What is an Open Adoption?
If you are seeking to adopt children, you may have heard about a concept called "open adoption," in which the birth parents maintain contact with the child. You may have concerns about what that would mean for your relationship with the child, and your sense that you are the child’s true parent. Open adoption is a choice for both you and the birth parents. It is an important choice, and one that requires considerable thought and an open mind.
Open Adoption for Washington Adoptive Parents
Before proceeding with an open adoption or before turning one down, it is important to have a full understanding of what an open adoption means. Washington adoption lawyer Joyce Schwensen helps potential adoptive parents reach informed decisions about whether to proceed with an open adoption.
She can provide aspiring parents with educational materials and information, listen to their hopes and concerns, and assist the parents in reaching a conclusion. Call Law Office of Joyce S. Schwensen today to set up a consultation.
Joyce Schwensen helps adoptive parents throughout Washington State, including Vancouver, Spokane and Tacoma. She is based in Seattle.
Information for Adoptive Parents on Open Adoption
- How a Washington Open Adoption Works
- Deciding on an Open Adoption
- Seattle Attorney Helping Parents With Open Adoption
In a closed adoption, the birth parents do not have the option of contacting the child. For some birth parents this is a choice they wish to make. But many times the birth parents want to maintain some level of contact with the child. And often it is good for the child, especially as they reach adolescence, to have contact with their birth family in order to help them understand adoption as part of their life story.
In an open adoption, birth parents maintain some level of contact with the child after the adoption. It may be that you, the adoptive parents, periodically send the birth parents photos of the child and updates about the child's progress. The birth parents may be able to send cards or letters to you to give to the child as you see fit. These are sometimes called "semi-open" adoptions. In other open adoptions, there are phone calls or even visits.
The terms of an open adoption are decided as part of the decision between the adoptive parents and birth parents to the adoption match. When the adoption is finalized the open adoption agreement is approved by the court. The law does not allow the birth parents to ever challenge the adoption based on an open adoption agreement. The adoptive family has as much stability under the law with an open adoption as with a closed adoption.
An open adoption may seem like a frightening prospect for some adoptive parents. However, studies have shown that open adoptions can be beneficial to all parties involved. The child often has a greater understanding of his or her background, and of the concept of adoption. Adopted children in open adoptions may have a greater sense of feeling whole, instead of feeling like something is missing.
Adoptive parents can benefit from an open adoption, as well. By maintaining a relationship with the birth parents, adoptive parents can ask questions about their child’s genetic heritage and family background that can be helpful in raising the child. Open adoptions can also lead adoptive parents to have a more positive attitude toward the birth parents, which can be helpful in raising the child to accept adoption as a positive part of their story.
Open adoption is not for everyone. An open adoption must be agreed upon by all parties. Your Washington adoption attorney can help you make a decision about whether open adoption is a good fit for you. You or the birth parents may be interested in a "semi-open" adoption." It is important that you make the choice that works best for your family.
If you are seeking to adopt a child and have question about open adoption, Joyce Schwensen is a Washington adoption lawyer that can help you make an informed choice. She can help advise you of your options and assist you in whatever choice you make. Call today at (206) 367-1065 to set up a consultation.