Understanding the difference between an open and closed adoption

by | Apr 25, 2018 | adoption, Firm News

It takes a special family to open its doors and hearts up to a child through the adoption process. Many Ohio parents have taken the plunge into the adoption world to expand their families and offer children new homes filled with love and support. There are a variety of ways that a person may seek a child through adoption, but this informational post will briefly cover an important distinction that may be relevant to domestic adoptions: open adoptions vs. closed adoptions.

Closed adoptions were once the norm in the United States. That is to say, a person did not know the identity of their adoptive child’s birth parents at the time they legalized their relationship with the child. They simply formalized their relationship with the child through the legal process of adoption and later on it would be very difficult for anyone, including the child, to track their birth parents down.

Now, however, open adoptions are incredibly common. In an open adoption, there is the option of communication between the adoptive and birth parents. In some cases, the birth parents may actually select the adoptive parents that they want to raise their child and the birth parents may stay involved in the child’s life as they grow. The level of contact that families maintain with their adoptive children’s birth parents can vary greatly from case to case.

Closed adoptions are rare today, but not all parents seeking to adopt may be comfortable with open adoptions that keep their children’s birth parents in their lives. Individuals who would like to adopt, but are not sure of how to manage open and closed adoptions, may wish to discuss their concerns with family law attorneys that handle domestic Ohio adoptions.