If you are thinking about adoption, regardless of if you are the adoptive parent or the biological parent looking to place your child in a loving home, there are many questions, you might be asking yourself, and one of them is what kind of adoption you want to enter into. The types we are referring to are “open adoption” and “closed adoption.” Both of these have benefits and challenges, and we will explore these in this week’s blog. If you are looking for the leading adoption lawyer in Arkansas to help you decide which options are right for you, call OMG Law in Jonesboro.

What are Open Adoptions / Closed Adoptions?

  • Defining these terms can be a challenge since many adoptions set their own parameters for the adults to follow during the life of the child.
  • It is somewhat easier to define what open adoption is, by defining what it is not. It is not a closed adoption. A closed adoption is when the parents agree that there will be no future contact and that the adoption will be completely anonymous.
  • Every open adoption can have its own boundaries, defined by the adults involved and agreed to by all parties. The boundaries can be things like regular visits, letters, or simply that the child will be given the name of the parent or parents at a certain point in time, for example, when they are 18. Open adoptions are the norm for adoptions in the United States these days, where are closed are the norm in international adoptions.

For the Biological Parents: Reasons to Choose Open Adoptions

  • Allowing your child to know from the beginning of their life, who they are and the circumstance of their adoption can cut off a lot of tense moments later on in life.
  • The knowledge of their adoption can be an empowering thing for an adopted child; they will know that all parties involved loved them tremendously and are committed to doing what is best for them, not what is emotionally easy or convenient for the adults.
  • Medical information for the child might become life-saving at some point and having access to the parent can make all the difference.
  • Open adoptions mean that the biological parents have a choice of the family with which their child will be placed. This can be a tremendous relief for biological parents wondering if they are doing the right thing.

Challenges of an Open Adoption

  • There are challenges in open adoptions and these should be considered when establishing the boundaries during the adoption proceedings.
  • The character and personality of the biological parents need to be considered when making this decision. If you fear the person is of unsound mind or has additional problems, you may want to put very firm boundaries in place. But, if they are a well-adjusted, healthy person, you can have more open boundaries. This is not to say that people can’t change, but the safety and health of the child, both physically and mentally, should be the priority here.
  • The relationship between the biological parent and the child, or children, is something that some adoptive parents find threatening and can cause tension in some families. When considering this issue, it’s good to think of the long-term gains and balance challenges against benefits.
  • In any relationship, there are issues of boundaries, and when a child is involved, they can become tenser. Some adoptive parents want their child to spend lots of time, or very little time, with the biological parent and settling on what is comfortable for everyone, and good for the child can take some fine-tuning, especially as the child grows, and their needs change.
  • One other challenge if only one of the biological parent wants to be involved in the open aspect of the adoption, where as the other parents wants to be excluded from the interaction of any kind.

For the Biological Parent-Reasons to Choose Open Adoptions

  • When you choose an open adoption, you have an avenue to see if the child, who you love enough to offer them a better life than you are currently able to offer a child, grow and mature.
  • You know that their natural curiosity may lead them to find you and you want to give them the gift of not making it a challenge to do so.
  • An open adoption also gives your child the gift of knowing who they are and where they came from.

For The Child

  • At the top of the list of priorities in any adoption should be what is best for the child, after all, that is what spurs most biological mothers to consider adoption.
  • When there is a closed adoption, there are many unanswered questions that may plague the child, as they grow into an adult.
  • Everyone wants to know who they are; it is a basic human question, and one everyone deserves an answer to.
  • Medical information is important to have, for example, a woman may want to know the family history of breast cancer, and without contact with the biological mother, she may never know.
  • The child has so much more love in their life. With two sets of parents and grandparents, there are all these people around them that love them as their family member.

When you are considering adoption, contact OMG Law Firm. We are a full-service law firm offering family law, including adoption, serving all of Arkansas from our office in Jonesboro.