Open Adoption in Kentucky
If you hope to maintain a presence in your child’s life after adoption, an open adoption may be the right path for you. This is what you should know about open adoption vs. closed adoption in Kentucky:
The History of Closed Adoption in Kentucky
Closed adoptions were the standard type of adoption up until a couple decades ago. A closed adoption in Kentucky offers little to no information about the birth parents to the adopted child and adoptive family. This was done in an effort to protect the privacy of birth parents in an era when adoption was sadly viewed as a source of shame.
But after a closed adoption, birth parents never knew if the child they’d placed had grown up happy and healthy in a family that loved them. Adoptees never had answers about why they were placed for adoption, and had no health history for themselves or their own children. The lack of information made it difficult for birth and adoptive families to find one another later on if they decided they wished to get in contact.
The Shift Toward Open Adoption in Kentucky
But not many people understand what’s involved in an open adoption in Kentucky, and they have questions about birth mother rights in an open adoption.
Kentucky open adoptions can be whatever you wish them to be; there’s no set formula or “rules” for an open adoption. They typically fall on a scale of openness, ranging from closed to semi-open to open. You can learn more about semi-open adoptions here.
In an open adoption in Kentucky, you and the adoptive family may share:
Contact information, like your email and/or mailing addresses or phone numbers for you to keep in touch with each other easily.
Direct communication in any form, including photos, letters, Skype, text, calls and more.
Anything else both parties feel comfortable with.
With American Adoptions, birth parents can choose to have an adoption as open as they wish. All adoptive families that adopt through our agency are ready to participate in an open adoption that includes at least photos and letters exchanged for 18 years, sharing their contact information for direct communication before and after placement, a visit to Kentucky after placement and more.
This is the minimum that we request from all of our adoptive parents, but you’re free to decide how open you want your adoption to be, with more or less contact before, during and after placement. Choose whatever makes you feel most comfortable and happy!
The Facts Behind Open Adoption in KY
You may feel that an open adoption sounds right for you, but you may have heard a lot of misconceptions about the reality of open adoption in Kentucky. These are some of the most basic facts:
Open adoptions DO give you the opportunity to see your child growing up loved and happy
Open adoptions DON’T confuse children about who their “real parents” are
Open adoptions DO provide your child with the ability to talk to you directly about their adoption
Open adoptions DON’T mean co-parenting your child with their parents
Open adoptions DO give you a meaningful place in your child’s life and family forever
With open adoptions in Kentucky, birth and adoptive families can remain a cherished part of each other’s lives forever.
Experts have found increased openness in adoptions to be mutually beneficial for everyone involved, but most of all, the adoptee. For this reason and more, American Adoptions encourages open adoptions whenever individual situations allow.
Are Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Kentucky?
Kentucky adoption laws do not directly address post-adoption contract agreements (PACAs) between birth and adoptive parents. Some states allow the legal enforcement of these contracts to help enforce continued communications between the two parties in the manner that was agreed upon in the open adoption arrangement.
Because Kentucky does not have legislation governing PACAs, they’re not legally binding within the state. Fortunately, however, PACAs are rarely necessary, because adoptive families and birth families are typically both comfortable communicating regularly on their own without any need for a formal contract.
American Adoptions seriously counsels both birth and adoptive families about the importance of honoring their open adoption agreement. But if contact between the two parties is ever lost for some reason, American Adoptions will hold onto any correspondence for up to 18 years, just in case the missing party gets in touch with us.
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