Post Adoption Communication
What is Post-Adoption
Most modern-day adoptions include some degree of post-placement contact and communication, or openness, between birth and adoptive parents. We call this open adoption.
Open adoptions benefit everyone involved: the birth family, the adoptive family, and the adopted child.
Openness in adoption allows adoptive parents to gain knowledge about their child’s medical and mental health histories, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and reasons for adoption. They may also feel more secure in their parental role because adoptive parents feel that birth parents have given them explicit consent to parent the child. However, adoptive parents in direct contact with birth mothers express some concerns about the maturity of birth mothers and the amount of time and energy that contact with them may demand.
Open adoption helps to mitigate birth mothers’ feelings of pain and loss, resulting in less destructive behavior and greater emotional well-being. They are more likely to feel assured of the child’s welfare because the contact they have with the adoptive parents typically fosters trust that their child is in a safe and caring home. Without this contact, birth mothers often feel isolated, have unresolved feeling of guilt and self-blame, and feel uncertain of the well-being of the child. Greater certainty of the child’s well-being may alleviate the birth mother’s grief, and contribute to her sense of pride regarding the decision.
Adopted children need space and time to connect and bond with their adoptive parents. Additionally, they often need information and some contact with biological parents. Determining the timing and extent of information sharing and communications is a challenging responsibility, primarily for the adoptive parents, but one that can be supported by the biological parents.
Easier to Manage
While communication and openness are clearly important, families still want to maintain appropriate boundaries around this new and unique relationship. Exchanging letters mailed to your home address could become problematic. Accepting an invitaion to the birthmom's Facebook page is not ideal.
How it Works
The adoption provider who assists with the adoption typically recommends a plan for Post Adoption Communication. This is referred to in HeartsConnect as the PAC.
Your personalilzed Post Adoption Communication plan is baked into your Family Group within HeartsConnect. Any tasks or updates are assigned, reminders are sent automatically, and you can mark them as complete when they're done.
For example the adoption provider may recommend that the adoptive family send pictures and a message based on a schedule such as:
- Every week for the first month, then
- Monthly for the first 6 months, then
- Every other month up to 1 year, then
- At least twice a year after that. Including special occasions such as birthdays and holidays
HeartsConnect will automatically send out an email reminding the adoptive family to post their update. When the post is completed, an email will be sent to the birthparents who can view the post and respond if they choose.