The Differences Between Open and Closed Adoption
Adoption is a fantastic option for many people who want a new member of the family. Typically, the birth parent will choose the type of adoption and then look for adoptive parents who meet that standard. What is left for you to decide as the adopting parent is which option is ideal for your family.
Are you unsure if an open or closed adoption is for you? Both present different legal and social challenges. This guide can help you make a decision for your family.
Understanding Open Adoption
Open adoption may seem like a somewhat new phenomenon, but this does not mean you should not consider it. In this type of adoption, the adoptive parents and birth parents keep in touch, perhaps through letters, phone calls, social media, or visits.
In an open adoption, the birth parents may have access to specific bits of information about you, perhaps including your last name, address, phone number, and social media accounts. If you are uncomfortable with this, open adoption may not be the best choice for your family.
An open adoption does not necessarily start when the child is born. You and the birth parents may get in touch well before that, perhaps to exchange information, understand more about the baby’s life, or build a positive and nurturing relationship.
The good thing about an open adoption is that you can work together to decide what level of contact is right for you. As the adoptive parent, you can determine if you would like to communicate monthly, annually, or on any other schedule you wish.
Another benefit of open adoption is the fact that the child will grow up with some understanding about his or her birth parents. This can shed light on the circumstances around the adoption, making it less of a mystery or confusing situation.
You can also opt in to a semi-open adoption. Perhaps you would prefer that the birth parents not visit your child, but you would be willing to exchange letters twice a year. You can select the terms of the adoption according to what you are comfortable with.
Understanding Closed Adoption
In the past, closed adoptions were often the norm. In a closed adoption, the child does not necessarily have information about his or her birth parents. Typically, a closed adoption involves the use of sealed documents, restricting access to much of the information surrounding the legal adoption.
While the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate during the birth mother’s pregnancy, this communication typically does not continue after the child is born. In some cases, adoptive parents do receive some medical information about the birth parents so that the child can have some information about his or her medical and biological background.
For Either Option, Work With a Family Law Attorney
Every adoption is a little bit different, and you can be in control of your adoption process. You can work with a family law attorney to set up your wishes and ensure that the adoption speaks to your needs and the best interests of the child.
No matter what kind of adoption you choose, put these ideas into your documentation early on. The more clear you are about your expectations, the smoother a transition you may be able to expect. Writing out contracts can be a helpful way to set boundaries, legally and emotionally.
The Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC, understand the challenges you may face with adoption. Adoption can be a complex process. Call our office today to discuss your situation with a compassionate and caring professional. We are happy to answer all your questions.