Placing your child for adoption may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, because you may feel that your connection with your child will end with adoption.
However, open adoption in Arizona allows you to remain involved in your child’s life while also offering them expanded opportunity in a loving family.
What is open adoption in Arizona? Open adoptions allow for a pre-arranged amount of involvement for birth parents after a child is legally adopted. It allows birth mothers to continue their relationship with their children through varying levels of communication.
Keep reading to learn more about open adoption in Arizona, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption and how each can shape your future relationship with your child and their adoptive family.
What is open adoption in Arizona?
Simply put, an open adoption in Arizona is any type of post-placement agreement between the birth parents and adoptive parents that allows the birth parents to have direct contact with the adopted child. It has become the most common post-placement contact arrangement in Arizona because of its benefits for all involved parties.
Some of open adoption benefits in Arizona include:
- Your child will grow up understanding their heritage and history.
- You’ll get to watch your child grow and develop, and you’ll get the peace of mind of knowing they’re well cared-for.
- You’ll be able to provide critical information about family medical history in the event your child needs care.
- You won’t have to gain access to adoption records for your child to learn details about their life.
- You’ll be able to have contact with your child that can even include in-person meetings.
- Your child will be protected from feelings of abandonment that are sometimes experienced in closed adoption.
- You child will have an extended family to provide needed support throughout their lifetime.
Open adoptions in Arizona are the norm because they work to further the interest of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees.
While most open adoptions in Arizona are overwhelmingly positive for those involved, there could be a few perceived drawbacks to consider. After all, every adoption scenario is unique, and each mother may have different factors that influence her personal adoption decisions.
While open adoption in Arizona may not be right for everyone, it’s important to note that many perceived disadvantages and fears can be prevented when creating the open adoption agreement. Remember, you’re in control of your open adoption terms. You determine how much information is shared, what information is shared, and how much contact you have with your child.
While each open adoption arrangement is unique, some of the kinds of information commonly shared between birth parents and adoptive parents can include:
- Family medical history of both birth parents
- Detailed contact information for all parties so that birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee can stay in touch with one another
- Direct contact between birth parents and adoptive parents as well as between the birth parents and adoptee
- In-person visits for special occasions such as birthdays or holidays
It’s important to remember that as a birth parent, you have complete control over the family selected to adopt your child. If your preference is for an open adoption in Arizona, there are open adoption agencies in Arizona that can help you along the way. Simply ask your agency to match you with only families that welcome open adoption.
Open adoption in Arizona is best for birth mothers who prefer to have open lines of communication with their child and play an active role in the child’s life. While that may not be the best choice for every birth mother, the majority now chooses to enter into open adoptions when placing a child.
What is a semi-open adoption in Arizona?
A semi-open adoption is essentially another form of open adoption in Arizona because there is agreed-upon contact between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee. However, the volume and type of contact shared in a semi-open adoption may be more limited than in an open adoption arrangement.
For example, in a semi-open adoption, communication between the birth parents and adoptive parents may come through an adoption agency. Also, the information shared between birth parents and adoptive parents may be less detailed and can include:
- First names of birth parents and adoptive families
- Basic medical information and family medical history for the adoptee
- Other details about birth parents such as biographical information or geographic location
Semi-open adoption in Arizona is a good fit for birth mothers who want to hear about their child and watch them grow and develop from afar. Since semi-open adoptions usually don’t feature direct communication between the involved parties, the arrangement is perfect for birth parents who don’t want direct contact with their children after placement.
What is a closed adoption in Arizona?
There are some cases in which the birth mother doesn’t want lifelong contact with her child after placement with the adoptive family. That post-placement arrangement is known as closed adoption in Arizona. In those circumstances, no information may be exchanged, though the birth mother can allow for the child to find her when they turn 18.
The main difference between open and closed adoption in Arizona is the level of contact. An open adoption allows for any level of contact desired between the triad of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptee. In a closed adoption, little, if any, information is shared and there is no contact among the parties.
This lack of information exchanged can have several potential outcomes that are considered non-beneficial. They can include:
- Birth parents don’t know if their children are growing up happy and healthy.
- Adoptees have no family medical history in the event of an emergency.
- Adoptees may deal with feelings of abandonment.
- With no identifying information exchanged, it may be difficult for birth parents and children to meet in the future.
While closed adoptions in Arizona were at one time the norm, they have declined in frequency as the benefits of open adoptions have been exposed and the supposed benefits of closed adoptions have been disproven. However, closed adoption is still a viable option, especially when the child’s safety may be at risk.
Are Open Adoptions Enforceable by Law in Arizona?
Arizona is one of the few states that allows for legal enforcement of open adoption agreements, also known as post-adoption contract agreements or PACAs. While such agreements usually aren’t necessary, they do provide assurances to all parties that agreed-upon terms of the open adoption in Arizona will be observed.
In most open adoptions in Arizona, there is a spirit of cooperation between birth parents and adoptive parents. While the parties involved in an open adoption in Arizona aren’t co-parenting, both birth parents and adoptive parents want the best possible future for their child. Therefore, the contact agreement is usually adhered to by both parties.
Because of the legally enforceable nature of post-adoption contract agreements in Arizona, it’s important that both birth parents and adoptive parents considering open adoption in Arizona accept counsel from adoption professionals and adoption attorneys. Adoption professionals will stress the importance of meeting contact commitments for the good of the adoptee.
There’s a good reason that open adoptions in Arizona are on the rise. There are many great benefits and few drawbacks to maintaining contact with your child and watching them grow within a loving adoptive home.
It’s important to note that open adoption in Arizona isn’t for everyone, however, and that the type of adoption you select represents a deeply personal decision that will impact the life of you and your unborn child.
It’s also critical to seek counsel from adoption professionals before selecting the type of adoption arrangement you would like. To speak with a professional about open adoptions, click here today.