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Is An Open Adoption A Good Match For You?

There are many positive aspects of open adoptions. In fact, some adoptive parents develop close relationships with their child's biological parent(s). But for every shining example, there is a nightmare experience to counter-balance the decision to have an open adoption.

If you aren't dissuaded from the concept of an open adoption, the best way to assure its success is to define from the beginning — legally, in the form of a binding contractual agreement — just how open the adoption will be.

Which bio relatives will have access to your child?

Maybe you decide that the birth parents can both have a relationship with your baby. Soon, though, you could find yourself inundated by requests to spend time with your infant from extended family members of both bio parents. That stressor can be easily avoided by clearly defining which, if any, additional relatives may have a relationship with your child.

What if the birth parent's life radically changes?

Giving a baby up for adoption is a very noble act, but there are reasons why the mother felt unable to parent her baby. In some cases, it could be because of a substance abuse problem. The emotional trauma of giving one's baby up — even when it's the best choice a mother can make — can trigger a relapse into destructive behavior patterns and life choices.

Adoptive parents have the right to include clauses in the adoptive agreement that the biological parents' access to the child be dependent upon their continuous sobriety.

When the loss is just too great?

The selfless decision to place the baby with another couple because it is in the infant's best interests is still usually a painful one. A biological mom may discover that continuing the relationship with her relinquished child is simply too painful to endure. To preserve her own emotional and mental health, the birth mother may have to walk away, assured that her baby has found a safe and stable home.

Your Colorado family law attorney can draft an adoptive contract that covers these, and other, potential contingencies for your open adoption.

Source: Family Education, "Adoption: When problems occur with birthparents," accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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