Prior to the 1970s, it was common for most adoption records to remain hidden from the public eye, preventing any contact between birth parents and adopted children. The assumption was that this would provide adopted children with a concrete sense of security and belonging to a single family unit while providing birth parents with a sense of closure to move on with their lives. However, the assumption did not always reflect reality. As a potential adoptive parent in Texas, you now have the opportunity of participating in either an open adoption or closed adoption. Because this decision has long-term ramifications, we at the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza believe it is important for you to learn as much as you can about open adoption. That way, you can make an informed decision.
According to the National Infertility Association, there are many different types of open adoptions. Some involve full disclosure of identifying information between birth parents and adoptive parents. In other open adoption arrangements, you may only learn the birth parents’ first names, and vice versa. This type of situation affords a greater degree of privacy to both you and the birth parents. The adoption agency or an attorney will often act as a go-between, facilitating communication between the two families according to the agreed-upon arrangement.
To avoid future conflicts, it is best for all parties to make their expectations clear at the beginning of the open adoption arrangement. However, it is also a good idea not to get too detailed in making arrangements for contact between the child and the birth family. Your life and routine may change significantly after you adopt the child, and an arrangement that seemed reasonable may no longer be practical.
Open adoption is not without difficulties. Nevertheless, it is often beneficial for the child. A reasonable amount of contact with the birth family can help the adoptive child avoid negative feelings of disloyalty or abandonment. Open adoption can also help adoptive parents feel more secure and birth parents to know that their child is well cared for. More information about adoption is available on our website.