Open Adoption in Tennessee
If you are considering placing a baby for adoption in Tennessee, you probably have questions about what your child’s life might look like after placement. If you choose adoption, will the child you place grow up happy and healthy? What will he or she know about you and your adoption decision?
Fortunately, in today’s adoptions, you won’t be left wondering with questions like these. If you choose to have an open adoption in Tennessee, you’ll be able to maintain a relationship with your child and their adoptive family long after placement.
What is Open Adoption in Tennessee?
A Tennessee open adoption is an ongoing relationship between a child’s birth parents and adoptive parents. While there is no single open adoption definition, open adoptions in Tennessee often involve the exchange of identifying information like last names and personal contact information, as well as direct contact between the parties.
However, every adoption relationship is different, and some adoptions are more open than others. At American Adoptions, it is up to every prospective birth mother to decide how much information she wants to exchange and what type of contact she wants to have with the adoptive parents before and after placement.
What is a Closed Adoption in Tennessee?
As you can imagine, a closed adoption in Tennessee is essentially the opposite of an open adoption. In a closed adoption, birth and adoptive families receive very little to no information about each other. They may go their separate ways after the adoption without sharing ongoing contact.
Throughout most of history, closed adoptions in Tennessee and throughout the United States were the norm. At the time, adoption was often a secretive affair, and most adoptions were closed to protect the privacy of birth parents and adoptive families.
However, this practice was often harmful to members of the adoption triad; adoptees lived their entire lives not knowing their birth parents or their adoption stories, and birth parents had no way of knowing whether the children they placed were happy and healthy.
As a result, adoption experts today recommend some degree of openness in adoption whenever possible. Research shows that in most cases, open adoption relationships are healthier and more positive for all members of the adoption triad — especially the adoptee. However, it is always up to the prospective birth mother to decide between open adoption vs. closed adoption in Tennessee. Some women feel that it will be easier for them to heal in a closed adoption, and that may be an option for you if that’s what you prefer.
What is a Semi-Open Adoption in Tennessee?
It may be helpful to think of adoption openness on a sliding scale: Fully open adoption, as described above, lies on one side of the scale, while closed adoption lies on the other. If you want to have a relationship with your child after placement while still maintaining some privacy, you might be looking for something in between. This is often referred to as semi-open adoption.
In a Tennessee semi-open adoption, you may choose to keep certain identifying information, like your last name, private. To protect your confidentiality, you may prefer to have post-placement contact mediated by American Adoptions, rather than sharing direct contact with the adoptive family.
If you choose semi-open adoption in TN, American Adoptions can coordinate picture and letter exchanges for up to 18 years after placement. You may also choose to exchange more frequent updates through other means, like a dedicated, non-identifying email address.
What Does Open Adoption Mean to the People Involved?
Today, nine out of ten prospective birth mothers with American Adoptions desire some level of openness in their adoption, and there are countless Tennessee open adoption stories that demonstrate the many benefits of this option. Why is open adoption so popular? And what would an open or semi-open adoption in Tennessee look like for you?
As a woman considering adoption for your baby, open adoption means that:
You get to watch your child grow up. Throughout history, most adoptions were closed, and there was a lot of secrecy surrounding adoption. After placement, many birth mothers never knew how their children were doing or what their lives were like. Fortunately, however, those days are gone. With the option of open adoption in Tennessee, today’s birth mothers are able to receive frequent updates on the children they place and can see them thriving in a happy, loving home. As a result, more birth mothers are able to heal in a healthy, positive way after placement.
You can get to know your baby’s adoptive parents. Today’s adoptions put the prospective birth mother in control of every step of the process. Through an open or semi-open adoption in Tennessee, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the adoptive family during your pregnancy and even meet them at the hospital when your baby is born. Through this pre-placement contact, you can start developing a strong relationship even before the adoption, which can reassure you that you’ve chosen the best possible parents for your child.
You can make sure your child understands your decision. You know how much thought and love you’re putting into your adoption decision — and through an open adoption in Tennessee, you’ll be able to explain that to your child as well. If you choose to keep in touch with your child and the adoptive family, you’ll be able to remind your child often that you love them and are proud of them. Studies have shown that this openness is overwhelmingly beneficial for the child and may promote higher self-esteem and a more positive view of adoption.
Your child will get to have a relationship with you. All adopted children are curious about their birth parents and have questions about their adoption stories. If your child has access to you after placement, they’ll be able to come to you with those questions. They will never have to wonder why you chose adoption for them, and they’ll be able to know that you’re doing well, too.
These are just a few of the many benefits of open adoption in Tennessee — and just some of the reasons why adoption experts agree that openness in adoption should be encouraged whenever possible.
Remember, like every other decision in the adoption process, the choice of open vs. closed adoption in TN always belongs to the woman making the adoption plan. If you’re not quite sure whether you want an open, semi-open or closed adoption, don’t worry — your adoption specialist can help you determine what type of relationship you want to have with your child and the adoptive family.
To learn more about your Tennessee open adoption options or to start making your own adoption plan today, contact American Adoptions any time at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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