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What you should know about open adoption in New Jersey

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To learn more about open adoption and the process as a whole, continue reading and give our firm a call today to speak with our dedicated Somerset County adoption attorneys. Our legal team is here to help.

What is open adoption in New Jersey?

Open adoption in New Jersey refers to an adoption in which a biological parent maintains some kind of relationship with the family who adopted his or her biological child. The significance of that contact varies depending on the situation. In some instances, the adoptive family may send the biological parent an occasional picture and an update while in other cases, the biological parent may be encouraged to visit and spend time with the child.

On the other hand, closed adoption is when the adoption records are closed, and no identifying details are handed off between adoptive and biological parents. Recognize that in thirty states, however, mutual consent registries have been set up permitting children who were adopted through a closed adoption procedure to seek information about their biological parents once they reach a certain age as long as the biological parents agree to do so.

What are the benefits of open adoption?

It is not uncommon for adoptive parents to feel threatened by the possibility of open adoption. Adoptive parents may wonder if their adopted child will see them as parents or if the biological parents will ever be able to reassert a claim to the child. However, there are many benefits to open adoption, including:

  • Medical and genetic information: As time passes, medical science is discovering that many regular health conditions have genetic features. When adoption records are sealed, it can be difficult to gain access to medical information that could help determine the most effective treatment plans for a sick child.
  • Self-esteem: Without comfort from a biological parent, an adopted child can grow up feeling that he or she was placed for adoption because of some horrible flaw. As a result, children can grow up with a feeling of abandonment that can be very damaging to their self-esteem. Learning from a biological parent about the circumstances that led up to the adoption can go a long way toward supporting a child’s self-confidence.
  • Less uncertainty: What people are skeptical about is often more frightening than what people are aware of. Where there can be an open channel of communication between adoptive parents and biological parents, adoptive parents are less likely to challenge a birth mother’s underlying choices.

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