Adoption is an opportunity for individuals to create a permanent family without a biological connection. Though every adoption is different, some biological families may wish to maintain contact with their adopted child, grandchild or relative even after an adoption has finalized.
What is an Open Adoption?
Open adoption are ones in which the biological and adoptive families agree to continuing contact post-adoption. The type of contact varies depending on each adoption but can include:
- Yearly updates and/or photos provided to the biological parents
- Limited video or in-person visits, like yearly or during holidays
- Video or in-person visits on a consistent basis
In contrast, a closed adoption is one in which there is no contact between birth family and adoptee post-adoption. Birth parents may also opt to keep their personal information confidential from the adoptive parents and/or adoptee.
Are Open Adoptions Permissible in Illinois?
Illinois allows open adoption, however, these agreements are not enforceable in Illinois courts. This means that if after the finalization of an adoption, if one party is not abiding by the open adoption agreement, the other party may not seek to enforce the terms in an Illinois court. Thus, the basis of any open adoption agreement is an assumption of good faith from all parties.
Are There Other Avenues for Post-Adoption Contact Aside from Open Adoption?
Certain biological relatives, including grandparents or siblings, may have standing to file a visitation petition outside of adoption court. However, such cases are often difficult to progress as the relative must prove both unreasonable denial of visitation by the adoptive parents and that said denial has caused the child undue harm.
Contact Kogut & Wilson today at (312) 565-4100 for individualized questions regarding contact with a relative after adoption.
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