Adoption is a great option for many people who are thinking about a new addition to the family. There are many different types of adoption, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In many cases, when a child is adopted from an agency or directly from another person, the parents can choose whether the adoption will be open or closed. According to the Donaldson Adoption Institute, most (around 95 percent) adoptions in the U.S. now involve some degree of openness. The choice to pursue an open adoption is a personal one, but it can provide benefits to both the child and the birth parents.

What Is an Open Adoption?

There are actually a couple of different meanings to the term “open adoption,” depending on who you ask, and there are varying degrees to open adoption. Some adoptions are fully disclosed, meaning the birth parents will have direct contact with the adoptive family and child both before and after the child’s birth. Other adoptions are mediated, meaning the adoptive parents and the birth parents have contact through a caseworker or another third party by sending letters and pictures.

In an open adoption, the birth mother typically takes part in the selection process, helping choose the adoptive parents who will raise the child. Children also typically know that they are adopted when open adoptions are conducted. Following the completion of the adoption, the child may continue to have contact or an ongoing relationship with one or both of the birth parents. The parties may create an adoption agreement defining how often the child will see the birth mother, what forms of communication will be used, and other important considerations.

Benefits of Open Adoption

There are many advantages to open adoption, depending on what each party wants from the adoption. Benefits of open adoption can include:

  • A greater sense of control over the placement process for birth parents
  • Allowing the child to have a connection with his or her birth family and culture
  • Better access to medical information from the birth parents
  • Varying levels of openness depending on each party’s comfort and wishes
  • Giving the child a better sense of belonging and reducing the chances the child feels rejected

Over time, open adoption can also help the child realize and understand that the adoption decision was made by all involved to serve the child’s best interests.

A St. Charles, IL, Adoption Attorney Can Support You Throughout the Process

Adoption can be a very rewarding experience for both birth parents and adoptive families, but there are many legal requirements that must be met to finalize an adoption. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you with any type of adoption that you wish to pursue, including both open and closed adoptions. Our experienced Kane County adoption lawyers have the knowledge and compassion to support you throughout your adoption journey. Call our office today at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.adoptioninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/2012_03_OpennessInAdoption.pdf

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/openadoption.pdf