What You Can Expect from an Open Adoption in Ohio
The Benefits of Open Adoption With Our Agency
Situations in life are constantly evolving. Because of this, as a prospective birth parent, you may be wondering if you are able to maintain a relationship with your child and their adoptive family after an adoption is complete?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. Thanks to modern open adoption, you can.
If you are in the early stages of researching your options for adoption in Ohio, maybe you’ve never heard of openness in adoption, or maybe you’ve heard some of the myths about it.
Here’s the truth: Open adoption is a great thing for all involved, and it is increasingly common in domestic infant adoption.
At American Adoptions, we understand this personally. Our staff is made up of adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents. We know how much open adoption can mean, and we’ll help you find the create open adoption plan for your life.
You can always get more information about our open adoption agency in Ohio by calling our 24/7 support hotline at 1-800-ADOPTION or getting free information online. In the meantime, you will be able to find answers to some of the most common questions about open adoption in the U.S. in the article below.
How Common is Open Adoption?
Just like life, adoption in Ohio is constantly evolving. For decades, women who placed children for adoption had no contact with their children or the adoptive family after placement. Closed adoptions in Ohio allowed little to no identifying information about the birth parents to be shared with the adoptive parents and the adoptee.
The birth parents had no information about the child that they had placed for adoption. The adoptee had no medical history and no answers as to why they were placed for adoption in the first place. If birth and adoptive families wished to contact each other later in life, the lack of information available made it difficult or impossible to find one another.
For many years, this was the standard for adoption in the United States. But, as more open adoption research came to light, professionals across the country realized that open adoption benefits far outweighed the disadvantages. And, in the last few decades, many birth mothers have successfully placed their children into domestic open adoptions in Ohio — and remained in happy contact with them for many years to come.
Today, nine of ten completed adoptions are open adoptions.
Experts have agreed that increased openness in adoption is directly linked to the overall happiness and wellbeing of birth parents, adoptive parents, and most of all (and most importantly), the adoptee. This is why American Adoptions encourages open adoptions whenever possible.
What is Open Adoption in Ohio Like Today?
With trends showing open adoptions becoming more and more common, it brings the question, what does an “open adoption” mean? What is this kind of adoption really like?
Reading first hand experiences from real birth mothers may be a helpful tool. Testimonials like the one here, from Angelica, are a powerful way to get a true feel for open adoption.
“My eyes just watered as they placed her into Jenn’s arms,” Angelica says. “She was no longer mine, but I knew in my heart that everything would be okay. Seeing how happy she made them and their family and seeing how happy their family was just reassured me that I had made the right decision.”
You may be surprised to learn that no two open adoption relationships are the same. Open adoptions lie on a scale, ranging from “more open” to “less open”.
A more open and flexible adoption might involve:
Swapping contact information so that the prospective birth and adoptive family can keep in touch easier during and after placement
Sharing direct communication through phone calls, text, video chat, letters, emails and more
Visits to see one another
Anything else both parties feel comfortable with in their open adoption
Other birth mothers prefer to have a less open adoption. This can include:
Sharing first names only
Providing the adoptive family with the birth parent(s) medical history for the adoptee
Mediated communication through American Adoptions, so that no contact information is shared
Each open adoption in Ohio involves a unique relationship. When you’re a prospective birth mother, yours can look however you want it to, as you are in complete control of your adoption plan. Your specialist will help you determine what kind of contact you are comfortable with to make sure they create a private open adoption that you are 100 percent comfortable with.
How Does Open Adoption Work in Ohio?
Open adoptions work based on the principle of both the adoptive family and birth mother wanting what is best for the child. By having a strong support system, the opportunities for success are endless.
Here’s why open adoptions in Ohio are beneficial to you and your child:
Adopted children in open adoptions are not confused about who their “real parents” are.
Birth and adoptive parents do not “co-parent” their child.
Adoptees can ask birth parents about their adoption directly and never live with unanswered questions.
Birth parents can see their child growing up loved and well-cared for with their family instead of living with “what-ifs.”
Adoptive families and birth families often share a healthy, genuine friendship for a lifetime.
Open adoptions can be as open and flexible or as structured as you wish them to be.
An Ohio open adoption allows the lines of communication to remain open between your and the adoptive family, allowing you to stay linked through your child. As the birth mother, you will always have the right to decide what kind of contact your open adoption in Ohio includes, even if you change your mind after you place your child with a family.
Open Adoption in Ohio: Is it Legally Enforceable?
While Ohio is a state that does allow Post Adoption Contact Agreements (PACAs), these are not legally binding. Instead, they’re an informal agreement between the birth and adoptive families that can be referenced for the type and frequency of communication that was originally discussed when agreeing to an open adoption together.
Don’t let this scare you.
Birth and adoptive parents rarely need reminders to stay in touch as originally promised. Given the positive impact on the child, everyone is usually happy to do so. American Adoptions educates adoptive parents about how crucial it is to honor one’s word in an open adoption, which means they are more likely to follow the terms of the adoption agreement. Thanks to the personal adoption experience of our staff, we know just what to say, and what type of guidance to provide.
We also hold on to any correspondence for up to 18 years after the adoption if contact is ever accidentally lost, just in case one party contacts us hoping to reconnect with each other.
Open adoption is a great opportunity when placing your child for adoption. Many birth mothers have chosen this path with our agency, you can read their stories here. These women have all had positive experiences with our services, and we would be more than happy to help you through yours, too.
You can get more information about open adoption in Ohio by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or getting free information online.
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