When you choose to place your baby for adoption in North Carolina, you know that they will be placed with a family who is loving, supportive and can provide them with a lifetime full of opportunity. However, it’s also likely important to you that your child knows about their adoption story and all the sacrifices that you made to give them their best chance at life.
So, it makes sense for you to ask, “What will my child know about their adoption?”
Whatever your motivation for asking this question, you should know that with the modern standard of open adoptions, it’s expected that adopted children know they’re adopted and understand their adoption story from a very young age.
In the closed adoptions of the 1960s and 1970s, many adoptees didn’t have access to their adoption records — and birth mothers had no way of knowing if their child ever knew about them or their adoption story. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. At A Child’s Hope, all of our adoptions are either semi-open or open adoptions, meaning that all prospective adoptive parents agree to some kind of communication with birth parents and agree to raise their child with an honest knowledge of their adoption.
Your child will know about their adoption from before they can even remember, with their adoptive parents using story time and books to explain their adoption story from a young age. As your child grows up, their adoptive parents will tell them more details about their adoption (whatever you’re comfortable with them sharing), making sure it’s age-appropriate, honest and positive. An adoptee with a full sense of his or her adoption story can grow up feeling safe and loved, with a positive self-identity of being an adopted child.
As the birth mother of an adopted child, you will always be able to choose what kind of information you want the adoptive family to share with your child as they grow up. Thanks to open adoption, you can discuss this topic before your baby is even born, making sure you and the adoptive parents are comfortable with your agreement. Keep in mind, if you have open adoption communication, you may even be able to tell your child about their adoption story later in life.
If you’re excited about your child knowing about their adoption story, here are some things you can do to ensure they know about you:
- Decide with your child’s adoptive parents what information they’ll share at what points of your child’s life. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they’ll talk about adoption with your child, especially during the early meetings when you’re first deciding whether they’re the right choice for you.
- Determine how much contact you want with your child after placement. You may choose to have their adoptive parents tell your child their adoption story, or you may wish to do it yourself through letters, pictures and even in-person meetings as they grow up.
- Give your child a memento of their adoption when you say goodbye at the hospital. To ensure your child knows certain things about you as they grow up, you may wish to write them a letter or create a keepsake book about you and your adoption journey. Adoptees cherish these things, because they’re a beautiful representation of how much you loved them and why you chose adoption for them.
If you’re worried whether your child will know about their adoption, be reassured — adoption professionals today (including A Child’s Hope) emphasize to prospective adoptive parents the importance of honesty when raising an adopted child. But many adoptive parents are happy to provide this information to their child anyway, as a token of gratitude for the selfless and loving gift you gave them by choosing adoption.
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Adoption Counselor/Homestudy Supervisor - Triangle
As an adoptive parent I truly have a passion for adoption. There is no greater joy than helping to create a family! I love this job and I love working with adoptive parents as well as the birth parents. When it all comes together it is an awesome experience! Kelly is a graduate of NC State University where she earned a Bachelor of Social Work. She also received her Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Kelly has been working with children, families, in the home and in communities for 18 years. Kelly has been working with birth mothers and adoptive parents for the last 5 years. Besides working, she has a great husband and three fabulous children, Landon, Parker and Ansley. Kelly and her husband adopted their daughter with the help of ACH and feels as though her personal experience helps her relate to other adoptive families.
Sloane completed her undergraduate degree in Human Services Counseling at Old Dominion University and holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Sloane has been working with children, birth mothers and adopting families for more than 10 years. She loves advocating for children and helping women during pregnancy.
Lakisha completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Welfare at Winston-Salem State University. She received her Master of Social Work from Syracuse University. Lakisha has worked with children, individuals and families for more than 12 years. Her experience includes working with at-risk youth, homeless children and families, child mental health, as well as school social work and case management. She is also a long-time basketball fan, a former player and coach. She played at Winston-Salem State University and coached women’s basketball at Elon University and Syracuse University. Lakisha and her husband reside in Alamance County, with their young son.
Jess completed her undergraduate degree in Communication at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and earned her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Messiah College. Her professional experience includes case management, education, women’s behavioral health including a focus on pregnant mothers, and working with kinship and domestic adoptive families who have experienced trauma. Jess is a native of central Pennsylvania though loves living in Asheville with her significant other. When she is not working, she is likely caring for her puppy and dog, painting, practicing yoga, camping or planning her next road trip to see family and friends or have an adventure in some new place!
Sylvia is a graduate of Western Carolina University, where she earned a Bachelor of Social Work. She also received her Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina. Sylvia has been working with children and families for more than 19 years. She enjoys gardening, reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband and three boys. She also loves animals, especially her dog Jazzy.
Nicole completed her undergraduate studies at Chowan University in Psychology with a concentration in Alcohol & Drug Studies and a minor in Criminal Justice. Nicole has provided services to adolescents, teens, college students, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Parole and Probation, the NC Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Transportation, and the Department of Defense. She is a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor and has been working in the mental health field for 15 years.
Suzanne was the primary pregnancy care manager stationed at Duke high-risk perinatal clinic for 20 years. She has a BS in Social Work at UNC Pembroke and is a licensed School Social Worker. She recently worked as a case manager in a substance abuse disorder residential program for women with young children. Suzanne is a “Durhamite” but has resided in Wake County since graduating. Her biggest accomplishment has been happily raising her 14 yo daughter and 3 poodle mixed pups.