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What's The Difference Between Open And Closed Adoption?

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Adoption allows a family to become whole. A child finds a forever home with parents who love them very much. However, that doesn't mean the whole process is easy. When it comes to the adoption process, there are several choices that need to be made. One of those choices is whether or not the adoption should be an open or closed adoption. A lawyer who specializes in family law can help sort out the details and give a recommendation as to which option to choose. 

Open Adoption

An open adoption allows all parties to be known to each other. The birth family may still be involved in the child's life in one form or another. It could be as simple as getting yearly pictures and letters throughout the year updating the birth family of what is happening in the child's life. It could also be something like regular visitation between the adoptive and birth families. 

The benefits of having an open adoption are many. One of those benefits is that the birth family's genetic and medical history are available to the adoptive family. That means that the adoptive family is able to make the best medical choices for the child and is aware of any medical problems that might pop up in the future. A full medical history also allows the child and adoptive family to know the risks of things like cancer or diabetes. 

One drawback to an open adoption is that the adoptive family may want to break contact with the birth family at some point. However, this can be difficult if the terms of contact are set out in the adoption decree, it will probably take a lawyer and judge to get those terms changed. 

Closed Adoptions

In a closed adoption, the birth family and the adoptive family have no contact with each other at all. Generally, the adoptive family doesn't even know the name of the birth parents. The adoptive family may have the barest amount of information about the birth family. 

One of the benefits of using a closed adoption means that a birth family who was abusive or dangerous has no contact with the child or their new family. It also gives the adoptive family privacy. 

The drawbacks to using a closed adoption include the fact that a full medical history doesn't always accompany the child. That means that the adoptive family may be blind when it comes to figuring out various risks that the child may face in the future. 

When it comes to adoption, getting it right is the goal. It isn't always easy, but it can be done. One thing that can help make the adoption easier is knowing whether or not an open adoption is the best choice. 

For more information, contact Ivy Law Group PLLC or a similar firm.