What Is Open Adoption in Arizona?

What Is Open Adoption in Arizona?

The decision to adopt a child is just the first one in a series of important steps. Next, you will have to figure out whether you’d like to get an open or a closed adoption.

The Difference between Open and Closed Adoption

Open and closed adoptions differ from each other in the amount of information made available to the child and to the adoptive parents.

In the case of a closed Arizona adoption, no identifying information about the birth family will be provided to the adoptive parents. For many years, this was the most popular type of adoption in Arizona and across the US. It was considered that the absence of additional information simplified the situation for everyone involved.

Open adoptions are the exact opposite. The amount of information made available to the adoptive family varies from one case to another.

The least amount of information provided in an open adoption includes the first names of the birth parents, their medical history and a chance for basic communication between birth and adoptive families via a third party.

A more open adoption could involve the exchange of even more information between the birth and the adoptive parents. Some of the key characteristics of a fully open adoption include:

  • Contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.)
  • A chance for direct contact between birth and adoptive parents
  • The creation of a visitation schedule that both parties can agree with
  • Additional arrangements that are personalized to the needs of the birth and the adoptive parent

Click here for information on stepparent adoption.

What Is Open Adoption in Arizona?

Common Misunderstandings about Arizona Open Adoptions

A few misunderstandings about open adoptions are still quite popular today.

An open adoption is not the same as co-parenting a child alongside the birth parents. The adoptive family is the one that has all of the parental rights. Birth parents only have the opportunity to keep in touch with the adoptive family and the child.

Open adoptions do not alienate children from their adoptive families. On the contrary. Research so far indicates that an open adoption gives children peace of mind and a greater sense of belonging. They can establish a bond with birth parents while being an important part of their adoptive family’s life.

An open adoption is also beneficial to birth parents. It provides an opportunity to heal and know that a good decision has been made for the future of the child.

While all of this is great, you will still need to assess both the pros and the cons before opting for an open adoption. The disadvantages of an open arrangement aren’t numerous but they could be important. Some of the most prominent shortcomings include an inability to agree on the amount of communication that is healthy or necessary and creating some confusion for a child. As they grow older, some children decide that they do not want contact with their birth parents. In such instances, an open adoption could make things more confusing and challenging for a growing person.

Legal Issues and Considerations

If you are considering an open adoption in Arizona, you will have to focus on a few key legal essentials.

Arizona is a state that enables the signing of a post-adoption contract agreement or PACA. This agreement between the birth and the adoptive parents is legally enforceable and it establishes the manner in which contact is going to be maintained between the two families.

Usually, signing a PACA is a last resort option. In most cases, birth and adoptive families come to an agreement that is based on the best interest of the child. Conflict between the two parties are very rare.

Still, talking to an experienced family attorney before opting for the Arizona open adoption process is going to be important. A lawyer will give you a better idea about the specifics of this adoption, the steps you will have to go through and whether it is the best option for you.

More to read: Understanding the Impact of Family Law on Domestic Relations

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