What are the differences between an open adoption vs. closed adoption in South Carolina? It’s all about the contact you have after placement. If you’d like to have a relationship with your child after the adoption, then you may want to learn more about open adoptions in SC. Here’s what you should know:
Up until the last couple decades, most adoptions were closed. A closed adoption in South Carolina and the U.S. meant that adopted children and their families received little to no information about birth parents. In an era when adoption was falsely viewed as something to be ashamed of, closed adoptions were believed to protect birth parents’ privacy.
But a closed adoption meant that nobody involved in the adoption had much information after the child was placed. Birth parents spent the rest of their lives not knowing whether the child they’d placed had grown up happy with their family. Adoptees never knew why they were placed for adoption, and had no biological health records to aid themselves or their own children. Birth and adoptive family members were rarely able to find one another if they wished to reunite later on due to the lack of shared information permitted in closed adoptions.
Today, nine out of ten adoptions are open or semi-open. This shift in thinking is a welcome one; studies show that increased openness in adoptions is beneficial for both birth and adoptive parents, but most of all the adoptee.
Hover, there are many persisting myths about open adoption in South Carolina, and many people have questions about what is involved in this type of adoption, including birth mother rights in an open adoption.
There’s no set way to have an open adoption. South Carolina open adoptions are flexible and often evolve naturally over time. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with. Open adoptions in South Carolina typically exist on a scale that ranges from closed to semi-open to open. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.
In most open adoptions in South Carolina, birth and adoptive families share:
Their contact information so that they can get in touch easily, such as email addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Direct communication in any form, such as letters, emails, photos, phone calls, or text
All birth parents who work with American Adoptions choose whether they prefer to have an adoption that’s open, closed or anywhere in between. The adoptive families we work with are all ready to have an open adoption that involves, at minimum, sending photos and letters for 18 years, giving their contact information for direct communication before and after placement, a visit to South Carolina after the adoption and more.
That’s the minimum that we require from our adoptive parents, but you’re welcome to decide if you’d like your adoption to be more or less open than that. Remember: the level of openness and the amount of post-adoption communication in your adoption is the decision of the birth parent(s), so choose whatever you feel comfortable and happy with.
There are many misconceptions about what an open adoption in South Carolina really is. These are some of the basic facts about open adoption, and what an open adoption isn’t:
Open adoptions DO give you the opportunity to see your child growing up happy and well-loved.
Open adoptions DON’T mean co-parenting your child with their parents.
Open adoptions DO give you an important role in your child’s life forever.
Open adoptions DON’T confuse children about who their “real parents” are just because their birth parents are involved in their lives.
Open adoptions DO allow your child to talk to you directly about their adoption.
By choosing an open adoption in South Carolina, you and the adoptive family can remain an important part of each other’s lives forever.
Post-adoption contact agreements (PACAs) are legal in the state of South Carolina, but they do not affect the validity of the final decree of adoption, nor does a PACA preserve the parental rights of biological parents after they’ve issued their consent to the adoption. PACAs are not legally enforceable in a South Carolina court, according to state adoption laws.
PACAs are rarely necessary, though, since most birth and adoptive families are able to communicate consistently on their own without the need for a formal contract to dictate when and how to communicate.
American Adoptions counsels birth and adoptive parents about the importance of respecting communication agreements in open adoption. If the two parties ever lose communication, American Adoptions can hold correspondence for up to 18 years in case the missing party resurfaces and asks to get back in touch.
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