What it Means to Choose Open Adoption in Rhode Island
Your relationship with your child doesn’t have to end after the adoption.
For many expectant mothers, the main reason that they feel unsure of adoption is that they’re worried about losing contact with their child. Open adoption in Rhode Island promises that this doesn’t have to be the case. So, how do we define open adoption, and what does it mean for you as a prospective birth mother?
Every open adoption is different. To learn more about the process, please call 1-800-ADOPTION for more information.
What does open adoption mean in Rhode Island?
An open adoption in Rhode Island is an agreement between the birth parents and the adoptive family in which both parties plan to have some type of ongoing contact. As a prospective birth mother, you can choose your adoptive family based on what type of open adoption they’re comfortable with. When we try to answer, “What is open adoption?” it’s easier to use the scale of openness to define the process. On the low end of this spectrum, you might only choose to share:
Your first name
What state you live in, but with no mention of your address
The lower end of the scale would be considered a semi-open adoption or mediated adoption. Compared to open adoption, semi-open adoptions in Rhode Island are supervised, either by an agency such as American Adoptions or an adoption attorney. If you are a pregnant mother considering adoption, but you still need privacy after the adoption, this might be the best option for you. American Adoptions can facilitate your pictures and letters agreement for up to 18 years in a Rhode Island semi-open adoption.
On the other side of the scale is an open adoption, otherwise known as a fully disclosed adoption. This option is suited for an expectant mother that is completely comfortable with having the adoptive family and her child in her life. In an open adoption in Rhode Island, you may choose to share the following:
Your first and last name with the adoptive family
In-person visits. This can include holidays, birthdays, and any other special occasion
Exchanging pictures and letters that will let you see how your child is developing
Phone calls, Skype, and so much more
As you can see, there is no singular open adoption definition in Rhode Island. What you are comfortable with during an open adoption will look different compared to another birth mother. It is all about doing what is best for you.
Open Adoption Facts and Benefits in Rhode Island
Most Americans used to believe that a closed adoption was best for everyone. There was an ongoing stigma against birth mothers who chose adoption for their children. Most adopted children would go through their whole lives not knowing who their biological parents were, and had no way of contacting them. Also, open adoption records are restricted in certain states, making it difficult for adult adoptees to find their biological families.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Adoption professionals have proven that an open adoption is beneficial not only for you but for the adoptee’s emotional well-being. Here are some facts about open adoption in Rhode Island.
You will not be a co-parent to your adopted child. With a post-adoption contact agreement in Rhode Island, both the adoptive family and the birth parents will be able to establish their designated roles. An adoption attorney in Rhode Island can help you draft your post-adoption contact agreement. In any adoption, the adoptive family will still have permanent and legal custody of their child.
Adopted children will know their own open adoption story. Before open adoption became the norm, adoptees often had no way to contact their biological family and no idea why they were placed for adoption. The more open you are after your adoption, the more understanding your child will be about their placement.
Choosing an open adoption in Rhode Island will allow the adoptive family to understand their child’s history. They may want to ask the birth family some questions about family traditions, holidays, and anything else to help connect with their child.
Open Adoption Benefits for Birth Parents
Even though you are not going through the loss of a loved one, placing a child for adoption can still promote the same feelings of grief and loss. Choosing an open adoption in Rhode Island can help ease the pain of letting go. Over time, openness in your adoption can cause you to feel more confident about your choice for adoption. With an open adoption, you will be able to:
Know how your child is doing. Frequent phone calls and pictures will give you peace of mind when you see that they are growing up happy and healthy.
Reaffirm that adoption was the right choice for you.
Develop a close relationship with the adoptive family.
Will my post-adoption contact agreement be legally enforced in Rhode Island?
Both the adoptive family and the birth parents can file a petition for either party to comply with their post-placement adoption agreement in Rhode Island. Only the court can modify or nullify the agreement once it has been signed.
There are some cases where openness is not suitable for everyone involved. This can happen when a member of the adoption triad is unable to establish healthy connections or boundaries. However, in most cases, a legally enforceable openness agreement is not necessary; the majority of adoptive parents and birth families who choose open adoption in Rhode Island are committed to maintaining the relationship without a legal obligation to do so. It is important to talk with your adoption specialist if you have concerns about post-adoption contact.
You may still be wondering, what is an open adoption, and how can I get started in Rhode Island? Please call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist for free information.
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