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What You Can Expect from an Open Adoption in Arkansas

If you are considering adoption for your baby, there’s a good chance you also have questions about open adoption. Most people aren’t very familiar with open adoption, so it’s okay to feel confused or even scared by the idea.

Before we get into the details, it’s important you know some background info. Adoption used to be a source of secrecy and shame for birth mothers, which essentially ruled out the possibility of a lifelong connection with their babies and the adoptive families. Thankfully, those days are behind us. Today, American Adoptions and the majority of other professionals celebrate openness in adoption and all the beauty it can bring.

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.

What is Open Adoption in Arkansas?

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, but there are other options for those who would prefer a more structured relationship.

What is Semi-Open Adoption in Arkansas Like?

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
  • Email exchanges
  • 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?

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 closed adoption in Arkansas isn’t generally recommended, and 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.

Sometimes a prospective birth mother feels that it would be better for her to completely close that chapter in her life, in which case she 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?

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 postadoption 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. Wherever 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.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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