Adoption in Pennsylvania
Open Adoption in Pennsylvania
Just because you know placing your child for adoption is the right thing to do doesn’t mean it’s easy. It might feel even harder if you think that adoption means saying “goodbye” to your child.
The good news is that adoption doesn’t have to be “goodbye.”
Open adoption in Pennsylvania gives you the power to preserve your bond with your child while still providing your child a safe, stable adoptive home.
So, what is open adoption in Pennsylvania?
- Open adoptions involve post-placement contact arrangements that allow regular contact between birth parents, the adoptive family and the adoptee after placement in the adoptive home.
- Through open adoption, you can maintain a relationship with your child through ongoing contact.
If you decide that open adoption is right for you, you’ll benefit from its proven advantages. Learn more about some of them by clicking here.
Otherwise, keep reading to better understand the differences between closed adoption, semi-open adoption, and open adoption in Pennsylvania. We’ll also discuss each type of adoption and how it can impact your relationship with your child and their adoptive family.
What is an open adoption in Pennsylvania?
An open adoption in Pennsylvania involves an agreement between the birth parents and adoptive parents. The parties agree to allow the birth parents to have direct contact with the adopted child. Open adoption in Pennsylvania is now routine because all parties in the adoption triad benefit from the practice.
Here are a few open adoption benefits you should consider:
- 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 have contact with your child that can even include in-person meetings.
- Your child will grow up understanding their heritage and history.
- You won’t have to gain access to adoption records for your child to learn details about their life.
- You’ll be able to provide critical information about family medical history in the event your child needs care.
- 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.
Though a few perceived drawbacks of open adoptions may persist in society, most open adoptions in Pennsylvania result in positive experiences for everyone involved. There has been thorough documentation of the benefits of open adoption. However, no two adoptions are exactly alike, and other factors may influence your choice.
You’ll always be in control of your decision if you’re considering open adoption in Pennsylvania, no matter what. You choose the terms of your open adoption, including how much information is shared, the kind of information shared, and whether you have direct contact with your child.
Your open adoption agreement can be designed to meet your specific needs, and that makes every open adoption different. Some information commonly shared between birth parents and adoptive parents in an open adoption may include details like:
- 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
You’re the only one who can choose the right couple to raise your child. If you think an open adoption arrangement could work for you, work with open adoption agencies in Pennsylvania. They can help you find a family that welcomes open adoption.
Here are a few agencies in Pennsylvania that work with birth mothers to facilitate open adoptions.
- American Adoptions
- A Baby Step Adoption Agency
- Adoptions from the Heart
- Adoption Services
- Haven Adoptions
- Bethany Christian Services
- Adoption ARC
- Common Sense Adoptions
- Transitions Adoption Agency
If preserving your bond with your child and playing a role in their future is a priority for you, open adoption in Pennsylvania is the perfect choice. Open adoption may not be best for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, but for most it will be a positive experience. That’s why most birth mothers now choose open adoptions.
What is a semi-open adoption in Pennsylvania?
A semi-open adoption is similar to an open adoption in Pennsylvania, only it’s more limited in scope. Information is shared between the parties, but there’s less contact between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee. Also, the kind of contact exchanged in semi-open adoptions is more limited in detail.
In semi-open adoption, a mediator such as an adoption agency may act as an intermediary for the parties. In other words, the contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents may not be direct. Also, the information exchanged by the parties may only include details such as:
- 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
If you want to watch your child’s development from a distance without direct contact, that’s perfectly fine. It’s totally up to you. If that’s your preference, semi-open adoption in Pennsylvania may be the right choice for you.
What is a closed adoption in Pennsylvania?
There are many potential reasons that a birth mother would rather not have any contact with their child or their adoptive family after placement. Maybe they simply want to move forward with their lives. For those women, closed adoption in Pennsylvania is an option. In closed adoption, no information is shared. However, the birth mother can let the child to find her when they turn 18.
Open vs Closed Adoption in Pennsylvania
The defining difference between open and closed adoption in Pennsylvania is the level of contact.
There can be any kind of contact among members of the adoption triad in an open adoption. But in a closed adoption, there’s no information is exchanged at all, and there’s no contact among the parties after the child’s placement.
There are some potential outcomes of closed adoption that can negatively affect the child and the birth parents. They can include:
- Adoptees have no family medical history in the event of an emergency.
- Birth parents don’t know if their children are growing up happy and healthy.
- 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.
In the past, closed adoptions in Pennsylvania were routine, but that’s no longer the case. The advantages of open adoptions for everyone involved are well established, and the supposed benefits of closed adoptions have been rejected.
However, birth mothers in Pennsylvania still have a right to make their adoption decisions. You can still choose closed adoption in Pennsylvania if you prefer, especially in cases in which continued contact may place the child’s safety at risk.
Are Open Adoptions Enforceable by Law in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law does allow for court enforcement of open adoption agreements under certain circumstances. For there to be legal enforcement, the open adoption agreement, also known as a post-adoption contract agreement, must be previously approved by the court.
The court will only approve an open adoption agreement if the agreement has been entered into knowingly and voluntarily by all parties, and if the agreement is “in the best interest of the child.”
In most open adoptions, legally binding agreements aren’t needed because everyone involved in the open adoption is dedicated to the child’s best interest.
Birth parents and adoptive parents in open adoptions share a spirit of cooperation that’s built upon a mutual desire to see the child thrive. Though birth parents and adoptive parents in an open adoption in Pennsylvania aren’t co-parenting, they can work together to make ensure their child’s needs are fulfilled.
If you think you want an open adoption in Pennsylvania, everyone involved should get advice from adoption professionals. Your adoption professional will explain the importance of meeting contact commitments for the adoptee’s best interest, even though such agreements aren’t enforced by the court in Pennsylvania.
Learn More about Open Adoption in Pennsylvania
Open adoptions in Pennsylvania are the norm nowadays, and it’s obvious why that’s the case. Every party in the adoption triad benefits, and those benefits come with few drawbacks. Staying in touch with your child and watching them grow in their adoptive home can be a great experience for birth parents.
Though open adoption in Pennsylvania isn’t the best choice for every birth mother, only you can truly decide that for yourself. Your adoption choices are personal, and your decision can will have long-term impacts for you and your unborn child.
Again, it’s always a good idea 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.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.