Open Adoption with Your Child in California
Oftentimes, hopeful adoptive families and prospective birth mothers have questions about the knowledge an adopted child will have about their adoption story. Both sides question the level of communication and involvement they will have with each other post-placement. Some of those questions may include:
- When will the child find out they were adopted?
- How will the adoptive family talk about their child’s birth parents?
- Will the birth mother be involved in our child’s life?
We hear questions like these and more often, which is why American Adoptions encourages all hopeful adoptive families and prospective birth mothers to pursue an open adoption in California. Through open adoption, adoptees are made aware of their adoptive story early and often. Birth parents are spoken of positively and in most cases, are directly involved in the child’s life.
But, how does open adoption in California work?
This guide explains:
- The different levels of openness involved in an adoption
- What open adoption in California is
- How it works
- And the positive impacts it can bring
Anytime you have questions about the levels of openness involved in an adoption, or any other adoption-related questions, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak to a professional from American Adoptions to get the answers you are looking for.
As one of the largest domestic infant adoption professionals in the United States, we fully understand, support, and encourage private open adoption, and would love to assist you in any way possible.
Until then, continue reading to learn more about open adoption in California.
Levels of Openness During Adoption
Whether you are an adoptive family or a prospective birth mother, when you choose adoption, you are in complete control of openness involved throughout the process and post-placement.
But what do we mean by “openness” and how does open adoption in California work?
When we use the term “openness,” we mean the level of identifiable information shared, as well as the amount of communication and personal interaction that occur during the adoption process, and after placement.
For domestic adoption, there are three levels: open, semi-open, and closed. Depending upon which level you choose, will determine how it will work throughout your adoption. Continue reading to learn more about each type and to determine which type is right for you.
What is Open Adoption in California?
As a birth mother or an adoptive family, when you are involved in an open adoption, you are willing to share identifying information, such as full names, addresses, contact information, and more. The purpose of open adoption is to begin and build a relationship between the adoptive family and the birth parents, with hopes of continuing that relationship after placement occurs.
There are many benefits for all parties involved when you pursue an open adoption in California. Some of those benefits include:
For birth mothers: When considering open adoption, if you place your child with a family that is also pursuing open adoption, you will have the opportunity to remain involved in your child’s life. This helps ease the concerns you may have about never seeing your child again, or knowing how they grow up, as you will be there every step of the way. You will have the opportunity to tell your adoption story, and how you made your decision out of love for your child.
For adoptive families: Open adoption in California helps you make sure your child’s adoption story is never a secret or unexpected reveal, as it is a topic that is discussed early and often throughout childhood. Because you will have a relationship with the birth parents, it makes obtaining any medical history or answering any questions about your child’s parents much easier.
For adopted children: Growing up knowing they are adopted, while having a relationship with their birth parents, helps adoptees fully understand the decision their birth parents made. It provides the child a better understanding of the love and support they have at home with their adoptive family, while also giving them access to a larger support system. An adopted child doesn’t have to wonder why they were adopted or what their birth mother was like, they will know firsthand from their birth parents.
Much like any relationship, open adoptions take work, trust, and communication. As the adopted child grows old, the level of involvement may change, so all parties must be willing to adapt to the needs of the specific situation. Open adoption professionals in California, like American Adoptions, are here to help facilitate communication and meetings early on in the adoption process and can also play a role post-placement.
Because there is a lot to consider, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of open adoption. American Adoptions is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about how open adoption benefits everyone involved, and can provide you with facts about open adoption. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form today to get more information.
What is a semi-open adoption?
A semi-open adoption is an adoption that features similar qualities to that of fully open adoption, but with more restrictions. These restrictions include no identifying information being shared, and all communication being facilitated by adoption professionals.
Through calls, emails, emails, letters, pictures, and more, a semi-open adoption allows birth parents to remain updated as their child grows. Much like an open adoption, the level of semi-openness will vary, and it may fluctuate as the child grows. Adoptive families can limit the amount of contact or updates provided at any given time, just like birth mothers may reduce the amount of contact they prefer.
Semi-open adoption may be your best option if you want to stay up to date with your baby, but are not fully comfortable with open adoption, or if you are an adoptive family that would prefer to have more control of the level of communication involved.
Call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a professional and to determine if a semi-open adoption would be best for your adoptive goals.
What is a closed adoption?
While early adoptions used to be secretive, heavily judged decisions, these days, adoption has evolved into being a fairly socially accepted and talked about experience. The majority of adoptions include some form of openness, but even so, closed adoptions do still exist and are an option for you to consider.
Closed adoption is when no identifiable information is given and there is no direct contact between the adoptive family and birth parents, during the adoption, or after placement occurs. A closed adoption is an option you may consider, but keep in mind, this will make it very difficult for adoptive families to find information about medical history, or if the adopted child asks questions about their family history or birth parents. It will also make it difficult, to impossible for your child to ever find you.
The reasons an adoptive family or birth mother may want to pursue a closed adoption will vary. Adoptive families sometimes feel having a relationship with the birth parents may confuse the adoptee, and birth mothers may feel the emotional pain of a relationship with their baby is too much to handle.
Whatever the reason may be, it is a personal decision, one only you can make.
Deciding What is Best for You
American Adoptions strongly encourages all of our adoptive families and prospective birth mothers to pursue an open adoption in California, as the benefits are nearly endless. We also want you to feel completely comfortable throughout this life-changing decision. For more information about adoption, or to determine which type of adoption is right for you, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a trained professional.
American Adoptions of California operates as an adoption facilitator and partners with a California affiliate agency providing local agency services.
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