What is an Open Adoption?
But, what exactly is an open adoption?
The answer is not cut and dry because there will be different aspects to every adoption, depending on the wishes of the biological and adoptive families.
Open vs Closed Adoption
In a fully open adoption, the biological family gets to have direct contact and interaction with the child – this can mean letters, phone calls, and visits. This allows each family to have a connection with each other, which is something that may be important to your child as he or she ages. In no way does an open adoption diminish your rights as the adoptive parent; it merely keeps the link to your child’s biological family open.
A closed adoption is just that – closed. You and your family will not have contact with the biological family. And though you won’t know their names, you will know their basic medical information and health history.
Benefits of an Open Adoption
While many people choose a closed adoption, those who choose to have an open adoption enjoy the fact that if their child wants to learn about his or her birth parents, it can easily be done. Additionally, if your child has a major medical issue, an open dialogue with the biological parents might lead to a more speedy diagnoses and recovery.
How Open Adoptions Work
Generally speaking, an open adoption is a contract between an adoptive family and the birth family. The terms of this arrangement can vary widely from case to case. Contact can be limited to annual updates and photos, or can include regular phone calls and physical visits. It’s entirely up to the comfort of both parties, so that everyone is happy with the arrangement.
Before deciding on the type of adoption you prefer, take some time to talk to anyone you know who was adopted, has adopted, or has had their biological child adopted. Sometimes the best way to decide is to learn how the experience worked for others.