The decision to place a child for adoption is one of the hardest that a new mother will ever have to make, but the decision can be made easier by electing to participate in an open adoption versus closed adoption. One local family finalized an open adoption on National Adoption Day almost six years ago, and has since established a ritual to ensure that both the birth and adoptive mothers can share in a very special holiday—Mother’s Day.
According to the National Adoption Center, 67 percent of adoptions are at least semi-open, meaning the child and birth mother are able to have contact, at agreed upon times, after the adoption is finalized.
Choosing Open Adoption
“I never even considered having a closed adoption,” explains birth mother, Kat. “I feel so blessed to be able to see Erica grow up with very happy and loving parents. I meet up with Erica and her family about 4 to 5 times throughout the year, but I am blessed that one of the occasions that we meet up for involves celebrating Mother’s Day together.”
Adoptive mother, Melissa, explains “an open adoption felt intimidating at first, but after going through classes with Catholic Charities, we realized that an open adoption can look different for each family and we could chose a level of openness that we were comfortable with. In the end, we saw the benefits of an open adoption for our daughter and being part of a positive discussion about adoption from the beginning.”
Catholic Charities Supports Parents
Both the birth and adoptive mothers share similar experiences with the adoption process through Catholic Charities. “At first, I was really scared to choose adoption, because I didn’t know what to expect. Catholic Charites was with me every step of the way, never judged me, and made me feel as though they really cared. That sense of support was very comforting when making such a difficult decision,” Kat states.
Melissa echoes the same sentiment, “Catholic Charities was a wonderful organization to work with. Not only were we supported throughout the adoption process, but they addressed the emotions that come along with adoption and fostered a sense of togetherness so that both adoptive and birth parents can make the best decisions possible for the children involved.”
Celebrating Special Days Together
To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, Erica, Kat, and Melissa plan to spend time together at a local park and Erica will have a special gift to give to her birth mother. “As she gets older, we hope to do more together for Mother’s Day and Erica can make some special arts and crafts for her. We love Kat as an extension of our family and getting together for Mother’s Day each year feels natural to us—we look forward to the time we get to spend together.”