What Is Open Adoption in California and How Does It Work?

Are you worried that placing your baby up for adoption means you’re forever losing your bond with your child? You should know it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a right to choose open adoption in California.

What’s an open adoption in California? The open adoption definition in California is that it’s an arrangement between a child’s birth parents and adoptive family that provides for free communication after placement in an adoptive home. Open adoption in California allows you to build and maintain a relationship with your child with ongoing contact.

Through open adoption in California, you can give your child the gift of a bright future and watch them grow and flourish. Open adoption in California is routine in modern adoption because of the wealth of benefits it offers. You can find out more about these benefits by filling out our online form.

Meanwhile, keep reading below to learn the differences between closed adoption, semi-open adoption, and open adoption in California and the impact each can have on your relationship with your child and the adoptive family.

Why Should I Consider Open Adoption in California?

Open adoption in California, quite simply, is a beautiful thing because it’s good for everyone involved. Open adoption in California is rooted in a shared love among the parties stemming from a mutual interest in the child’s wellbeing. That’s why open adoptions in California are the norm now.

Here are just a few of the positive impacts of open adoptions in California:

  • Your child will understand their heritage and history.
  • You get to see your child grow and thrive while knowing they’re loved.
  • You get to provide family medical history details if your child ever needs medical care.
  • You have easy access to adoption records to learn details about your child’s life.
  • You can stay in touch with your child regularly, and that includes in-person meetings.
  • Your child is protected from feelings of abandonment that sometimes arise in closed adoption.
  • Your child gets an extended family to provide needed support throughout their lifetime.

What Are the Drawbacks to Open Adoption in California?

There are some supposed drawbacks attributed to open adoptions in California, but they have largely been debunked. As a birth mother, you have a right to opt for closed adoption if it feels right to you. But most birth mothers find open adoptions in California are positive for everyone. That’s why open adoption in California is recommended by most adoption professionals. 

What does open adoption mean in California? Selecting open adoption in California provides you with total control of your post-placement experience. You determine your open adoption terms, including things like the volume of information shared, the kind of information shared, and the frequency of contact with your child.

You get to tailor your agreement to your personal wishes when you choose open adoption in California. In most open adoptions in CA, birth parents, and adoptive parents share some basic information, such as:

  • Complete contact information to allow birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee to stay in touch
  • Family medical history for both birth parents
  • In-person visits on special occasions, such as holidays
  • Direct contact between the involved parties

You’re in charge of choosing the best family for your kid, no matter what kind of adoption you’ve selected. But if open adoption in California appeals to you, seek agencies that handle open adoption in California.

Below are some agencies in California that work with birth mothers to facilitate open adoptions in CA.

What is a semi-open adoption in California?

Semi-open adoption in California is a form of open adoption in California that allows for more limited contact. There’s some communication between the birth parents and adoptive parents but the details shared in semi-open adoption in California is usually less specific and less frequent.

The communication between the parties in semi-open adoption in California may be mediated by an adoption professional who acts as a go-between. The information exchanged may only include information such as:

  • First names of those involved in the adoption
  • Limited medical information and family medical history for the adoptee
  • Details about birth parents, like biographical information or geographic location

If you’re interested in watching your child grow and develop from a distance with no direct contact, semi-open adoption in California may be your way forward.

What is a closed adoption in California?

There are birth mothers who want no contact with their child or their adoptive family following placement. That’s okay, as the choice is all yours. Closed adoption in California offers that kind of arrangement, and it features no sharing of information, though the birth mother can allow her child to find her at the age of 18.

Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption in California

The primary difference between open vs. closed adoption in California is the volume of contact shared. In open adoption in CA, there are few, if any, limitations on contact. But in a closed adoption, there’s no information shared at all, and there’s no post-placement contact among the parties.  

If you’re thinking about closed adoption vs. open adoption in California, please know some results of a closed adoption can have a negative impact on you and your child, like:

  • Birth parents can’t see their children are healthy and happy.
  • Adoptees have no family medical history.
  • Adoptees are often burdened by feelings of abandonment.
  • It’s difficult (or impossible) for birth parents and children to meet in the future.

Closed adoptions were once routine, but the advantages of open adoption in California have made it the new norm. Also, the supposed benefits of closed adoptions have been thoroughly rejected by adoption professionals, making open adoption in California the best choice for most birth mothers. 

You still have a right to choose closed vs. open adoption in California if you believe that’s what is best for you and your baby, which can be true when ongoing contact creates safety issues for the child.

Are Open Adoptions in California Enforceable by Law?

Agreements for open adoptions in California, also known as post-adoption contract agreements or PACAs, are addressed in state adoption law, and they are legally enforceable in California under certain conditions. However, it’s important to note that PACA’s legal enforcement isn’t usually necessary because the parties in the open adoption in California are committed to the adoptee’s best interest and will maintain contact voluntarily. 

Open adoptions in California grow from a spirit of cooperation shared by the birth parents and adoptive parents. Adoptive parents and birth parents in open adoption in California aren’t co-parenting, but both share love for their child and want to work together to do what’s best for them. If you want to learn more about open adoption in California, please speak with a licensed adoption professional to learn how the law applies to your situation.

Learning More about Open Adoption in California

Are you still wondering, “What is open adoption in California?” It means different things to different people. Open adoptions in CA are routine now because they’re beneficial for all parties. For birth mothers, there are few (if any) negative aspects of retaining their bond with their child and watching them grow within their adoptive family.

Open adoption in California isn’t right for everyone, and you alone get to make that choice. Your decision is profoundly personal, and its impacts will impact you and your unborn child in the future. For guidance from adoption professionals when choosing the type of adoption arrangement, please complete our online form when you’re ready.

About the Author

Lindsay Arielle has been a proud birth mother since placing her son for adoption in 2011. Her post-placement agreement has always been an open adoption. She loves the time she gets to spend with her son and his parents during visits. Lindsay truly believes that for herself and her family, adoption has been a blessing, and she enjoys writing about spiritual healing for birth mothers.

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