Open Adoption in Florida
In many ways, adoption is changing for the better. However, with all of the positive changes in adoption over the years, perhaps the single greatest difference is the ever-increasing openness found in Florida adoptions.
What is Open Adoption?
When people use the term “open adoption,” often what they are referring to is a type of adoption in which the adoptive family and birth family are engaged in each other’s lives, including visits during holidays, phone calls throughout the year, and pictures of the adopted child’s landmark moments.
This picture of open adoption isn’t entirely accurate, however. While these scenarios do exist, they are much more rare than the other type of open adoption, which is known as a “semi-open adoption” or “mediated adoption.”
It’s estimated that somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of all domestic infant adoptions are considered semi-open. So what is a semi-open adoption, and why is it such a popular type of adoption?
Semi-open adoption lies somewhere in between a closed and open adoption – and no two semi-open adoptions are ever quite the same, as they look different for each adoptive family and birth parent relationship.
Some common traits found in a semi-open adoption include:
- Adoptive family sends pictures and updates of the child to the birth mother once or twice per year
- Once a match is made between an adoptive family and expecting mother, they engage in a conference call to answer one another’s questions to confirm they are interested in the same adoption plan
- All identifiable information is preserved and kept confidential, including last names, addresses, phone numbers, personal email addresses and more
- Lines of communication are always open between both parties, in the event of a medical emergency or an important event
Why is Semi-Open Adoption so Popular?
Over time, as thousands of infant adoptions were completed every year, the majority of birth parents began requesting a certain amount of contact with the child, and the majority of adoptive families began finding a comfort level somewhere between a closed and open adoption. Adoption agencies and adoption attorneys saw this occurring, and began encouraging adoptive families to be open to mediated contact with the birth parents.
Semi-open adoption finds a perfect balance that:
- Allows a birth mother to choose adoption for her child, knowing she will still see him or her grow up and still be involved in his or her life.
- Helps adoptive families be eligible to more expecting mothers who are seeking this type of relationship
- Maintains contact between both families, in case a new medical condition is learned in the child’s birth families’ history
- Allows both parties to get to know each other before the birth of the baby to ensure they right for one another
Keep in mind, open adoption is like any other relationship as it will undoubtedly change over time. Both birth parents and adoptive parents may grow closer as time goes on, and next thing they know their semi-open adoption is now looking more and more like an open adoption, complete with personal visits. It’s also just as possible the birth mother decides to stop receiving pictures of the child, once she sees and knows that the child is safe and loved by his or her adoptive parents.
Whatever adoption situation you are interested in pursuing and comfortable with, Bryan McLachlan can help you achieve your goals. Please contact Bryan today to learn more about semi-open adoption in Florida.