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If you don't think open adoption should be legally enforceable, than what do you see as the alternative?

I don't think there is any question that the majority of moms who have given up their children for adoption, today and in the recent past, have done so with a belief in the promise of open adoption.

I also, fully believe that agencies, attorneys, and others in their position, largely mislead both birth parents and adoptive parents about the truth of open adoption.

So, if birth mothers are giving up their children because of this promise and adoptive moms are more willingly making this promise, while it is still fact that open adoption agreements are about as worthless as the paper they are written on when it comes to court and legal standards, how do we go about preventing adoptions from closing . . . from any one side.

If this is a motivator in why so many give up their children, and a promise adoptive parents believe in in the beginning. How do we prepare and hold both sides to these promises in the long run?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 11:51 PM on Oct. 6, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (31)
  • I'm adopted, and as I understand it, an open adoption is simply an adoption in which the adoptive parents know or meet the birth mother.
    You can't force the birth mother to see the child she gave up, and you can't force the legal parents to let the birth mother see the child.
    I have the means to contact my birth mother if I want to; I'm 23 years old and I haven't yet, but I could have done it as soon as I turned 18.
    SarahLeeMorgan

    Answer by SarahLeeMorgan at 11:57 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Actually... open adoption between agencies/lawyers, and open adoption between the adoptive family and birth mother are quite different.
    As I am lead to believe, agencies and lawyers really don't DO open adoptions - they usually leave it up to the two parties to fully decide, but usually they "open" it so that when the child turns 18, the birthmom has a choice for her name to be listed so that the child can find her.
    Between two parties, it's usually, the adoptive parents have the birthmom see her child twice a year, and between those two visits, cards, pictures, emails and phone calls are shared. That's strictly up to the two parties though - they decide on that, then bring in said lawyer, if they want to, to write up that contract. Also, with FULL open adoptions, the birthmom has the right to take back her child in set amount of time. I think it's 60 days, I'm not too sure.
    K_Sawyer

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 12:38 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • I am curious where you get your information? I am adopted, and there was no question that it was closed. The documents all state that neither party would contact the other, but that a request could be made via the adoption agency should one party choose to change their mind. Your statements imply that the written documents do not specify the nature of the relationship.

    I am in the process of adopting a child myself, and I understand that the birth mother may contact us at any time in the first 5 years, via the adoption agency, with requests for photos, letters, or visits. Any contacts beyond that must be mutually acceptable. I also understand that should the birth mother request visits, that we are expected to facilitate that visit. I have every intention of complying with the spirit of the agreement as long as it is positive, and/or my child wishes it.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:40 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Anyway! With that being said.
    No, i don't agree that open adoptions should be legally enforceable, because.. the birthmom might not want that, and she wouldn't have that choice, and there'd probably be more abandoned babies then. I think it's better to give the birthmom a choice. Closed or open. And the adoptive family has a say in the matter as well - usually they're all for it.

    I was adopted as well, and I too have the means to find my birthmom if I want to. I'm 22, but... I don't have the desire to. I know enough about her. She was 14-15, from a very rich family that scoffed at her pregnancy without knowing who the dad was, and I know her last name. That's honestly enough for me. I was 3 days old when I was adopted, and as far as I'm concerned, my adoptive parents are my real, blood parents. I'll never find out who my real mom is, there's just no need. She just doesn't exist for me.
    K_Sawyer

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 12:41 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • It depends with a lot of agencies, some are more different but follow along the same guidelines.
    (I'm going to assume you were talking to me... when you asked where I got my information...?)
    But, i found this out through some lawyers and adoption agencies myself. Both U.S. and international. Private agencies, and not so private. They're all various.
    K_Sawyer

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 12:43 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • K Sawyer: I think what the OP is referring to is an open adoption agreement that the birthmom has agreed to already. Not saying somebody is going to "force" a birthmom to have one if she doesn't want one! And MOST birthmoms do want to know how their children are & see pics at least & have updates. I'm sorry that you think your bmom is a "non person". Pretty certain she is a live person with feelings just like you & might actually be wondering all these yrs what happened to you and if you are ok...esp if the adoption was not her idea nor her wish to begin with.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:49 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Adoption laws are different in each state. About the only part of adoption that is consistent from state to state is that adoption records are sealed after an adoption in all but a few states. Within a state, agencies, facilitators and lawyers may also differ in how they handle adoptions as well. Therefore, open adoptions run the gamut as far as the kind of contact, the frequency and many other details. Some so-called "open" adoptions have no visits, but photos and letters once a year. Totally open adoptions have regular visits, and there are many other variations. Technically, an open adoption means only that the adoptive and birth families have traded identifying information. A fully open adoption In closed adoptions, the birth and adoptive parents rarely meet and they do not share identifying information.

    I believe that open adoptions should be legally enforceable. Until they are, expectant moms need to....

    Southernroots

    Answer by Southernroots at 1:22 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • understand that once they relinquish their child, it is a real possibility that they may never see their child again. If they cannot handle that possibility, they should reconsider relinquishment.

    Adoptive parents have no incentive now to keep an adoption open, or any consequences if they close an adoption. They can do whatever they want, include lie from day one that they will allow visits and provide regular updates. Yes, I know that sometimes birth moms discover that they cannot handle visits, but, I think more adoptive parents close adoptions. I wouldn't be surprised if some agencies told adoptive parents that they can close an adoption after finalization.
    Southernroots

    Answer by Southernroots at 1:27 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Parenting. Open adoption is the only "agreement" in modern day (that I know of) where 2 sides know so little about each other, and yet after a few months, if that long, an agreement is made based on a few visits or phone calls or emails or thru a mediator, that is supposed to stand for almost 2 decades. It's like getting married on the 2nd date. I may know that I want to be married, he looks great, says all the right things, and I believe that it will last forever. But what are the odds of that happening? God bless the people who are able to make it last.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • I dont want a co parent role in the kid's life just some pictues & updates. How hard could that be for someone to agree to. I dont want visits, phone calls, all that jazz just some pics in an envelope a couple times a year..oh sorry that's too much!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:43 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

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