When it comes to adopting a child, you must consider what works best for your family. There are several different types of adoptions, and many ways you can define it, but two of the most common adoption variations are open and closed adoptions. In an open adoption, the child’s birth parents still maintain some contact with their child and the adoptive family. In a closed adoption, all contact ceases. Once again, you must choose what option you think will be best for your family, and more importantly your adopted child. Many people find that open adoptions are a beneficial way to keep a child’s biological parents involved in their life.
Why Open Adoption?
Open adoptions can be beneficial to the adopted child and the child’s adoptive family in many ways. The adoption process can be stressful to a child, and maintaining contact with their biological parents may be a good way to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. It can also help the adopted child better understand the situation he or she came from and why she was put up for adoption in the first place. In general, open adoptions in Missouri allow for an open and free discussion to occur with the adopted child about their and their family’s situation. It can tremendously help an adopted child to know where they come from, and to allow them to ask any and all questions they may have about their background. As a child’s adoptive parents, it may not seem wise or logical to stay in touch with the child’s birth parents, and nobody says they have to be involved in your new family’s day to day life, but maintaining some form of communication with them can be immensely beneficial.
The Legalities of Open Adoptions in Missouri
It’s important to note that adoptive parents and biological parents can agree to any amount of contact that they want. Whether you decide to communicate by letter, phone, or even visit, there is no legal limit to the amount of contact that can occur in open adoptions in Missouri. However, there is no open adoption law in Missouri that distinguishes between adoptions that are open or closed or provides legal protection for either party under the adoption statutes. Courts cannot make contact mandatory, nor can they prohibit it. It is ultimately a decision and an agreement that must be reached between the two sets of parents. If you decide to proceed with an open adoption, it is important to have an attorney draft an Agreement setting forth the terms of contact to be maintained. With no statutory duty or legal definitions regarding open adoptions, these agreements may be difficult to enforce. However, it is still a contractual agreement and without it you have no recourse for breaches of the agreement.