Open Adoption in Alabama
Have a Relationship with Your Baby After Placing Them for Adoption
If you are a prospective birth parent interested in maintaining a relationship with your child after you place them for adoption, then an open adoption in Alabama may be right for you. Here are some facts behind open adoption vs. closed adoption in Alabama, so you can decide what type of relationship you want with your child going forward.
What You Need to Know About Closed Adoption in Alabama
In Alabama and throughout the United States, closed adoption was once thought to be the best option for everyone involved in the adoption. A closed adoption is when very little to no identifying information about the birth family is given to the adoptive family and adopted child (and vice versa). It was common to believe this was beneficial for all parties in a time period when adoption was unfairly considered to be embarrassing or secretive.
When closed adoptions in Alabama were common, birth parents were left never knowing if their child was growing up happy and healthy with a loving family. Adoptees were left with no medical history or knowledge of why they were placed for adoption. Without this information, it was very difficult for the birth child and birth parents to meet up later in life, if desired.
What You Need to Know About Open Adoption in Alabama
Thankfully, closed adoptions in Alabama are quite uncommon today. Actually, almost 90 percent of adoptions in Alabama are now open or semi-open.
Many people wonder how involved the birth mother is in an open adoption in Alabama. What else is involved? Basically, open adoption is anything you want it to be. These adoptions lie on a scale of openness.
For example, “semi-open” adoptions in Alabama usually involve exchanging basic information. This allows the birth and adoptive families to stay in touch without disclosing identifying information. Information you might share:
- First names of the birth and adoptive families
- Medical history of both birth parents (if known)
- Contact mediated by American Adoptions, such as letters, emails, photos, or whatever you feel is needed. This can be facilitated by American Adoptions without having to share identifying information. American Adoptions provides this service for up to 18 years after placement.
More open adoptions in Alabama may include:
- Sharing both parties’ contact information, such as email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers. This will help everyone stay in touch easily.
- Regular phone calls, texts, video chats, photos and more
- Visits on special occasions, such as holidays and birthdays
- Whatever else you both feel comfortable sharing with each other
When you work with American Adoptions, all families that work through our agency are ready to enter in an open adoption in Alabama. This means they want to exchange phone numbers and email addresses for direct contact, arrange an in-person visit with you and your child after placement, share photos and letters for the next 18 years, and more. American Adoptions sets these standards for open adoption, but ultimately, it is up to you and the adoptive family to decide how open you want your Alabama adoption to be.
What Open Adoption in Alabama is (and What It Isn’t)
There are many misunderstandings about what open adoption is in Alabama. Here are some of the truths:
- Open adoption does not involve co-parenting. The adoptive parents have all parental rights.
- Open adoptions are a wonderful way to watch your child grow up happy and loved.
- Open adoptions allow you to share personal and medical history with your child, as well as information about their adoption and heritage.
- Open adoptions can create a life-long bond with your child and the adoptive family.
Alabama open adoptions are valuable to birth parents, as this ongoing contact can help them heal post-placement. They can watch their child grow up healthy and loved, and ease the fears they may have about their adoption decision. Through open adoption in Alabama, birth and adoptive families remain connected and a part of each other’s lives.
American Adoptions agrees with the recommendation of experts that greater openness in adoption benefits all parties involved, especially the adoptee. Whenever possible, we recommend open adoptions in Alabama and throughout the U.S.
Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Alabama?
Some states allow post-adoption contract agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive families. These are legally-enforced agreements to maintain the contact originally agreed upon in the open adoption. Alabama does not enforce PACAs at this time.
However, fortunately, PACAs are rarely needed; the birth and adoptive families are usually committed to maintaining open communication without any encouragement from the court.
American Adoptions counsels both birth and adoptive families on the importance of following through on the open adoption agreement. If, for some reason, the families lose contact and one family is unable to reach the other, American Adoptions will hold all correspondence meant for them for up to 18 years, should they contact us and request the communication.
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