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Written by Family Connections
on April 30, 2024

Have you thought about placing your unborn baby for adoption? Are you interested in an open adoption?  Here is what open adoption means:

  • Open adoption is where the birth parents and adoptive parents decide to share some or all of their identifying information (name, address, phone number, etc.)
  • The amount of information shared is determined by the wishes of the birth mother and the mutual consent of the adoptive parents.
  • With open adoption the birth parents and adoptive parents agree to stay connected instead of never knowing each other except through information exchanged with the social worker or attorney involved.
  • Most agreements involve the adoptive parents sending pictures and letters on a scheduled basis.  These letters can be sent through the agency if the parties request or they can be delivered through direct mail or email.  Some families also chose to have visits between the birth family and the adoptive family.  The number of yearly visits can vary.
  • Post adoption relationships are valuable to all those involved in the adoption. The birth parents will have a chance to know how the child is doing and developing.
  • In an open adoption the child grows up knowing their adoption story.  They know who they are and where they came from.  There are no mysteries to fantasize about.  This may help when they are older and have questions about their birth and why they were placed for adoption.
  • Even if the relationship between the birth parents and adoptive parents is not maintained and the two families loose touch, the time they shared waiting for the child to be born or in the hospital can be important.  The love of the birth mother or father can be communicated by the adoptive parent from personal knowledge rather than second hand from the social worker or attorney.
  • Adoptive parents and birth parents gain so much when they make a decision to get to know each other. They all benefit but mostly the child benefits from the love the adoptive and birth parents share for the child. They each come to know personally the love they both have for the child. 

Open Adoption in Private Adoption and Agency Adoption

  • In domestic private adoptions the adoptive parents and the birth parents can come to any agreement they want to but there is no one to enforce the agreement if the adoptive parents do not follow through with any promises. 
  • In a domestic agency adoption in New York State the courts allow the birth parents and the adoptive parents to come to an agreement for post adoption contact. This agreement is in the form of a contract that is incorporated into the surrender of the child.  This contract obligates the adoptive parents to the minimal contact they both agree to but does not stop them from increasing their contact. This post adoption contract is enforceable in the court if the adoptive parents do not follow through with the agreed contact.

Open adoption benefits the child because they can grow up hearing their adoption story told with gratitude and love. For a child, this gratitude affirms the love they see from their mom and dad.  They have self value not just because they are the child of their adoptive parents but because they are also a child of their birth parent who is valued and loved. Open adoption can create a secure and affirming environment for the child, who is in the end, what this is all about. 

Family Connections has been helping birth families and adoptive families since 1994. We are a New York State authorized child placing agency that is also Hague accredited. If you would like to learn all your adoption options we would be happy to talk with you. If you would like to schedule a one on one consultation with an adoption professional click on the link below.

Consultation With An Adoption Professional

Clink on the link below to download our free adoption planning guide.

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