Adoption in Texas
Choosing Open Adoption in TX [A Guide]
Do you wonder how you can be a part of your child’s life after adoption?
If so, you should know there’s a kind of adoption that’ll let you continue your bond with your child after placement. Open adoption in Texas lets you stay connected with your child while still providing the benefits of placement with a loving adoptive family.
Open adoptions in Texas involve communication between birth parents and the adoptive family following a child’s legal adoption. Through open adoption, you can continue your relationship with your child.
Are you wondering, “Is Texas an open adoption state?” If you are, keep reading to find out more about open adoption in Texas, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. We’ll also discuss how each type can have an impact on your relationship with your child and their adoptive family.
What is an open adoption in Texas?
Open adoption is a form of post-placement agreement made between the birth parents and adoptive parents. It allows birth parents to have direct contact with the child. Open adoption is the most common type of post-adoption contact agreement in Texas because everyone in the adoption triad benefits from it.
Open adoption benefits in Texas can 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 able to find answers to some big questions in way that they wouldn’t experience in closed adoption.
- You child will have an extended family to provide needed support throughout their lifetime.
The benefits of open adoptions in Texas are why they’re so common. They’re beneficial for birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. That said, open adoption may not be the right choice for every birth mother. It’s worth noting that historically perceived disadvantages of open adoption and related fears can be confronted when creating a open adoption agreement.
Remember, you’re in control of your open adoption terms when creating your adoption plan. You determine what information is exchanged, how it’s exchanged, how frequent communication will be, and how much contact you’ll have with your child.
Each open adoption arrangement is unique. However, there is information commonly shared between the parties in the average open adoption. That 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
Again, you have total control over the adoptive family you choose for your child. If you prefer open adoption in Texas, you can work exclusively with open adoption agencies that only accept families who welcome open adoption. By finding a great open adoption agency, you’ll gain an ally and advocate to help you navigate the process.
Open adoption in Texas is great for birth mothers who want to play an active role in the child’s future with the potential for direct communication. While that arrangement may not be the choice of every birth mother, many prefer open adoptions when placing a child.
What is semi-open adoption in Texas?
Semi-open adoption offers another post-adoption contact option for birth parents. While technically a form of open adoption, semi-open adoption features agreed-upon contact between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee. It differs from open adoption in that the information shared may be more limited than in an open adoption arrangement.
Semi-open adoption often involves agency-mediated contact between birth parents and adoptive parents. The shared information 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 Texas may be the right option for birth mothers who want to watch their child’s life experience from afar. In some semi-open adoptions, there’s no direct contact between birth parents and the adoptee or adoptive parents.
What is a closed adoption in Texas?
Some birth mothers don’t want lifelong contact with their children after placement with the adoptive family. That kind of post-placement contact arrangement is known as closed adoption in Texas. With closed adoption, no information is exchanged at all, though the birth mother can allow the child to find her upon turning 18.
The difference between open and closed adoption in Texas is the amount of contact. Open adoption allows free communication between birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. But in closed adoption, very little information is shared, if any at all. There’s no post-adoption contact whatsoever.
However, there are issues with closed adoption in Texas. There can be several negative outcomes from the limited exchange of info. 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.
Historically, closed adoptions were common in Texas. However, as the benefits of open adoptions have been established and the supposed benefits of closed adoptions have been disproven, closed adoptions have declined in frequency.
Still, closed adoption may be the right option for you in some circumstances, such as when you value privacy and want the ability to move on with life after an unwanted pregnancy.
Are Open Adoptions Enforceable by Law in Texas?
Texas is one of a handful of states that doesn’t legally enforce open adoption agreements, also known as post-adoption contract agreements or PACAs. In Texas, an open adoption post-placement contract agreement may be useful as a token of cooperation among birth parents and adoptive parents, PACAs don’t offer a legal assurance that the terms of the open adoption in Texas will be honored.
Open adoptions in Texas are about cooperation for the good of the adoptee. Though the parties involved in an open adoption in Texas won’t be co-parenting, birth parents and adoptive parents all want what’s best for their child. That’s why in most cases, the mutually agreed-upon contact agreement is usually respected by everyone.
Even though post-adoption contract agreements in Texas aren’t legally enforceable, most adoption professionals advise members of the adoption triad to meet contact commitments for the good of the adoptee. Birth parents and adoptive parents in an open adoption should seek counsel from adoption professionals and adoption attorneys when planning open adoption.
Learn More about Open Adoption in Texas
Open adoptions in Texas have increased in popularity for good reason. The upside of such arrangements is indisputable, as they give you the opportunity to stay in contact with your child while watching them develop within a loving adoptive home.
Still, open adoption in Texas may not be for everyone. The type of adoption you choose will impact both you and your child. That’s why deciding between open and closed adoption in Texas is deeply personal.
Again, always seek advice from adoption professionals before choosing an adoption arrangement. To speak with a professional about open adoptions, click here today.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.