Open Adoption and Gay Couples: What Do They Look Like?
Adoption is the beautiful making of a family that, as a birth mother, you get to be a part of. What do you mean you get to be a part of it? Isn’t it the couple or individual who takes the baby and that’s it? Maybe years ago that was how things were. Closed adoptions were the most common practice for a long time before psychologists and adoptees figured out that closed adoptions can cause distress. Today, at Adoption Choices of Nevada, open adoptions are something we strive for.
Just what do open adoption and gay couples really look like? What does that even mean? The short and sweet answer is it looks the same as with anything other adoptive family -- heterosexual, single, transracial, etc. The more complicated answer, however, is what we will explore shortly. After all, adoptive parents are people, too, and they do everything anyone else does.
Some Things to Expect
When you decide that you want an open adoption, you are opening up the doors for communication that isn’t through our agency. This could mean phone calls, in-person visits, emails, text messages and even letters. What happens is going to be between you and the adoptive family. Remember, you get to have a say in what kind of communication you want out of your open adoption.
Though, it is always important to remember that communication, like anything in life, is going to go through seasons of change. There may be a time when communication is flowing, and then where it may seem to be slower. So, if you have an open adoption agreement with your child’s adoptive parents, and communication wanes for a bit, remember not to take this personally. People get busy, and raising a child has many different reasons for either an abundant amount of communication or less.
Just what does it look like to be in an open adoption with a gay couple? Well, you can expect a loving home for your baby. While the two men can’t have a child of their own, or chose to go through adoption rather than gestational surrogacy, you can rest assured that they will love your child with their whole hearts.
Here is a list of things that you can ask about and learn from them, which can help you know what you and your baby may experience:
Holidays: Holidays are a big event in most families. Not everyone celebrates things like Christmas, but there are many holidays scattered throughout the year. Maybe the adoptive couple that you chose celebrates different holidays than you do. It will be a learning experience for both you and them. As an example, maybe they celebrate all the major Jewish holidays and you do not.
Birthdays: Everyone has a birthday, after all. With open adoption, you may even be invited to the celebration. It comes down to if you feel comfortable enough and if they feel comfortable. Don’t go in expecting it, but be open to it.
Gotcha Days: Admittedly not everyone is going to do this. However, it is a possibility. What is it, though? It’s the day that the child was adopted and brought home. This could easily be a few days after the child’s birthday or it could be weeks after. Either way, many adoptive families celebrate Gotcha Days. You may not want to be a part of this day and that is okay.
Extracurricular Activities: Maybe the parents are really into sports or something else. Many American families have sports’ parties where they gather friends and family to watch the games. This could be football, basketball, baseball, or even hockey. These events can be a great bonding experience between you and your child’s adoptive parents. Not only that, but maybe you already do these things with your family as well. Other extracurricular activities can include: dance, theatre, marathons, the Olympics, or even just family gatherings.
LGBTQ Events: Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but there are events dedicated to LGBTQ people. This goes from Pride month in June to fundraisers for the youth who are LGBTQ. If you’ve never gone to a pride parade, then it may be a sensory overload. It is important to note that not every gay couple is going to go to these things.
Homelife with a Gay Couple
Every gay adoptive couple is going to be different. They each have their own story to tell and it is important that you give them the chance to do just that. Like most people, though, they have a home, family, a job to go to, maybe some pets -- all of which make up their homelife and what you will be entering into when you have an open adoption. An adoptive family who cooks dinner, sits at the table, talks about their day, and can just be themselves. They may not look like the “normal” family, but that doesn’t make them any different than you. The only thing that might be different is the endless amount of dad jokes at their disposal.
But, there’s one thing you can always count on. Your baby is going to be the best-dressed baby in the area. For pictures, at least. Like any adoring adoptive couple,there will be a million onesies and the ever-growing pile of laundry that doesn’t seem to end with babies.
Open Adoption and Gay Couples
At the end of the day, it is going to be up to you and the adoptive parents to communicate what you both want out of an open adoption. They are a family, just like any other, despite being two men who love one another. That’s the only difference between them and a heterosexual couple.
No matter who your child ends up with, he or she is going to be part of a loving home. Family is more than blood and, with an open adoption plan, you get to be part of that life too.
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now!