why mediate during an open adoption?

Open adoption mediation refers to a process which facilitates communication plans between birth and adoptive families. This is a voluntary process where the birth and adoptive families meet with the mediator to structure their new extended family. Examples of issues discussed are: Holidays: will there be gifts exchanged, if so between whom, will there be a financial cap on gifts, what holidays. Communication: will it be via phone, email, in person. How often, who can initiate. If in person where, when, how often and with whom.

These are very detailed sessions which are used as a way to try and discuss all areas of possible future conflict, much like in estate matters mediation. Due to our experience with open adoption we specialize in helping birth and adoptive parents create communication plans in order to build a foundation for a nurturing future together.

Open Adoption mediation is a voluntary, confidential process facilitated by a specially trained and experienced mediator. The mediator helps parties explore and consider different types of contact that support the safety and best interests of the child. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties nor does the mediator give legal advice or psychological counseling.

Why Mediate?

“Shannon was amazing at helping us think about our new relationship. We were able to talk about issues that could have turned into huge conflicts in the future. Instead we are all on the same page. Shannon's personal experience in open adoption allowed her to ask questions about even the most minute things and got us all talking about how we wanted to address or handle those areas. Thank you for helping us start our new family in the most supportive way possible!”

- Adoptive mom

What are the issues in an open adoption?

"If you have reservations about open adoption, you are not alone. Furthermore, your concerns are normal, especially since you have grown up believing adoption should be confidential. Coming around to the benefits of open adoption requires an emotional change - not just a change in your thinking. Moreover, you may be intellectually convinced that open adoption is the best way long before you feel that conviction in your heart. However, through open adoption you can gradually gain a powerful sense of comfort. It is a feeling of relief that comes from grieving for the losses you have experienced a well as for those you are afraid you may experience, and from accepting that these losses are what make adoption different from other ways of forming families."

- The Open Adoption Experience, Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roskia.