Should You Choose an Open Adoption in Kansas?
What is an Open Adoption, and is it Right for You?
When you first consider placing a baby for adoption, the whole process can seem like a leap of faith. At the beginning, there are so many unknowns — Am I doing the right thing? Will my child understand my adoption decision? What will their life be like if I place them with an adoptive family?
If you’ve had any of these questions, 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.
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.
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.
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.
A Shift Toward Open Adoptions in KS
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
But 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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