Open Adoption in Arizona: What You Need to Know
How Arizona Open Adoption Works
If you are a birth family interested in maintaining a relationship with your child after you place them for adoption, then an open adoption in Arizona may be right for you. Here are some facts about open adoption vs. closed adoption in Arizona.
What You Need to Know About Closed Adoption in Arizona
In Arizona, a closed adoption is when very little to no identifying information about the birth family is given to the adoptive family and vice versa. This was once thought to be the best option for everyone involved in an adoption. For many years, it was common to believe this was beneficial for all parties, but that belief has since been disproven, except when the child’s safety is at risk.
When closed adoptions 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 and no knowledge of why they were placed for adoption. With no identifying 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 Arizona
Thankfully, closed adoptions are not very common today. Actually, almost 90 percent of adoptions in Arizona are now open to some extent.
Many people wonder what is involved in an open adoption in Arizona. How involved is the birth mother? The short answer is that open adoption is anything you want it to be. These adoptions lie on a scale of openness.
For example, “semi-open” adoptions lie on the less-open side of the scale. These adoptions usually involve exchanging basic information, such as:
First names of the birth and adoptive families
Medical history of both birth parents (if known)
Basic communication through American Adoptions, such as letters, emails, photos, or whatever you feel comfortable with. This can be facilitated by American Adoptions without having to share identifying information. American Adoptions provides this service for up to 18 years.
More open adoptions in Arizona may include:
Sharing both parties’ contact information, such as email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers. This will help everyone stay in touch easily.
Direct contact through 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 we show you are ready to enter in an open adoption. This means they are willing to exchange contact information for direct contact, share photos and letters for the next 18 years, arrange an in-person visit with you and your child after placement, and more. Ultimately, it is up to you and the adoptive family to decide how open you want your Arizona adoption to be.
What Is Open Adoption in Arizona (and What Isn’t It)?
There are many misunderstandings about what open adoption in Arizona is. Here are some of the truths:
Open adoption isn’t 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 lifelong bond with your child and the adoptive family.
Arizona open adoptions are beneficial to the birth parents, as this will help them heal post-placement. They can watch their child grow up healthy and loved, and ease the worries they may have about their adoption decision. Through open adoption in Arizona, 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 AZ.
Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Arizona?
Arizona is one of the states that allows post-adoption contract agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive families. These are legally enforced agreements to maintain the contact originally agreed upon in the Arizona open adoption.
Fortunately, PACAs are rarely needed; the birth and adoptive families are usually committed to maintaining open communication without any encouragement.
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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