Is an open adoption something you've been thinking about? There are pros and cons to that decision. Before you decide on the right path, make sure you understand the legal implications of both.
What is an open adoption?
With an open adoption, you still know and interact with the child's family; if you aren't in touch, the opportunity is still there for the family to reach out or for your child to reach out to learn more about his or her family in the future.
What are the benefits of an open adoption?
The benefits of an open adoption include giving your child an opportunity to know his or her birth parents and birth story. It's easier to learn about past medical conditions, too, which could be necessary if a child falls ill.
If there's a point when your child wants answers, or if you're in a position to be friendly with the parents, then your child may not have to be confused about why he or she was "given away." Instead, your child can understand that he or she has two families.
What are the drawbacks?
Some people worry that interacting with a child's birth parents will make them want to have the child back. If the birth parents are present at some times and then go away for long periods of time, those actions can also hurt a child, making him or her wonder why the birth parents don't want to be around him or her or if they just don't care. Essentially, it could open a door to more grief than if your child didn't get to interact with his or her biological parents at all.
Is an open adoption right for you? Only you can decide. Whatever you choose, you should make the decision that is in the best interests of your child and family. A family law attorney can answer other questions you may have.
Source: Adoptive Families, "Understanding Open Adoption," Eliza Newlin Carney, accessed Aug. 11, 2016