Should You Choose an Open Adoption in Utah?

You can have a relationship with your child after adoption with an open adoption. The following information can help you learn more about open adoption vs. closed adoption in Utah so you can decide if an open adoption in UT is right for you:

A Past of Closed Adoptions in Utah

A closed adoption is one where little to no information is exchanged between birth and adoptive parents. Closed adoptions were the norm up until the last couple of decades. In an era when adoptions were sadly viewed as something to be hidden, closed adoptions were thought to be the best way to protect birth parents’ privacy.

But closed adoptions also meant that birth parents were left unable to find out what had happened to the child they’d placed. Adoptees received no biological health history to help themselves or their own children, and they never knew why they were placed for adoption. Birth and adoptive families in closed adoptions often struggled to find one another due to the lack of information if they wished to regain contact later on.

A Shift Toward Open Adoption in Utah

Today, 90 percent of adoptions are semi-open or open adoptions. Studies have shown that the increased openness in adoptions has led to happier birth and adoptive family relationships, but most of all, happier adoptees.

Despite this shift, there are still many myths and misunderstandings about open adoptions in Utah, and people may not fully understand birth mother rights in open adoption.

Utah open adoptions tend to fall somewhere on a scale between closed to semi-open to open. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.

There aren’t “rules” that an open adoption must follow. Utah open adoptions are flexible and are meant for birth and adoptive families to create whatever relationship works for everyone involved. You decide what you’re comfortable with.

In an open adoption in Utah, birth and adoptive families often share:

  • Their contact information so that they can easily communicate directly

  • Photos, phone calls, emails, letters, texts, or whatever is preferred

  • Family visits

  • And more

Birth parents with American Adoptions choose to have an adoption that’s as open or as closed as they prefer. Every adoptive family that we work with is comfortable with an open adoption that involves a minimum of sharing photos and letters for up to 18 years, exchanging their contact information for direct communication before and after placement, making a visit to Utah after placement and more.

This is the minimum that’s required for adoptive parents with American Adoptions, but you can decide if you’d like more or less contact than that. Birth parents are the ones who are in charge of deciding what kind of post-adoption relationship they feel most comfortable with.

Breaking Down the Facts of Open Adoption in UT

You’ve probably heard some of the common myths about open adoption in Utah. The following facts about open adoption may help you sort out the truth from the fiction. In Utah, open adoption:

  • Offers you the ability to continue to have a relationship with your child and their family forever.

  • Does not mean that you’ll be co-parenting your child with their parents.

  • Gives your child the ability to talk to you directly about their adoption.

  • Doesn’t confuse children about who their “real parents” are just because their birth parents are involved in their lives.

  • Lets you see your child growing up loved.

Whenever situations allow, American Adoptions encourages open adoptions in Utah. Evidence shows that more open adoptions are beneficial for everyone involved, but especially for adoptees.

Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Utah?

In order for a post-adoption contact agreement (PACA) to be legally enforceable in the state of Utah, in must be signed by each party and approved by the court prior to the finalization of the adoption to ensure that the agreement is in the best interest of the child.

Fortunately, PACAs are rarely necessary, since most adoptive and birth families are able to communicate easily on their own without needing any formal contracts prompting them to do so. American Adoptions works to counsel both birth and adoptive families about the importance of honoring a communication agreement in an open adoption.

If contact is lost between the two parties for any reason at any point, American Adoptions will hold any received correspondence for up to 18 years in the event that the missing party gets in touch.

You can learn more about open adoption in Utah and begin viewing open adoption parent profiles by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or requesting free adoption information online.

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