What does open adoption mean in Tennessee? Well, there is no exact way to define open adoption in Tennessee. In general, having an open adoption in Tennessee means that a birth mother has some form and frequency of direct contact with her child after placement — although every post-placement adoption relationship is different.

Open adoption holds many benefits for all of the people immediately touched by an adoption. In fact, some children even have contact with their birth families beyond their birth mother! Open adoption is a great way for a prospective birth mother to have a relationship with her child after placement. She may also choose to have a closed or semi-open adoption post-placement, depending on her preferences.

A post-placement agreement is decided upon by both the birth mother and adoptive parents before placement occurs, thus defining what type of relationship all parties will have with one another for the next 18 years.

What is Open Adoption in Tennessee?

The open adoption “definition” in Tennessee includes any relationships in which a birth mother has direct communication with her birth child after placement. This contact can consist of any frequency level or form of communication. As long as there is some form of relationship between birth mother and birth child, it is considered an open adoption.

Some birth mothers see their child once per year, other birth mothers see their children on holidays, while still others enjoy a more frequent relationship with their birth child. Some birth mothers interact with their child in person, while other birth mothers enjoy phone calls, and gift and letter exchanges. With so many different ways birth mothers can communicate with their birth children, an open adoption holds many possibilities for any expectant mother.

What is Closed Adoption in Tennessee?

On the opposite end of the post-placement spectrum from a Tennessee open adoption lies a closed adoption. A closed adoption occurs when a birth mother has no communication whatsoever with her birth child and his or her adoptive parents for that child’s upbringing. Once the child turns 18-years-old, he or she can seek out his or her birth mother through state adoption records, if the birth mother desires to release her information for such a purpose.

Closed adoption was very common in society not too many decades ago. However, as society evolved in its acceptance of open adoption and recognition of its benefits, open adoptions in Tennessee and across the nation have now become the norm. As closed adoption fades away, open adoption becomes an encouraging and hopeful way for birth mothers to be a part of their children’s lives long after making their adoption decision.

What is Semi-Open Adoption in Tennessee?

Semi-open adoption in Tennessee is a great option for a prospective birth mother who desires to know how her child is doing as he or she grows up but does not want to be a significant part of his or her life. In a semi-open adoption, the adoption agency who handled the placement becomes the mediator for the post-adoption relationship. When letters, pictures, or gifts are exchanged, they are mailed to that adoption agency, which then forwards the package to the intended recipient. In this way, all personal and identifying information of the birth mother and the adoptive family is kept private.

The Benefits of Open Adoption in Tennessee

There are many benefits to choosing open adoption in Tennessee — for all parties involved.

First, and most importantly, a child who knows his or her birth mother may experience fewer identity issues later in life as the result of being adopted. This child can also receive more love as he or she is growing up — from their adoptive parents and their birth parents. This happens when adoptive families and birth families find openness within their hearts to freely exchange their love for that child.

Having a healthy relationship with a birth mother benefits the adoptive parents by offering answers to many “Where do I come from?” questions. Of course, the birth mother also benefits by having a greater chance to walk a path of healing after adoption by being blessed with her child in her life.

The ability to choose not only a new life for your baby but also who your baby will be raised by and what type of relationship you will have with them after placement is an honor and responsibility. If you have questions about open adoption facts in Tennessee, please fill out this contact form. An adoption professional will reach out to you and answer any post-placement relationship questions you may have.

Remember that the most important part of choosing a post-placement contact agreement is making sure you honor yourself as a future birth mother. Trust your instincts and be sure you move forward with a post-placement agreement that brings with it a sense of peace.