When considering the route of adoption in Virginia, you may have uncovered descriptive language such as “open,” “semi-open,” and “closed” when referring to adoption relationships between the birth parents and adoptive parents. The parties involved in an adoption will decide which of these relationships they would like to have when adoption is complete and the child has been placed. This may be a conversation you have with your adoption professional to discuss the definition of open adoption or closed adoption while you are debating the type of contact you would feel comfortable with post-placement.

In the past, closed adoptions in Virginia were preferred in most situations because the anonymity was supposed to be easier for all involved. However, the vast majority of the adoption community and researchers alike consider this to have been a false understanding. Since seeing how each party thrived through open adoption in Virginia, experts have recommended this direction in recent years. If you are expecting to find an adoptive family for your baby in Virginia, consider the benefits of choosing an open adoption with that family.

What Is Open Adoption in Virginia?

In an open adoption agreement in Virginia, both parties involved choose to continue some type of communication after the placement of the child. The contact made between families after the finalization of the adoption will be unique to their situation. When talking about open adoption in Virginia and the specifics of what that would look like, each side can come to a verbal understanding, or a written agreement can be drafted and signed by both parties.

Virginia laws allow for an open adoption contract to be written so that the terms the families come to about communication post-adoption could be legally enforced. Whatever plan they decided upon concerning contact could be obligatory when signed as a written contract. The decision to enter into an open adoption in Virginia is praised, but consider all the factors when making future contact plans to ensure everyone will be comfortable with the outcome years down the road.

Options in an open adoption in Virginia can range from very little contact between families to personal, ongoing relationships. The birth family and adoptive family will settle upon an arrangement they all feel comfortable with as they move forward with an open adoption in Virginia. They may agree to only exchange pictures and letters over the years with each other. Phone numbers may be exchanged for the birth mom to be able to call or text the adoptive family. At times, a social media account has been created only for the purpose of the adoptive and birth families to share photos and updates as requested. There may be an agreement to meet face-to-face before the placement of the child and then continue visits on a regular basis throughout the child’s life. It is important to remember that verbal or written agreements can be altered by the consent of both parties as the child grows and based upon the wishes of the families.

What is Closed Adoption in Virginia?

What once was the preferred method of adoption is a cutoff affiliation between the adoptive family and the birth family. A closed adoption in Virginia represents a lack of communication or contact because information concerning each family’s identity is considered classified. The only post-placement agreement to be made is that no relationship is to be had.

At the completion of the adoption, files are closed and not allowed to be seen by either party involved. These types of adoption attempted to provide anonymity to families, and the lack of details was originally thought to be less stressful on both sides in order to carry on with life after placement. However, families are now urged to participate in some type of open adoption because research has shown its benefits. When seeking what’s best for the child’s emotional health as well as how both sets of parents will feel, a closed adoption is not usually seen as the most fulfilling option. There may be a unique circumstance that will lend both families to choose a closed adoption, but for the most part, experts recommend an open or semi-open adoption in Virginia.

What Is Semi-Open Adoption in Virginia?

A semi-open adoption in Virginia poses as a middle ground between a closed and open adoption. In a semi-open adoption in Virginia, the families involved will have certain boundaries based on agreements made before placement. Adoption professionals are a part of the adoption agreement when completing a semi-open adoption in Virginia. Your adoption expert will work with the birth family and the adoptive family as the facilitator of personal information. Information such as last names, addresses, or phone numbers will be kept private between the two parties. However, pictures or letters can be exchanged through the adoption professional to stay connected. A semi-open adoption can be an option for families in Virginia to choose if they still want to exchange information but keep personal information secured. If a semi-open adoption is agreed upon, the birth and adoptive families will still come up with a plan on how to exchange information and how often.

The Benefits of Open Adoption in Virginia

Adoption professionals in Virginia will declare that open adoptions are the most beneficial for all parties in an adoption for the majority of cases. They will be able to share with you these and other benefits of open adoption in Virginia as you choose the best scenario for you and your baby. Some of these benefits include:

You will have the details of your own open adoption story.

For adopted children as well as their parents (birth or adoptive), knowing the details of their story will allow them to juggle their emotions easier and not be wondering in darkness for the facts. Having access to this information will also provide you and all those involved with a better understanding of your story and how to share it with others.

You have the option of remaining in your child’s life.

If you choose an open adoption in Virginia, you can have an agreement to be able to form a relationship with your child and their adoptive family. Whether you have contact through a monthly letter, phone calls, or yearly visits, you will be able to stay in touch as your child grows and help offer support when questions arise about the adoption process for the child.

An adopted child can access their family’s medical history.

An adopted child is not always so fortunate to be able to have access to his/her parents’ medical history. This is beneficial as the child grows and needs information concerning their own health choices or future possibilities.

You can avoid the unknown.

When information is sealed off and details are unknown in an adoption, a birth parent is sometimes troubled by guilt or depression concerning the well-being of her child. If she enters into an open adoption, she can have access to knowing how her child is growing. She will also be able to provide details and answer her child’s questions about the adoption or her decision.

As unique as you and the family that you could choose to adopt your baby are, so will your adoption story be and the type of contact in an adoption you will feel comfortable having. Virginia adoption professionals will present the evidence for how beneficial an open adoption could be for the parents and child involved in an adoption. If you feel you still have some questions about open, semi-open, or closed adoptions in Virginia, please complete the contact form to speak to an adoption professional for more free information and answers to your questions.