Years ago, if you adopted a child, you completed a closed adoption. There really wasn’t any other option. State laws even required that adoption records be sealed. This was mostly done to protect the birth parents. The choice to give up your child is difficult. They didn’t want to make it any more intimidating than it already was. Recently, the trend has changed. More couples are opting for an open adoption in Texas.
In fact, for the most part, almost all domestic adoptions are now considered open. International adoptions are still closed. But if you adopt a child in the United States, it will probably be done through an open adoption.
For some people, the idea of an open adoption can be scary. But for others, it’s an improvement over the way things were done ten or twenty years ago. Your Texas adoption attorney can explain the differences between the two in detail when you first meet. Here, we’ll touch briefly on how closed and open adoptions work. We’ll also discuss a few of the pros and cons of an open adoption.
Texas Adoption Attorneys Used to Handle Closed Adoptions
For the longest time, almost all U.S. adoptions were closed adoptions. Except in rare instances, the adoptive parents and the biological parents had absolutely nothing to do with each other. They used an adoption agency to match the child with the adoptive family.
This doesn’t mean that all adoptions were closed. If you did a private adoption, chances are, you met the biological parents. For example, you may have had a friend or family member introduce you to someone looking to give their baby up for adoption. You and the biological parents met with an adoption lawyer in Texas who handled the matter. For agency adoptions, however, a closed adoption was the standard practice.
In a closed adoption, the adoptive parents rarely met the biological parents. All records of the adoption were sealed. A child couldn’t even begin to attempt to locate their birth parents until they were at least eighteen (18) years old.
With a closed adoption, you would put your name on a waiting list. A social worker would then try to match you with a possible child to adopt. You had no idea where the child came from or who their parents were. Once the adoption was complete, the records were sealed and even your attorney had no idea who the birth parents were.
How is an Open Adoption in Texas Different?
Recently, the trend has shifted toward something called an open adoption. In these cases, the birth parents meet the adoptive parents long before the adoption becomes complete. In fact, both couples typically stay in touch throughout the pregnancy. And, after the child is born, some people choose to stay in each other’s lives. The birth parents celebrate major holidays and milestones with their child and their adoptive family.
The other big difference with an open adoption in Texas is that the birth child has the option of learning who their birth parents are. They can track them down, email them or even meet them. The records aren’t sealed the way they used to be. They can even ask their adoptive parents questions about their birth parents.
What are the Pros and Cons to an Open Adoption?
As mentioned above, most adoptions today are open adoptions. That doesn’t mean they’re all open. Some people still choose to have a closed adoption for a variety of reasons.
There are a lot of benefits to an open adoption, such as:
- It gives both sets of parents more control when it comes to decision making
- The child has an opportunity to know both their adoptive family and their birth parents
- It makes it easier for adoptive parents to answer their child’s questions about where they came from and who their parents are
- it can be helpful in identifying any potential health issues the child may encounter
And, as great as an open adoption may be, there are some drawbacks. Some of these include:
- There is always the threat that the birth parents will come back later and challenge the adoption
- The birth parents may try to become too involved in your child’s life
Contact an Experienced Adoption Lawyer Today
If you’re not sure what kind of adoption is best for you, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced adoption lawyer in Texas. They can answer any questions you may have about and open and closed adoption. They can also work with you throughout the adoption process.
Call Eddington & Worley today and schedule your initial consultation.