Do You Want an Open Adoption?
Whether you are a mother considering putting a baby up for adoption or a family who wants to welcome a child into your home, adoption is a complex consideration. By taking the time to understand all the implications of adoption, you can choose the best path forward for yourself and the child involved.
Adoption is a family law matter that comes with a lot of legal strings. That’s true whether you’re planning an open adoption or a closed adoption. Consulting with a family law attorney with experience in adoption cases can help you best understand your options and protect your rights and the rights of any child involved in the case.
If you’re considering adoption — on either side of the equation, reach out to the Law Office of Deidra Haynes to find out how we can help. You can also read more about what open adoption is below to help learn more about your options.
What Is an Open Adoption?
Open adoption is a fairly subjective term that encompasses a wide range of adoption scenarios. The common factor among these scenarios is that there is some type of open communication between the biological mother or parents and the adopting family. How open that communication might be depends on the preferences of the individuals involved and the details of the adoption.
To understand what open adoption can look like, consider the following scenarios. These would all be considered open adoptions.
- The birth mother and adoptive family stay in touch during the pregnancy. After the birth, the adoptive family sends the birth mother pictures and updates a few times a year throughout the child’s life.
- The birth mother stays in touch with the adoptive family and writes letters or sends cards to the child on occasion, especially on holidays or birthdays.
- The adoptive family and birth mother work together to ensure that the birth mother has an in-person relationship with the child. The mother may be somewhat involved in holidays or birthdays or visit the child once a month, for example.
What Is a Closed Adoption?
A closed adoption typically refers to an adoption that doesn’t involve any direct communication between the birth parents and the adoptive family. They don’t know each other’s identity, and information about the birth parents may not even be available to the child. In some cases, limited information may be exchanged via a third party.
Where Do Adoptions Normally Fall on This Range?
In reality, adoptions don’t tend to fall easily into one or the other category. They are complex processes that are dictated by factors such as the preferences and needs of the birth and adoptive families, the needs of the child, and the requirements of the law. Because of this, adoptions can fall anywhere on the spectrum between a fully closed adoption where no information at all is shared and a fully open adoption with constant communication and connection.
Benefits of an Open Adoption
Every case is different, and what might be right for one family or child may not be a good choice for another.
However, in many cases, there are some important benefits of open adoption to consider when making a choice about how to move forward with your adoption:
- Family preferences and needs may be easier to meet. While everyone involved in any adoption process works to ensure the needs and desires of families and children are met, this may be easier to accomplish in an open adoption. When birth and adoptive parents can form a relationship, they have a better understanding of what to expect and how to work toward meeting each other’s needs.
- Children have a better understanding of why they were adopted. In closed adoption situations, children may not have much information about their adoption. As they grow older, this can lead to wondering why they were adopted and where they came from. Open adoption allows children to be raised with more knowledge about their adoption, which can afford greater peace of mind and confidence in identity.
- Adoptive families and children have better access to information. Closed adoptions can also leave children and adoptive families without critical information regarding medical needs, particularly those related to genetics. While the Indiana Adoption Matching Registry does provide some potential paths to certain information, the process of gaining access can be tedious. Open adoption removes the need for any of this work.
- Children can have ongoing relationships with their birth parents. In the most open of adoptions, children have relationships with birth and adoptive parents. While this is not feasible or recommended in every case, in some situations, it can create a better foundation for the child.
Why Work With a Family Law Attorney?
As you can see, there are no cut-and-dried answers when it comes to adoption. Many decisions are made throughout any adoption process, and every one of them can have an impact on the outcome for the birth and adoptive families and, of course, the child.
If you’re considering adoption, you may want a family law attorney on your side. A lawyer who is experienced with adoptions can help you understand your options and walk you through the process of either a closed or open adoption. For help with your adoption, reach out to the Law Office of Deidre Haynes today by calling 463-223-9487.