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FAQ about Open Adoptions

Here are the questions most frequently asked about open adoptions, that is an adoption where there is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents and sometimes the adopted child.

What are open adoptions?

Open adoptions are adoptions where this is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and sometimes the adoptive child. Open adoptions generally come about when the adoptive parents meet and get to know the birth parents of the child. The adoption agreement generally allows for the child to spend most of the time with the adoptive parents, but gives some right for the birth parents to visit and spend time with the child. Generally speaking, open adoptions are formed when the birth parents and the adoptive parents agree that forming a relationship is in the best interests of the child.

Are there advantages of open adoptions?

Open adoptions have many advantages, such as reducing stress of both the adoptive and birth parents. For the adoptive parents, they can get to know and trust the birth parents, and for the birth parents, they can regularly check on the child. In addition, open adoptions are sometimes beneficial for the child who can grow up knowing more about his or her history than having unanswered questions.

Are there disadvantages of open adoptions?

One of the main disadvantages of open adoption is for the birth parents that wish to remain in contact with their biological child. If a relationship between a set of birth parents and adoptive parents sours after the adoption has taken place, the adoptive parents may decide to eliminate any visits from the biological parents that were agreed upon beforehand. Even though these visitation agreements normally find their way into the legal adoption papers, the biological parents have little to no legal recourse to continue their visits to the child.

How can I get an open adoption?

There are generally two ways to get an open adoption.

  • The first is to use an agency that has procedures set up for open adoption. If you have found an adoption agency that allows open adoptions, be sure to read and inquire about their procedures for open adoptions. However, there are many agencies that only allow closed or semi-open adoptions. Indeed, many agencies prohibit the adoptive parents from knowing the identity of the birth parents, and also prohibit the birth parents from finding out which family the child is going to.
  • The second way to get an open adoption is to opt to take part in an independent adoption. However, setting up an independent adoption can be expensive on the front end as you will have to advertise when looking for birth parents that are willing to enter into an open adoption. If you have found birth parents willing to enter into an open, independent adoption, you should hire an attorney that can assist you with all the paperwork and filings you will need to make in order to have your adoption finalized.

One thing to keep in mind is that both the adoptive parents as well as the birth parents should enter into counseling before deciding on an open adoption. Open adoption can have many emotional impacts on both families. It is important to know about the emotions that you may encounter with an open adoption that may not be present in a traditional closed or semi-closed adoption. If you want your open adoption to succeed, counseling is a key step that you should take.

Have Your Case Reviewed by an Adoption Attorney

Adoptions are designed to protect the best interests of the child, which may mean that some complicated requests and clearances are necessary. A lawyer can help guide you through the process. Contact a local attorney for a free case review to discuss the details of your adoption case.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified attorney specializing
in adoptions.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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