Open Adoption in Indiana
What is an Open Adoption, and How Does It Work in IN?
While you are considering placing your child for adoption, you may have heard of a process called an open adoption. But, what exactly is it, and what does open adoption mean in Indiana?
While there is no one open adoption definition, there are some common similarities in all open adoptions. An open adoption is simply a way in which expectant mothers and adoptive parents share contact when a child is placed for adoption. This path is a great option for many women who wish to place their child for adoption but still want to remain in contact as their child grows up. This is also known as a full-disclosure, or fully open, adoption.
In this type of adoption, there is a direct relationship between the prospective birth parent and the adoptive family. You can keep in contact with each other as little or as often as you wish. This method helps to nurture the relationship between the birth parent and the adopted child, and it is also a reason why many women know that adoption in Indiana is right for them.
There are many open adoption stories from birth mothers expressing just how much an open adoption means to them. The benefits of of an open adoption will impact you for a lifetime. You will still be able to love your child the way you always wanted to — whether that is through gifts, phone calls, seeing each other in person, or whatever else your open adoption agreement entails. You will also be able to share important family information that would have otherwise been missing or forgotten.
What Is it Like to Have a Closed Adoption?
You may ask: Do I have to have an open adoption in Indiana?
The answer is no. You may choose a more closed-contact adoption instead.
Having a closed adoption is another way to place your child with an adoptive family. Basically, during this process, very little information about yourself will be shared with the adoptive family. While you may still choose an adoptive family for your baby, you will not have the same opportunities to get to know them prior to and after your baby’s birth.
While some women are still choosing closed adoption in Indiana, it has become much more common today to have an open adoption. A closed adoption will make it more difficult for your child to understand why they were placed for adoption. In addition to this, children in a closed adoption will lack important information when it comes to their medical and family history.
Of course, this can change if the birth parent and adoptee choose to meet later in life, but this reunion often does not happen until an adoptee is an adult.
Can I Only Pick Between the Two Options?
If you wish to only have a small amount of contact with the adoptive family, you are able to choose yet another option called a semi-open or mediated adoption. In this process, the relationship between yourself and the adoptive family will typically be mediated by an agency caseworker or a lawyer. You will not have to share identifying information or direct contact with the adoptive parents.
If you are thinking about this option, American Adoptions is happy to coordinate the sending of pictures and letters from you to your child (and vice versa) until they are 18 years of age. We are also able to hold any correspondence from the adoptive parents at our agency until you are ready to receive it.
- Your and the birth father’s first names
- Any amount of medical history about yourself and your family (with identifying information redacted)
- Pictures and letters via your adoption counselor
This type of adoption can alleviate some of the pressures of choosing between a closed and open adoption. If you are interested in learning more about a semi-open or mediated adoption, an adoption specialist will be happy to help if you call 1-800-ADOPTION
What Are the Benefits of an Open Adoption?
Open adoptions are a wonderful way to stay in contact with your child over the course of their life. Naturally, those that have been adopted will have questions about their background. They will want to learn not only about you but about the rest of their biological family. Having an open relationship will allow your child to gain a better sense of self, and they will have a stronger connection to their birth family.
Having an open adoption in Indiana gives those that have been adopted:
- A deeper understanding of their cultural and ethnic heritage
- A stronger identity as they learn more about their background
- The chance to connect with any possible biological siblings, grandparents, and other relatives
- A better understanding of why they were placed for adoption, creating a better relationship between the birth parent and the adoptee
There are also many benefits for you when it comes to choosing an open adoption in Indiana. You may continue to experience different stages of grief and loss over the course of your life. Choosing an open adoption can help you cope with these feelings. The opportunity to watch your child grow over the years can also help you heal and give you a better piece of mind. Seeing your child happy and healthy with their adoptive parents can reassure you that you made the right choice.
For adoptive parents, there may be some preconceived ideas about what an open adoption is. However, many adoptive parents become more familiar with the process as they experience it. Through open adoption, adoptive parents will be able to:
- Ask questions the child might have about their birth family
- Have a better relationship with the child’s birth family
- Improve their understanding of the reason for the child’s placement
Is an Open Adoption Right for Me?
While there are many strong benefits to an open adoption, it may not be the best option for everyone. In some cases, maintaining a relationship between the birth and adoptive parents is not the best option for the child. This can happen if the birth parent is incapable of having a healthy relationship with the adoptive family or wants to protect their child from dangerous information, birth family and situations. Additionally, a closed adoption may be better suited for prospective birth parents who believe a clean break will help them heal from adoption.
Post-Adoption Contact Agreement
A post-adoption contact agreement (PACA) is an agreement that allows for specified contact between the birth parent and the adoptive parents. For an open adoption in Indiana, the agreement must contain the following:
- An acknowledgement by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the birth parents do not follow the PACA
- An acknowledgement by the adoptive parents that the birth parents have the right to seek enforcement of the privileges granted by the established agreement
The birth parent or adoptive family may file a petition with the court in order for the birth parent or adoptive family to comply with the post-adoption contact agreement. However, it’s important to involve an adoption attorney in this process. Our adoption specialists can connect you with free legal representation if you are interested in creating a legally binding open adoption contract.
Please visit the Child Welfare Information website to learn more about post-adoption contact agreements in Indiana.
To learn more about the open adoption process, or to start learning about adoption in general, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information from our website at any time.
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.