If you’re interested in having a relationship with your child after the adoption, then you may want to learn more about open adoption vs closed adoption in Massachusetts. You have the option to choose which type of adoption you prefer, and it comes down to the amount of contact you decide to share with your child and their family after the adoption is complete. Here’s what you should know about open adoptions in MA:
Closed adoptions were considered the norm in adoptions up until the last couple decades. When an adoption was closed, it meant that an adopted person and their family would receive little to no information about their birth parents and personal background. This was done in an effort to protect birth parent privacy in an era when adoption was falsely viewed as something to be ashamed of.
The lack of information made it difficult for birth and adoptive family members to locate one another after the adoption if they ever wished to reunite or get in touch. Birth parents never knew if the child they’d placed for adoption grew up happy with their family, and adoptees never received answers about why they were placed for adoption, nor did they have any medical history to help themselves or their own children.
Nine out of ten adoptions today are open or semi-open. This is generally viewed as an overwhelmingly positive change, as studies show that an increase in openness is beneficial for everyone involved in the adoption, but most of all, for the adoptee.
But due to many lingering myths about open adoption in Massachusetts, many people have questions about how open adoptions work. Women considering adoption often don’t understand birth mother rights in an open adoption.
There’s no single way to have an open adoption, as contact in MA open adoptions often naturally evolves over time. Most open adoptions in Massachusetts fall somewhere on a scale between closed to semi-open to open. It all depends on how much contact you feel comfortable having after the adoption. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.
Most contact shared between birth and adoptive families through open adoptions in MA includes:
Contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Direct communication in any form but often including letters, phone calls, emails, and more.
Prospective birth parents who work with American Adoptions are free to decide the amount of post-adoption contact they wish to have, be it open, closed or somewhere in between. All of the adoptive families that we work with are prepared to share an open adoption with birth parents that includes a minimum of sending photos and letters for up to 18 years, providing their contact information for direct communication both before and after placement, a visit to Massachusetts after the adoption and more.
While that’s the minimum that we require of adoptive parents, you can decide if you prefer to have a more or less open adoption. As a potential birth parent, you’re the one to decide how open or closed you’d like your adoption to be, so choose whatever you feel most comfortable and happy with.
The misconceptions that surround open adoption in Massachusetts have made it difficult for many people to distinguish fact from fiction. The following are some quick facts about open adoption in MA:
An open adoption DOES mean that you’re able to see your child grow up happy and loved.
An open adoption DOES NOT confuse a child about who their “real parents” are just because they love their birth parents.
An open adoption DOES give you the opportunity to remain an important part of your child’s life forever.
An open adoption DOES NOT mean that you will be co-parenting your child with their parents.
An open adoption DOES mean that your child will be able to turn to you for questions about their adoption that their parents may not be able to answer for them.
Research has shown that increased openness in adoptions is beneficial for birth parents and adoptive parents, but for adoptees in particular. American Adoptions always recommends open adoptions whenever circumstances allow.
Fortunately, formal contacts like PACAs are rarely necessary, as most birth and adoptive families are happy to communicate regularly without supervision or prompting.
American Adoptions carefully counsels both birth and adoptive parents about the importance of respecting their open adoption communication agreements. If either party even loses touch with the other, we can hold their correspondence for up to 18 years after the adoption in case they ever wish to resume communication with the other party.
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