How You Can Have an Open Adoption in Oklahoma
Modern adoptions mean that you can choose to keep in touch with your child and their family after the adoption, if you want. You can choose to have an open adoption in Oklahoma, so that you can continue to have a relationship that lasts long after your adoption is complete.
The following guide contains information about open adoption vs closed adoption in Oklahoma.
If you’re ready to talk to one of our adoption specialists, you can contact us today by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or filling out our free online form.
A Long History of Closed Adoption in Oklahoma
Up until the last couple of decades, almost all adoptions in Oklahoma and the United States were closed adoptions. This meant that there was little to no information exchanged between birth parents and adoptive parents or adoptees. During a time when adoption was seen as something to be ashamed of, closed adoption was believed to be the best way to maintain privacy for birth parents.
But because there was so little information available within the adoption, birth and adoptive family members were almost never able to find one another if they wanted to get to know each other years later. Birth parents were left wondering if the child they’d placed for adoption had grown up happy and healthy. Adoptees never knew why they were placed for adoption and had no medical history to help themselves or their own children.
Why Open Adoptions in Oklahoma Have Become the Standard
Today, research has shown that increased openness in adoption is beneficial for birth and adoptive parents alike, but most of all, for adoptees. Nine out of ten birth parents now choose to have an open or semi-open adoption with their child and their child’s family.
But despite how common open adoption in Oklahoma has become, there are still a number of myths about open adoption. Specifically, many still have questions about birth mother rights in open adoption in OK.
There is no one set way to have an open adoption. Open adoptions in Oklahoma are flexible, naturally changing over time as most relationships do. Most fall on a scale somewhere between closed to semi-open to open. You can learn more about semi-open adoption here.
You can choose how much or how little communication you wish to share in an open adoption in Oklahoma, but most birth and adoptive families share at least some of the following:
Contact information like email addresses or phone numbers so they can share direct communication
Exchanging phone calls, emails, letters, photos, and more
Prospective birth parents working with American Adoptions can choose to have more or less post-adoption contact, depending on their comfort level.
Adoptive families who work with American Adoptions are required to be prepared to share an open adoption with birth family that includes a minimum of providing their contact information, sending letters and photos for up to 18 years, visiting Oklahoma after the adoption is complete and more.
Birth parents may decide that they want more or less openness than that in their adoption, but this is the minimum standard that we require of our adoptive parents.
Understanding the Realities of Open Adoption in OK
If you don’t know very much about how open adoptions in Oklahoma work, the following basics with help give you a clearer understanding of what open adoptions do and do not mean:
Open adoptions DO mean that your child can ask you questions about their adoption or history that their parents may not be able to answer.
Open adoptions DON’T mean that your child will get confused about who their “real parents” are.
Open adoptions DO mean you’ll stay an important part of your child’s life.
Open adoptions DON’T mean co-parenting your child with their parents.
Open adoptions DO mean you can watch your child grow up.
Open adoptions DON’T mean you have the option to “get the baby back.”
Open adoptions DO allow you and your child’s parents to stay close long after the adoption is complete.
American Adoptions recommends choosing open adoption in Oklahoma whenever individual circumstances allow due to the evidence that openness in adoptions has been shown to be beneficial for birth parents, adoptive parents, and especially for adoptees.
Can You Legally Enforce Open Adoptions in Oklahoma?
Post-adoption contact agreements (PACAs) are not often legally binding or legally enforceable in the state of Oklahoma. Only in specific situations are PACAs considered binding or enforceable by a court order, so contact your adoption attorney if you have any questions.
Fortunately, though, legally enforceable PACAs are rarely necessary. Most birth and adoptive families are happy to communicate consistently and informally without the need for legal prompting.
American Adoptions is diligent in counseling both birth and adoptive parents about the importance of honoring open adoption communication agreements together. We’ll also hold onto correspondence for up to 18 years after an adoption if one party falls out of touch with the other, just in case they ask to regain contact.
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