Open Adoption in Ohio

What is an Open Adoption, and How Does it Work in OH?

Have you wondered if you could maintain a relationship with your child and his or her adoptive family after the adoption is complete? The answer is yes if you choose an open adoption. Here’s what you should know about open adoption vs. closed adoption in Ohio:

The Facts about Closed Adoptions in Ohio

Closed adoptions in Ohio allow little to no identifying information about the birth parents to be shared with the adoptive parents and the adoptee. For many years, this was the standard. But this was because it was once (falsely) believed that ceasing contact between the birth and adoptive family would be best for everyone involved.

The birth parents had no information about the child that they had placed for adoption. The adoptee had no medical history and no answers as to why they were placed for adoption in the first place.  If birth and adoptive families wished to contact each other later in life, the lack of information available made it difficult or impossible to find one another.

The Facts about Open Adoptions in Ohio

Today, nine of 10 adoptions are open adoptions.

Experts have agreed that increased openness in adoption is directly linked to the overall happiness and wellbeing of birth parents, adoptive parents, and most of all (and most importantly), the adoptee. This is why American Adoptions encourages open adoptions whenever possible.

Here’s what you should know about open adoption in Ohio:

Open adoptions lie on a scale, ranging from “more open” to “less open,” or “semi-open.” A more open and flexible adoption might involve:

  • Swapping contact information so that birth and adoptive family can keep in touch easier

  • Sharing direct communication through phone calls, text, video chat, letters, emails and more

  • Visits to see one another

  • Anything else both parties feel comfortable with in their open adoption

Other birth mothers prefer to have a less open, or a “semi-open” adoption. This can include:

  • Sharing first names only

  • Providing the adoptive family with the birth parent(s) medical history for the adoptee

  • Communication with each other through American Adoptions so that no contact information is shared, to whatever extent you’re comfortable with

Each open adoption in Ohio has a unique relationship. Yours can look however you want your open adoption to look!

Breaking Apart the Ohio Open Adoption Stereotypes

There are countless myths about open adoption in modern society. Here’s how open adoptions in Ohio actually work:

  • Adopted children in open adoptions are not confused about who their “real parents” are

  • Birth and adoptive parents do not “co-parent” their child

  • Adoptees can ask birth parents about their adoption directly and never live with questions

  • Birth parents can see their child growing up loved and well-cared for with their family instead of living with ‘what-if’s

  • Adoptive families and birth families often share a relationship for a lifetime

  • Open adoptions can be as open and flexible or as structured as you wish them to be

An Ohio open adoption simply allows the lines of communication to remain open between birth and adoptive families, allowing you to stay linked through your child.

Is an Open Adoption in Ohio Legally Enforceable?

While Ohio is a state that does allow Post Adoption Contact Agreements (PACAs), they are not legally binding. They’re an informal agreement between the birth and adoptive families that can be referenced when talking about what types and frequency of communication originally discussed when agreeing to an open adoption together.

However, birth and adoptive parents rarely need reminders to stay in touch as originally promised; everyone is usually happy to do so. American Adoptions educates birth and adoptive parents about how crucial it is to honor one’s word in an open adoption. We hold on to any correspondence for up to 18 years after the adoption if contact is ever accidentally lost between birth and adoptive families, in case one party contacts us hoping to reconnect with each other.

You can find out more about open adoption in Ohio by calling 1-800-ADOPTION, or view open adoption profiles of parents here.





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