Understanding Open Adoption
In a traditional or “closed” adoption, adoptive parents find a child through an agency with little to no contact with his or her biological parents. In some cases, there is not even any information available about the child’s biological family. While some people prefer this arrangement for various personal reasons, others find that the amount of unknown variables creates too many complications.
The alternative is a process called open adoption. In this kind of arrangement, biological and adoptive parents are given a certain amount of information about each other; in many cases, the biological parents are able to choose the family that their child will go to. For information about arranging an open adoption, including the legal issues that may arise, call the Raleigh adoption lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC at (919) 833-1040.
The Two Types of Open Adoption
Open adoptions can be arranged in many different ways, depending on the wants and needs of the people involved. Most of them can be divided into two different categories:
- Semi-open adoptions: In North Carolina, most open adoptions are only semi-open. This means that the biological and adoptive parents contact each other through a third party before the adoption is finalized, and often before the child is born. The two families may communicate through letters, email, or in-person. Once the adoption is complete, they do not speak again.
- Open adoptions: In this kind of adoption, the two families may stay in touch throughout the child’s life. The level of communication is determined by a contract signed before the adoption is finalized. The biological parents may be involved in the child’s life to some extent, or just receive occasional updates and pictures from the adoptive parents. No matter how much contact the biological parents have, the adoptive parents retain full parental rights.
Open and semi-open adoptions can be made through agencies or between families. Whichever route your family chooses, you need informed counsel from a Raleigh open adoption lawyer to ensure that all requirements are met and that your rights are protected.
If you have any questions about open or traditional adoptions, the Raleigh open adoption attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC would be happy to help. Contact us at (919) 833-1040.