What You Can Expect from an Open Adoption in Arkansas
In most modern adoptions, a woman will decide to continue her relationship with her child and the adoptive family after placement. And depending on your situation, this could be the right option for you:
When you choose to have an open adoption, you can have as much contact you’re comfortable with.
Every adoption is unique. This means that you can make your open adoption plan whatever you want it to be.
Open adoptions are incredibly beneficial, not just for the adoptee but for you and the adoptive family as well.
If you are considering an open adoption in Arkansas for your baby, our specialists are here to help. We can answer whatever questions you may have about this adoption process and help you set up a plan that meets your needs and preferences. Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online for more information.
In the meantime, this guide will help you understand how a domestic open adoption works and what you can expect in your personal journey.
And for hopeful adoptive parents who would like to learn more about the process in Arkansas, please click here.
What is Open Adoption in Arkansas? [The Facts You Should Know]
So, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of open adoption when considering placing your unborn baby with another family. But, how exactly does this process work?
An open adoption occurs when a baby’s birth parents and the adoptive family share identifying information, before and after placement. They maintain contact with each other without the help of an adoption professional. The exact amount of contact — and the form it takes — can vary based on the preferences of everyone involved. An adoptive relationship is just like any other relationship; it can grow and evolve over time.
An open adoption in Arkansas benefits all sides of the adoptive triad:
Birth Parents: An open adoption allows a birth mom to maintain a relationship with her baby even as they grow up in their adoptive home. She doesn’t have to wonder how her child is doing, because she has access to that information in the months and years after placement. If a birth father is involved in the adoption, he can receive the same information and updates, too!
Adoptive Families: It’s not uncommon for adoptive families to believe that open adoption benefits birth parents more than adoptive parents. However, that’s not the case at all. First, hopeful families who are more accepting of contact with birth parents will have an easier time finding an adoption match. An open adoption will also allow them to keep up-to-date with the birth parents’ medical histories, which can be beneficial should any problems arise with the adopted child’s health.
Adoptees: A child that is adopted may feel that a large part of their identity is missing if they know little or nothing of their birth parents. An open adoption relationship gives them answers to any questions they may have, such as what their birth parents look like, how they laugh, or what kind of music they like. An adoptee will never have to wonder why they were placed for adoption, because they’ll hear the answer directly from their birth parent.
Studies show that some degree of openness in an adoption is preferable for everyone involved. Many birth mothers have found them to be extremely helpful on their path to healing.
“After two or three months… I realized they’re where they need to be, I was getting pictures, they were happy,” Janelle said. “Now, it’s almost been a year, and I miss them sometimes — I miss them all the time, and sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I had kept them — but I know it was the right choice.”
But if you realize that a fully open adoption isn’t right for you, that’s okay. There are other options for those who would prefer a more structured relationship.
What is Semi-Open Adoption in Arkansas Like? [Is it better to have less contact?]
A semi-open adoption involves more restrictive contact than a fully open adoption. In a semi-open adoption relationship, birth parents still maintain contact with an adoptive family, but all communication is typically facilitated by an adoption professional. Approximately 95 percent of today’s current domestic adoptions are semi-open or mediated.
Mediated contact may occur in several different ways:
Conference calls through the agency prior to placement
Personal visits before placement takes place
Interaction during the hospital stay
Regular picture and letter updates after placement
A semi-open adoption comes with most of the benefits of an open adoption, but allows for more structured contact should either the birth parents or adoptive parents prefer to communicate that way. Like with any other Arkansas open adoption relationship, you will be able to choose the contact methods and frequency that you are most comfortable with.
What is a Closed Adoption in Arkansas Like? [Is it Right for You?]
A closed adoption is the exact opposite of an open adoption. Little to no contact is shared between the prospective birth parents and adoptive family.
American Adoptions only works with families who are willing to share post-placement contact with their child’s birth parents, but that doesn’t mean a closed adoption isn’t an option for pregnant women. While the benefits with open adoption vs. closed adoption are clear, we do still help to complete closed adoptions when requested to by a prospective birth mother.
We can also understand that you might feel it best to completely close that chapter in your life, in which case you can agree to a closed adoption with an adoptive family. Because every adoption situation is unique, we will always respect what you feel is best for you in terms of open vs. closed adoption in Arkansas.
How Does an Open Adoption Work in Arkansas? [Making the Best Decision for You]
If you are interested in a private open adoption in Arkansas, our specialists can help you create the adoption relationship plan that is best for you. You will get to decide what kind of contact and how frequently you will share it with the adoptive parents, and your specialist will help make that happen by presenting you with waiting adoptive parents who have the same desires.
Arkansas state laws don’t address post-adoption contact agreements, but that doesn’t mean that open adoption in Arkansas is risky. On the contrary, our team works hard to educate adoptive parents about the importance of maintaining contact with you in the years to come. They will be thrilled for you to be a part of your child’s future, should you choose to place your baby for adoption with them!
We are always happy to answer any of your questions and provide as much information on open adoption in Arkansas as you want. Because of our personal experience with adoption —our staff is made up of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive families — we know that choosing the right amount of contact can be a difficult decision to make. But no matter where you are at in your decision-making process, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online to learn more. We are more than ready to help!
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