Open Adoption

Just because you’re choosing to place your child for adoption doesn’t mean that you’ll never see him or her again. You can choose to continue your relationship through an open adoption in the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia.

Contact us online to learn more about how to choose an open adoption for your child.

The following will give you a better understanding of how open adoptions in MD, VA and DC work, as well as your birth mother rights in open adoption:

The History of Closed Adoptions and the Shift to Openness in Modern Adoptions

Up until the last couple of decades, closed adoptions were considered the norm in the United States, including in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In a closed adoption, little to no information was exchanged between the birth and adoptive family. This was done in an attempt to protect the birth parents’ privacy in a time when adoption was sadly seen as something secretive or shameful.

The lack of information that closed adoptions permitted meant that birth parents never knew what happened to the child that they’d placed for adoption. Adoptees never found out why they were placed for adoption, nor did they have access to potentially life-saving genetic medical history for themselves or their own children. Birth and adoptive families in closed adoptions were rarely able to find one another if they wished to get back in touch later in life.

Today, 95 percent of adoptions are open or semi-open. Increased openness in adoptions has been shown to be beneficial to everyone involved in the adoption, but most of all, to the adoptee.

What Is Open Adoption?

An open adoption involves communication between the birth and adoptive families. While this can sometimes occur indirectly, using their adoption professional as a mediator if the birth parents wish to maintain more privacy, most birth and adoptive parents choose to communicate directly with each other.

While you can choose to have an adoption that’s as open or as closed as you wish yours to be, most open adoptions between birth and adoptive families involve communication like:

  • Exchanging contact information like phone numbers, emailing addresses, or mailing addresses (however you prefer to communicate)
  • Sharing photos, letters, emails, phone calls, texts, video chats, etc.
  • Family visits
  • Anything else you all feel comfortable with

There’s no one way to have an open adoption, and there are no “rules” to follow. Open adoption relationships tend to naturally evolve, change and grow over time, just like any relationship. So even if it feels awkward at first, you may find that you feel more comfortable communicating with one another as time progresses.

Sometimes there are misconceptions about a birth parent’s role in an open adoption, leading many people to ask, “What is an open adoption, exactly?” Here’s what an open adoption in VA, MD or DC means for you as a potential birth parent:

  • An open adoption does mean that you would be able to watch your child growing up loved and cherished.
  • An open adoption does not mean that you would be co-parenting with your child’s parents.
  • An open adoption does mean that your child and their parents would be able to talk to you directly about their adoption if they had any questions.
  • An open adoption does not mean that you could “get your baby back” after the adoption.
  • An open adoption does mean that you would always have an important role in your child’s life as their birth parent.
  • An open adoption does not confuse children about who their “real parents” are just because their birth parents are an important part of their lives.

To learn more about the differences between open adoption vs closed adoption in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, contact us online now.

Why We Encourage Open Adoptions

Family Formation Law Offices advocates for open adoption relationships between birth and adoptive families whenever individual situations allow. Our years of personal and professional experience with adoption backs up the research that shows open adoptions to be the most beneficial option for everyone involved, particularly adopted children.

We’re here to help you build a strong foundation of trust with the adoptive family that you choose for your child, so that if you decide to have an open adoption in MD, VA or DC, you can have the type of relationship that you’re comfortable with. Open adoptions are all about making sure that everyone involved feels happy and loved, and we want to make sure that’s how you feel in your adoption!

To learn more about choosing an open adoption in Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland, or to begin viewing open adoption parent profiles, contact us online now.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax