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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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5 Benefits of Open Adoption in Virginia

It’s a question we hear frequently: “What is open adoption in Virginia?” The open adoption definition is that of an adoptive relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents in which identifying information is shared. What does open adoption mean for everyone involved, though, really? It means a healthier adoptive relationship for the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the adopted child. It’s what we at American Adoptions believe to be the best case scenario, and here’s why:

  1. In an open adoption, you get to know your child’s adoptive parents. This means that you’ll trade identifying information, such as last names, email addresses, and possibly phone numbers. Open adoptions in Virginia allow you to develop a relationship with these people to ensure that you’ve chosen the perfect fit for your baby. After all, you’ve chosen adoption to give your child the life they deserve; open adoption allows you to confirm that that’s exactly what’s happening.

  2. In an open adoption, you get to watch your child grow up. You get to see the person they become and always know that they are happy and healthy. It gives you peace of mind about your adoption decision.

  3. In an open adoption, you get to explain to your child why you chose adoption. We hear frequently from women who worry that their child won’t understand their adoption decision and will feel unwanted. An open adoption in Virginia allows you to explain to your child the love that led you to this choice, and that that he or she was wanted more than anything.

  4. In an open adoption, open communication gives adoptive parents access to their child’s birth parents. It’s easy to assume that an open adoption benefits the birth parents and the adopted child more so than the adoptive parents, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Adoptive parents get to develop a strong relationship with the birth parents of their child, sometimes even viewing them as extended family members. This also means that should any medical issues arise with the child, the adoptive parents have access to information about their biological family’s medical histories.

  5. In an open adoption, adopted children get to know their birth parents. Depending on the methods of contact agreed upon between the birth parents and the adoptive parents, adopted kids get to communicate with their birth parents and ask any questions they may have. They’ll never wonder why you chose adoption, nor will they feel as if you “gave them up,” because you’ll have the opportunity to explain otherwise. Not only will this be extremely important to them as they form their self-identities, but they’ll have the chance to interact with two sets of parents who love them.

Is open adoption legally enforceable in Virginia?

Virginia state law does allow for post-adoption contact agreements. Birth parents and adoptive parents will agree on the type of contact and communication they wish to have, and both parties will acknowledge the agreement. Birth parents must understand that adoption is irrevocable, and adoptive parents must understand that birth parents do have the right to seek to enforce the post-adoptive contact agreement if it’s not abided by. A circuit court will approve a post-adoption contact agreement and can modify it or enforce it as determined by the best interests of the child.

An open adoption will always be preferable to a closed adoption, although in some scenarios, we understand that it may be easier for you to feel a sense of closure in a closed adoption. If you’d like to speak with an adoption specialist about what type of adoptive relationship may be best for you, contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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