1. What is open adoption?
In open adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information about each other and have ongoing contact after the baby is placed for adoption.
2. What’s the difference between open adoption and closed adoption?
In closed adoption, adoptive parents and birthparents don’t share their names or contact address and have no ongoing contact after the born is born.
3. Are there different degrees of openness in open adoption?
Yes, it all depends on the couples’ wants and needs. Open adoption relationships range from semi-open (exchanging identifying information before the placement but having limited contact afterwards) to fully open (exchanging identifying information prior to the birth of the child and exchanging phone calls, emails and visits afterwards).
4. How do we know how much openness to have in our adoption?
Each case is different. The nature and degree of contact depends on you. Your adoption worker can give you more advice and guidance.
5. Who decides how much openness to have — the birthparents or the adoptive parents?
The adoptive parents and birth parents do together, based on the interests of the child and their own comfort zone.
6. Is there such a thing as having too much openness in open adoption?
Again, it’s up to the two parties to lay out the parameters. Those parameters can change over time, depending on the individual situation and the individuals involved. One thing open adoption isn’t is co-parenting.
7. What’s the advantage of open adoption?
Studies show that there are huge benefits for all members of the triad, especially to the adopted child. Openness allows adoptees to know who they are and where they came from, giving them self-esteem and a strong sense of identity.
8. What are the advantages for prospective birth parents and adoptive parents?
Open adoption gives prospective birth parents and adoptive parents control over the selection process and the chance to have a personal relationship after the birth of the child.
9. What are the disadvantages of open adoption?
As in any family, each party will have its own ideas about the best way to raise a child, and about the frequency and level of contact that is best between the child and his or her birth parents.
10. What happens if the birthparents and adoptive parents want to change an open adoption agreement after the baby is born?
In most states, open adoption agreements are non-binding so it’s really up to the two parties to come to a consensus based on the interests of their child.
11. Why do birth parents choose open adoption?
The reasons vary from one birth parent to the next. As a rule, most birth parents opt for open adoption because it lets them create an adoption plan for their baby, choose their baby’s parents and be part of his or her life as he or she gets older.
12. Why do adoptive parents choose open adoption?
Again, each situation is different. In general, most adoptive parents choose open adoption because it gives them more control over the matching process, offers them the chance to parent a child from birth, and allows them to have more detailed information about their child’s family and medical history.
13. How much does open adoption cost?
The fees range, depending on the circumstances. For adoptive parents, the fees range from $15,000 to $30,000. There is no fee for birth parents. In fact, depending on which state they live in, prospective birth parents may be eligible for pregnancy-related financial assistance.
14. How long does the process take?
Each case is different. It depends on how quickly the two sides can complete their paperwork and go through the placement process. In general, placements usually occur shortly after the birth of the baby.
15. How old are the children that are placed in open adoptions?
Most of the children in open adoption are newborns or infants.
16. Who gets to name the baby in open adoption?
The birth parents and the adoptive parents often choose one together. After the placement, adoptive parents will get a new birth certificate issued with their child’s name on it.
17. What are the advantages of staying in touch with the birthparents after the baby is born?
Adoption is a lifelong journey. A child will always have a connection to his birth parents, even if they aren’t directly involved in raising him directly. Keeping in touch is one way to honor and celebrate that connection and to deal with any questions your child may have as he or she grows up.
18. Do children find open adoption confusing?
No, in fact the opposite is true. Children understand clearly the difference between the parents who gave them birth and those who raised them. In open adoption, a child not only knows why he or she was placed for adoption, he or she has the ability to speak to his birthparents directly about their decision.
19. Do adopted children want to live with their birthparents when they grow up?
No, most adoptees have no desire to live with their birthparents. And most birthparents have no interest in interfering in the raising of their child. The relationship that adoptees and adoptive parents have with birthparents is simliar to the kind you would have with a close or extended family member.
20. Can birthparents change their minds after the placement?
Unless they can show that the adoption was made as a result of fraud or under duress, a relinquishment is irrevocable.
21. What’s the key to success in an open adoption?
The most successful adoptions are those where the adoptive parents and birth parents put their child’s interest before their own and maintain an open and honest relationship.