Open Adoption in Colorado
Do you wish to have a relationship with your child after the adoption? Then you may want to consider an open adoption vs. closed adoption in Colorado. Here are the basics about open adoptions in CO:
The Era of Closed Adoption in Colorado
Until the last couple of decades, closed adoptions were the norm. Closed adoptions in Colorado and throughout the United States provided little to no information about birth parents to adopted children and their families. It was believed that this was the best way to protect birth parents’ privacy during a time when adoption was looked upon as something shameful and secretive.
However, closed adoptions meant that birth parents were unable to know the child they’d placed and what became of them. Adoptees had no biological health history to help themselves or their own children, and they were unable to receive answers to their questions about why they were placed for adoption. The lack of information in closed adoptions made it difficult for birth and adoptive family members to locate one another if they ever wished to get in contact later in life.
Moving Toward Open Adoption in Colorado
Ninety percent of adoptions today are considered open adoptions or semi-open adoptions. This is a welcome shift, as studies have revealed that increased openness in adoption is healthier for everyone involved, most of all the adoptee.
But there are many misconceptions about open adoption in Colorado, as well as many questions about what’s involved in these types of adoptions and birth mother rights in an open adoption.
There are no “rules” to follow for an open adoption; Colorado open adoptions can be whatever you want them to be. Open adoptions fall on scale that ranges from closed to semi-open to open. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.
In an open adoption in Colorado, the birth and adoptive family often share:
Contact information to allow for direct and easy communication, such as your email and/or mailing addresses or phone numbers.
Direct communication through any form, often via photos, emails, letters, calls, text and more.
Whatever else everyone feels comfortable sharing.
Birth parents who work with American Adoptions can opt to have an adoption as open or closed as they prefer. All adoptive families that we work with are comfortable with an open adoption that includes a minimum of sharing photos and letters for 18 years, offering their contact information for direct communication before and after placement, a visit to Colorado post-placement and more.
While that’s the minimum we require from our adoptive parents, you’re free to decide how open you’d like your adoption to be, which may include more or less contact at any point during or after the adoption process. You can choose whatever amount of openness and post-adoption communication that makes you comfortable and happy.
Understanding What Open Adoption in CO Is (and What it Isn’t)
Like most people, you’ve probably heard some myths about open adoption in Colorado. These basic facts about open adoption may help clear away the misunderstandings:
Open adoptions DO give you the opportunity to have special role in your child’s life and family forever.
Open adoptions DON’T mean that you’ll be co-parenting your child along with their parents.
Open adoptions DO give your child and their parents the option to talk to you directly about their adoption.
Open adoptions DON’T confuse children about their “real parents” just because their birth parents are an important part of their lives.
Open adoptions DO let you watch your child grow up happy and loved.
Open adoptions in Colorado ensure that birth and adoptive families can stay in each other’s lives forever.
Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Colorado?
There are currently no Colorado adoption laws regarding post-adoption contract agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive families. Some states permit these contracts to be legally binding to help both parties maintain the agreed-upon amount of communication in an open adoption.
As Colorado doesn’t currently have any legislation about PACAs, they’re not legally enforceable within the state. But PACAs aren’t usually needed, as most adoptive and birth families are both happy to communicate consistently on their own without the need for formal contracts.
American Adoptions thoroughly counsels both birth and adoptive families about the seriousness of honoring communication agreements in open adoption. If contact is ever lost between the two parties for any reason, American Adoptions will hold any correspondence for up to 18 years in case the missing party contacts us and wishes to get back in touch.
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