How does a closed adoption differ from an open adoption?

Growing your family through adoption is a wonderful thing to do. Adoption brings together parents who want a child with a child in need of a family. Of course, an adopted child in Texas still has biological parents, in addition to their adoptive parents. Therefore, decisions will need to be made about how much contact, if any, there will be between the adoptive child and his or her biological parents.

Adoptions in the United States can be "open" or "closed." It used to be the case that most adoptions in our nation were closed. In a closed adoption, the child and the child's biological parents have no contact. The adoption files are sealed, and the child may not even know who his or her biological parents are. Closed adoptions are rare these days, but still can be found in the case of international adoptions.

These days, open adoptions are more often becoming the norm. In an open adoption, the child's adoptive parents keep in contact with the child's biological parents. This may be the case if the child's biological parents had a say in who the child's adoptive parents would be. The child's biological parents would meet the child's adoptive parents, and may stay in touch both during the biological mother's pregnancy and after the child is born. While every family is different, in some open adoptions the child's biological parents even become friends of the child's adoptive family.

An open adoption can benefit the child by allowing the child to know more about their past -- who their biological parents are and the reason they were adopted. However, when it comes to adoption, each case is unique. While open adoptions may work out well in many cases, in other cases there may be a good reason for the adoption to be closed. An attorney can help advise potential adoptive parents about the advantages and disadvantages of an open versus a closed adoption.

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