to escape the secrecy and shame of the past.