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The Big Adoption Question: Open or Closed Adoption?

The Big Adoption Question: Open or Closed Adoption?

One of the most common (and arguably the biggest) adoption questions that everyone asks is whether they should have an open adoption or a closed adoption? For many, the discussion must begin with definitions.

What is an open adoption? In an open adoption, the adoptive family and birth parents have contact. The amount and type of contact vary depending upon the situation, the people involved, and terms agreed upon prior to the adoption. Some adoptive families and birth parents conduct personal visits. Some go to great lengths to ensure that the adopted child maintains a relationship with the birth mother. The exact definition of “open adoption” will vary between families and adoptions. But there are a few things that all open adoptions will have in common.

Generally speaking, every open adoption will have shared identifiable information and contact between the adoptive family and the birth parents. By identifiable information we refer to name, address, telephone number, email address, etc. Contact could mean anything from regular, in person visits to email accessibility to phone calls. Some open adoptions are more open than others. Parties involved are encouraged to discuss the matter prior to finalizing the adoption and come up with an adoption plan that works for everyone.

In comparison, in a closed adoption the birth mother chooses adoption for her child, but is not involved in the process of finding an adoptive family. This method was very popular in years past, but is becoming less and less requested by birth mothers. Currently, only 1 out of 10 birth mothers considering adoption are leaning towards a closed adoption. A closed adoption is characterized by very limited contact and minimal identifiable information. The adoptive family is still provided with medical records, but very little other info or documentation is exchanged or provided.

When considering the question of whether or not to choose open or closed adoption, it’s important to remember that adoption relationships tend to evolve on their own as well. Adoption is an agreement between a number of people; one of which is often too young to voice their opinions on the matter when the original terms are put in place.

If you have concerns or questions regarding the nature of an open adoption or closed adoption, please get in touch with one of the experienced Arizona adoption attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We can answer your questions and help you determine what will best suit your family.

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