What is open adoption in Maryland? How do open adoptions work in Maryland? How does a prospective birth mother decide if open adoption in Maryland is right for her?

If I don’t want an open adoption, are there other post-placement relationship options for me?

These are just some of the questions that this article will address while exploring the open adoption definition in Maryland. It is important that every prospective birth mother know that open adoption is an option for her before moving forward. States do not regulate post-placement relationships, but some adoption agencies do. So, before a prospective birth mother commits to an adoption agency, it is important that she decide what type of post-placement adoption relationship she desires. Then, she can be sure that her chosen adoption agency will meet her desires for moving forward with or without a relationship with her child after placement.

What is Open Adoption in Maryland?

To define open adoption in Maryland is difficult, as every open adoption is different from the next. However, a general definition of open adoption would be a post-placement relationship in which a birth mother has some form and frequency of direct communication with the child that she placed for adoption.

For some birth mothers, an open adoption could mean frequent visits with her child, phone calls to both her child and his or her adoptive parents, or scheduled vacations. For other birth mothers, an open adoption could include pictures and letters mailed out annually or semi-annually, phone calls on holidays, and perhaps a visit once or twice per year. No matter what the form of communication is, or how frequently such communication takes place, an open adoption occurs when a birth mother has direct contact with her child and his or her adoptive parents after the adoption process has been finalized.

What is Closed Adoption in Maryland?

A closed adoption occurs when no post-placement relationship exists between the birth mother and the child she placed for adoption or his or her adoptive parents. A closed adoption may be beneficial to a birth mother who does not desire a relationship with her child after placement for whatever reason.

In the history of American adoptions, closed adoptions used to be incredibly popular. Women who chose adoption were shamed by society, and their only option for a post-placement relationship was to have a closed adoption. This practice still existed not too long ago, as some birth mothers living today suffered this shaming when they placed their children years ago.

However, the good news is that society has begun to catch on to the beauty of adoption and the blessings and benefits of open adoption. Today, open adoptions have become much more the “norm” for society, and experts have found them to be highly beneficial to all parties involved.

What is Semi-Open Adoption in Maryland?

For the woman considering adoption who wants distance from her child she is placing but still desires updates and some form of communication, there exists the option of semi-open adoption in Maryland. In a Maryland semi-open adoption, the agency who facilitated the adoption takes on the responsibility of managing a relationship between a birth mother and her child’s adoptive parents. Letters, cards, pictures, gifts, and anything else that either the birth mother or adoptive family want to share with each other are sent to the adoption agency. The adoption agency holds all personal information in confidence, so as not to reveal any identifying information with the other party, and then forwards the contact on to the appropriate party.

In this way, a birth mother can have a relationship with her child and his or her parents while still maintaining a separate life. Maryland semi-open adoptions are the middle ground between a modern closed and open adoption.

The Benefits of Open Adoption in Maryland

There are many benefits to choosing a Maryland open adoption for every party involved. For the birth mother who still desires to have a relationship with her child, choosing a Maryland open adoption allows her  watch her child be raised with the knowledge of his or her birth mother and the role that she plays in his or her life. Birth mothers in open adoptions can enjoy being a part of their child’s life while walking a path of healing. In fact, open adoptions can be much more encouraging to a birth mother’s healing process after placement.

Adoptive parents who partake in an open adoption have the benefit of being open with their child regarding where they came from and how they came to be with them. There are fewer secrets or unanswered questions for adoptive parents in an open adoption with their child’s birth mother.

Most importantly, the greatest benefits to an open adoption are gifted to the child who was placed for adoption. Experiences have shown that children who are raised in an open adoption environment have fewer questions regarding their identity and more confidence in seeking out that identity. They also receive additional love from both their adoptive family and their birth family.

Clearly, the benefits of a Maryland open adoption spread across all parties involved in the open adoption.

If you are a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering an open adoption in Maryland, please fill out this contact form. An adoption professional will reach out to you, offer Maryland open adoption facts, share Maryland open adoption stories, and answer all your open adoption questions.

Be encouraged that whatever post-placement relationship you desire, it can be honored by your adoption agency. Whether it be an open, semi-open or closed adoption, your post-placement relationship is to be decided only by you and your chosen adoptive family. The choice is yours, so dream big and consider the amazing future you can have as a birth mother in a Maryland open adoption!