A typical open adoption means that the biological parents are permitted to have some type of contact with the adopted child.
This can be accomplished many different ways. By phone is the easiest way but sometimes e-mail, letters, or even personal visits might be an option.
This contact doesn’t always mean both sets of parents will ever meet each other in person. Many times the adoption agency or other organization will receive pictures and updates from the adoptive parents and forward them to the biological parents.
Obviously, having the adoptive parents spend time with the biological parents might be an uncomfortable ordeal for everyone.
Before the adoption takes place, all types of contact as well as specific dates for visits or phone calls are arranged.
This schedule and set of rules is very important to the biological parents who have agreed to the open adoption. By not getting pictures when expected or missing phone calls, it can be very emotionally stressful.
By using the adoption agency as a middle man, it saves a lot of emotional stress for everyone involved. The agency acts as a mediator so the adoptive parents don’t have to deal with the biological parents directly.
Open adoptions could be as little as a name exchange before adoption up to full contact by the biological family so you need to make sure everyone agrees on the terms beforehand.
It is much easier for adoptive parents to really feel the child is their own if there is minimal interference from the biological parents but sometimes it just isn’t an option.