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The Unspoken Benefits of Open Adoptions

Brandi Thomas, Family Law Practice Group Leader

5 May 2018

The goal of this blog is to provide an overview of the often-overlooked benefits associated with Open Adoptions.

However, an important distinction must be made at the onset between open and closed adoptions. The primary difference between these two processes relates to access. What kind of access, if any, will the biological unit (parent and child) have to one another post an adoption proceeding?

In a closed adoption, biological parents permanently relinquish total access to their biological child’s life. However, in an open adoption within certain parameters, biological parents retain the right to communicate and can sometimes even visit the child. Open adoptions are growing in popularity because they tend to be collegial and transparent. As such, adoptive and biological parents alike are empowered and motivated to work together seeking only the child’s best interest.

Statistics show that biological parents in open adoptions less often seek to regain their parental rights. One could argue that open adoptions minimize the natural anxiety brought about this particularly difficult decision.

Similarly, adoptive parents through this process are equally benefited. The transparency created in open adoptions allows for adoptive parents to gain invaluable insights regarding their new child. Adoptive parents can obtain in-depth information related to medical and family history. These details help adoptive parents make informed medical decisions and equip them to handle the child’s inevitable curiosity regarding his/her biological family.

Additionally, open adoptions also eliminate issues related to access of original birth records. Within my practice, I have had the honor of helping families navigate the adoption process. I have a nuanced understanding of open, closed and same-sex adoptions. From my vantage point, open adoptions provide a great benefit to society as a whole. This process ends the stigma associated with adoptions; it removes the veil of secrecy and helps to highlight the myriad of reasons why people consider this a responsible alternative in the first place.

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