Many expectant parents who are considering adoption are unaware of the facts of open adoption vs closed adoption in Oregon. But this is extremely important if you’re interested in sharing a relationship with your child and their family after the adoption.
You can choose how much or how little contact you’d like to have with your child after the adoption is complete. Learning about open adoptions in OR can help you decide if this is something you’d like in your adoption.
First, you should know that closed adoptions have been the norm in adoptions up until the last two decades or so. A closed adoption meant that an adopted person and their family received little to no information about the birth family, and the birth family received little to no information about what happened to the child after the adoption. This was considered helpful to protect birth parent privacy in a time when adoptions were sadly seen as shameful and secretive.
The lack of information meant that birth and adoptive families were rarely able to find one another after the adoption if they ever decided they wished to get back in touch or search for one another. This meant that adoptees were left without medical information and history, and everyone involved was left without answers to questions.
Today, closed adoptions are increasingly rare, with nine out of ten adoptions being open or semi-open. Studies have shown that increased openness in adoptions is noticeably beneficial for birth parents and adoptive parents, but especially for adoptees.
However, there are still many persisting myths about open adoption in Oregon, as many people don’t understand how open adoptions work or birth mother rights in an open adoption.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to have an open adoption because the communication within OR open adoptions typically evolves naturally over time just like any relationship. Open adoptions in Oregon will usually be on a scale between closed to semi-open to open. This all just depends on how much communication you feel comfortable having after the adoption in complete. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.
When a birth and adoptive family have an open adoption in OR, they might communicate through:
Again, it’s all just a matter of what you’re comfortable with. As a prospective birth parent working with American Adoptions, you decide how much or how little post-adoption contact you’d like to have. You can have a very open adoption, a more closed adoption, or somewhere in between.
All adoptive families who work with American Adoptions are ready to share an open adoption with you that would include a minimum of sharing their contact information with you for direct communication before and after placement, photos and letters for up to 18 years, a visit with you in Oregon after the adoption and more. This is the minimum that our adoptive parents must meet, but you’re free to have more or less openness in your open adoption, if that’s what you’d prefer.
It’s because of the many lingering misconceptions about open adoption in Oregon that so many people have an inaccurate vision of modern adoption. Here are some of the basics of open adoption in OR:
Open adoption DOES mean that you can stay a part of your child’s life.
Open adoption DOESN’T mean that you’ll be co-parenting your child alongside their parents, or that you’ll have partial custody.
Open adoption DOES mean you can see your child growing up loved by their family, and never wonder what their life was like.
Open adoption DOES NOT confuse a child about their “real parents” just because their birth parents are a part of their life.
Open adoption DOES allow your child to ask you questions about their adoption that they may not be able to have answered by their parents.
American Adoptions encourages open adoptions whenever situations allow, because research continues to show that open adoptions are beneficial for everyone involved, but most importantly, for adoptees.
Thankfully, most birth and adoptive families communicate easily and consistently without needing any formal contract like a PACA, so this is rarely necessary.
American Adoptions is vigilant in counseling both birth and adoptive families about how important it is to honor communication agreements in open adoptions. We’re also happy to hold any correspondence for up to 18 years if one party ever loses touch with the other, in case they wish to contact us and have that communication again.
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