Open Adoption in Minnesota
Just because you’re choosing adoption for your baby, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to see them or hear from them again. You can choose to have an open adoption in Minnesota if you prefer, and keep in touch with your child and their family after the adoption.
A Past of Closed Adoption in Minnesota
Until only the last few decades, almost all adoptions were closed adoptions. A closed adoption meant that adoptees and their families would be provided with little to no information about their birth family. This was falsely believed to be the best option to maintain birth parent privacy during a time when adoption was sadly seen as something secretive or shameful.
However, because there was no information available for either party, birth and adoptive family members could rarely find one another if they wished to reconnect later in life. Adoptees received no medical history and never knew why they were placed for adoption. Birth parents never knew what happened to the child that they’d placed for adoption.
Why Open Adoptions in Minnesota Have Become the Norm
Today, nine out of ten birth parents choose to have an open or semi-open adoption. This is a welcome change, as research shows that more openness in adoption is beneficial for everyone involved, but for adoptees most of all.
Open adoption in Minnesota still isn’t widely understood. There are many myths about open adoption that still persist, and people don’t always understand birth mother rights in an open adoption.
Open adoptions are flexible. There are no “rules” for how to have an open adoption. Most open adoptions in Minnesota fall somewhere on a scale of openness between closed to semi-open to open. Where you wish to fall on the scale depends on how much contact you feel comfortable sharing after the adoption is complete. Learn more about semi-open adoption here.
Generally, birth and adoptive families who share an open adoption in Minnesota share the following:
Their contact information, like their email addresses or phone numbers
Direct communication such as phone calls, letters, emails, and more
If you’re a prospective birth parent working with American Adoptions, you may decide to have more post-adoption contact, or less. It’s all a matter of what you feel most comfortable with.
All adoptive families who work with American Adoptions are prepared to share an open adoption with birth parents that includes at least sending photos and letters for up to 18 years, providing their contact information so that you can directly communicate before and after placement, a visit to Minnesota after the adoption is complete and more.
This is the minimum that’s required of our adoptive parents, but you decide whether you’d like to have a more or less open adoption than that minimum standard. Birth parents are the ones who decide how much post-adoption contact they feel comfortable with, so the choice is yours.
Understanding Open Adoption in MN
Most people know very little about open adoptions in Minnesota. So here are some basic facts to separate the facts from the fiction:
Open adoptions DO mean that you’ll be able to remain a part of your child’s life.
Open adoptions DON’T mean that you’ll be able to “get the baby back” at a later time.
Open adoptions DO mean that your child will be able to talk with you directly about their adoption and come to you with any questions they may have.
Open adoptions DON’T mean that your child will be confused about who their “real parents” are.
Open adoptions DO mean that you’ll be able to watch your child growing up happy and loved.
Open adoptions DON’T mean co-parenting with your child’s parents.
The evidence that increased openness in adoption is beneficial for birth parents, adoptive parents, and most of all, for adoptees, is well-documented. For this reason and more, American Adoptions always recommends choosing open adoption whenever individual situations allow.
Are Open Adoptions in Minnesota Legally Enforceable?
Post-adoption contact agreements (PACAs) are permitted in Minnesota, although they are only sometimes legally enforceable in certain situations. But PACAs are very rarely needed, since most birth and adoptive families communicate consistently and easily without the need for legal reminders.
The importance of honoring an open adoption agreement regarding communication cannot be overstated, so American Adoptions carefully counsels both birth and adoptive parents about upholding this responsibility together. Should either party fall out of touch, we can hold any correspondence intended for them for up to 18 years after the adoption in case they ever regain contact.
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