Should You Choose an Open Adoption in Kansas?
What is an Open Adoption, and is it Right for You?
If you are pregnant and considering an open adoption, you might be wondering how such a decision impacts your relationship with your child. These are a few examples:
Open adoption can keep you connected to your child.
Your child will know who you are and where he or she came from through open adoption.
Open adoption will show you the adoptive parents and their home is loving and safe for your baby
If you have questions about how this will work, you’re not alone. Many prospective birth mothers before you have had the same questions — and many have found the answers and reassurance they need through an open adoption in Kansas with American Adoptions.
The vast majority of domestic infant adoptions today include direct post-placement contact. This is a drastic shift from how things used to be, and a growing body of research confirms that open adoption can be highly beneficial to the prospective birth mother, adoptive family and child.
So, how does open adoption in Kansas work? And what is an open adoption vs. a closed adoption?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this guide.
If you’re ready to speak to an adoption professional to begin searching for the perfect adoptive family for your baby, our agency is here to help. You can call us anytime and speak with an adoption professional at 1-800-ADOPTION, get free information online or view current waiting families for adoption.
Hopeful adoptive families wanting information on how to adopt a child can contact us by filling out this form.
The History of Closed Adoptions in Kansas
While most Kansas adoptions today are open, that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, up until a few decades ago, closed adoptions were the norm.
Essentially, a closed adoption is one in which little to no identifying information about you is shared with the adoptive family and your child. This type of adoption was once believed to be the best option for everyone involved and was common for many years. The belief that closed adoptions are beneficial has since been disproven.
During the era of closed adoptions, birth parents never knew if their children grew up happy and healthy. Adoptees were left with no medical history, nor any explanation as to why they were placed for adoption. They were left to try to search for one another if they desired to meet later in life after circumstances changed.
Jen, Director of Social Work at American Adoptions, is one of our very own adoption stories. She was an adoptee in a fully closed adoption but, later in life, found her birth mother. While the relationship after many years was a slow growing process, the openness they now share is something she’ll cherish forever.
“My recent experience only confirms my belief in the positive power of open adoption. While my closed adoption wasn’t a negative experience by any means, knowing what I know now would have helped solve the unknowns and alleviate the feelings of shame I had at times growing up. Having contact with my birth mother now is an unexpected step in my adoption story, but I’m looking forward to whatever new relationship we may develop from here on.”
There are still cases where you, as a prospective birth mother, may prefer a closed adoption. If so, this is okay. You are in charge of your adoption plan, and only you know what’s going to be best for you.
You can find out more information on what a closed adoption means for you by contacting us for free at 1-800-ADOPTION or by filling out our online form here.
A Shift Toward Open Adoptions in KS [Keeping a Connection to Your Child]
Thankfully, closed adoptions are no longer the norm. In fact, 90 percent of adoptions today fall somewhere on the scale of openness — meaning nearly all prospective birth parents have an ongoing relationship with their child and the adoptive parents after the adoption. Your open adoption in Kansas can be whatever you make it to be.
If, like most prospective birth mothers, you want to have a more open adoption, you might share:
- Personal contact information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, or mailing addresses
- Regular letters, photos, video chats, texts, phone calls, and more
- Visits on holidays, birthdays, etc.
If, on the other hand, you want less contact, a semi-open adoption might be right for you. If you are interested in this post-placement relationship, American Adoptions will educate you about your options. Thanks to our personal adoption experience, like Jen’s story, we know how to guide you through this new relationship.
Ultimately, deciding how open you’d like your adoption to be comes down to what you and the adoptive family feel comfortable with. Don't worry — your adoption specialist can help you understand your options and help you determine what kind of contact might be best for your situation.
The Facts and Benefits of Open Adoptions in Kansas [Build a Strong Relationship with the Adoptive Family]
While open adoption is the standard today, there are still many misconceptions out there about how it works. We’re here to set the record straight.
Here’s what open adoptions are (and are not):
- Open adoptions in Kansas do not involve co-parenting; parental rights and responsibilities remain with the adoptive parents
- Open adoptions are a fantastic way to watch your child grow up happy and loved
- Open adoptions often create a lifelong bond with both your child and their adoptive family
- Open adoptions allow you to exchange potentially life-saving medical information with your child
- Open adoptions allow your child to openly ask you questions about their adoption and biological heritage
For birth parents, one of the greatest benefits of open adoption is the ability to watch your child grow. This often helps birth parents to emotionally heal post-placement. Reminders that their child is loved, happy, and thriving can help dispel any lingering worries they may have about their adoption decision. Maintaining a post-placement relationship can remove questions that many expectant parents fear they’ll have if they place their children for adoption.
Through an open adoption, adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families remain connected and a part of each other’s lives long after the adoption has been finalized, to whatever extent they desire.
Randi is one of the many birth mothers having placed a child with American Adoptions and is grateful for the openness she has with the adoptive family.
“I love still being able to have that connection with Juniper,” she said. “I get all jittery thinking about it because it’s going to blow my mind when she’s five and she starts talking, and I can actually talk to her and have a conversation with her.”
“Every picture, it brightens my day. There are two things I check every day, the blog and my Facebook,” Randi said. “When I see a random picture that she puts on there, it just makes me feel like she’s not forgetting about me, and keeping up with what she said she was going to do.”
American Adoptions stands with experts in the assertion that greater openness in adoptions benefits everyone involved, particularly the adoptee. We always recommend an open adoption whenever circumstances allow.
Can You Legally Enforce an Open Adoption in Kansas? [The Choice is Yours in Kansas]
Some states allow legally enforceable Post Adoption Contact Agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive families, which are formal agreements to maintain contact as specified within the document. Kansas does not enforce PACAs at this time. Many PACAs in Kansas are written as informal agreements rather than binding legal documents.
Although open adoptions in Kansas aren’t legally enforceable, American Adoptions counsels both birth and adoptive families about the importance of staying true to one’s word in an open adoption agreement. Fortunately, most birth parents and adoptive families today understand the benefits and importance of maintaining contact throughout their child’s life. Adoptive parents are often just as eager and committed to maintaining a relationship with you as you are with them.
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