How to Have an Open Adoption in New Hampshire
When you place a child for adoption in New Hampshire, your relationship with him or her doesn’t have to end there. You can choose to have an open adoption in New Hampshire and remain in touch with your child and their adoptive family.
Before you continue reading, you can always contact us online or call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with one of our experienced adoption professionals.
Until then, the following information can help you learn more about open adoption vs. closed adoption in NH, so you can choose the option that’s right for you:
The Era of Closed Adoption in New Hampshire
Until the last couple of decades, closed adoptions were considered the standard. In a closed adoption, little to no information is shared between the birth and adoptive family. This was considered to be the best way to protect birth parent privacy in a time when adoption was viewed as something secretive and shameful.
But the lack of information in New Hampshire closed adoptions meant that birth parents never knew what had happened to their child after the adoption. Adoptees had no access to biological health history for themselves or their own children, and they never knew why they were placed for adoption or any information about their birth family. If birth and adoptive families ever wanted to regain contact years later, a closed adoption made it difficult to find one another.
Moving Toward Open Adoption in New Hampshire
Despite this welcome shift towards open adoption in New Hampshire, there are still many misconceptions about how these types of adoptions function and about birth mother rights in an open adoption.
New Hampshire open adoptions can be whatever both parties wish them to be. There are no “rules” to follow. Open adoption relationships are flexible and typically fall somewhere on a scale from semi-open to open.
The type of contact that most birth and adoptive families choose to share in their open adoptions in New Hampshire includes:
Their direct contact information so they can communicate more easily
Emails, letters, phone calls, photos and more
Anything else everyone feels comfortable sharing
With American Adoptions, birth parents are in charge of how open or closed they want their adoption to be. The adoptive families with American Adoptions are comfortable having a NH open adoption that involves a minimum of sharing photos and letters for up to 18 years after the adoption, as well as a post-placement visit to New Hampshire and more.
While this is the minimum that adoptive parents are required to meet through American Adoptions, you’re free to decide if you want to have more or less contact that that in your NH adoption arrangement.
Understanding What Open Adoption in NH Is (and What it Isn’t)
These basic facts about open adoption in New Hampshire may help break apart some of the myths surrounding open adoption relationships, and the roles within them:
Open adoptions DO allow your child to talk to you directly about their adoption.
Open adoptions DON’T confuse children about who their “real parents” are.
Open adoptions DO place you in a special and active role in your child’s life.
Open adoptions DON’T mean that you’ll co-parent your child alongside their parents.
Open adoptions DO mean you can watch your child grow up happy and loved.
Open adoptions DON’T mean you can “get your baby back after the adoption.”
Birth and adoptive families can stay a part of each other’s lives forever through open adoptions in New Hampshire.
Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, post-adoption contact agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive families can be legally enforceable in some situations, although they’re generally just informal agreements used to remind both parties to communicate as promised in their open adoption.
Thankfully, PACAs and the legal enforcement of such agreements are rarely necessary. Adoptive and birth families are almost always able to communicate easily and regularly on their own without prompting.
Prior to adoptions, American Adoptions is firm about counseling both birth and adoptive parents about the importance of honoring one’s word in an open adoption. And if contact is ever lost between the two parties for any reason, American Adoptions will hold onto correspondence for up to 18 years in case the missing party calls us and want to regain contact.
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