Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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What is the difference between an 'open' and 'closed' adoption?

In the past, and currently sometimes in the case of international adoptions, the child's adoptive parents may not be told the names of the child's biological parents or where the child was born. This is known as a "closed" adoption. Often even if this information is known by the adoptive parents in a closed adoption, they do not keep in contact with the child's biological parents once the adoption is final. Therefore, the child is usually unaware of who his or her biological parents are.

More popular these days in Florid and nationwide are "open" adoptions. In an open adoption, the child's adoptive parents know of and keep in contact with the child's biological parents. Sometimes the biological parents choose who the child's adoptive parents will be, either through an agency or otherwise. Sometimes the child's adoptive parents are even present when the child is born. Oftentimes the child knows who his or her biological parents are, and in some cases the families have a friendly relationship with one another.

Open adoptions give both the child's adoptive parents and the child's biological parents a greater ability to make mutually beneficial decisions about the adoption. Moreover, the child has a greater sense of his or her history and the reason behind his or her adoption. However, some adoptive parents feel that an open adoption will lead to confusion on the part of the child or could even threaten the relationship between the child and the adoptive parent.

In the end, there are many choices adopting parents have. Not only can they choose between a closed adoption or an open adoption, but in an open adoption they can have a greater degree of control over what information to divulge to the child regarding the adoption. However, there are pros and cons to all these options. A family law attorney can help adoptive parents address these and the many other legal issues that come with adopting a child.

Source: FindLaw, "Open vs. Closed Adoption," Accessed June 12, 2017

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Panama City, FL 32401

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