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The differences between open and closed adoptions

People in Tennessee may be interested in adoption for a number of reasons. While most adoptions today that are not international tend to be open, in the past, adoptions were usually closed. Open or closed adoption refers to how much information is exchanged between birth and adoptive parents.

In a closed adoption, adoptive parents would usually be matched with a child by a social worker. The adoptive parents would not know who the child's parents were, and the child might be unaware of being adopted. If the adoptive and birth parents do know one another, they do not remain in communication after the adoption. While closed adoption records are generally sealed, there are ways of requesting that they be opened.

Most agencies now do open adoptions. With these adoptions, the birth mother may choose the adoptive family for the child out of several prospective candidates. The adoptive parents may be present at the birth of the child. All of the parents may remain in touch, and the situation may be easier for a child to adjust to. However, there can be disadvantages. Adoptive parents might be concerned over whether the child recognizes them as the parent. They might also worry that the birth parents will want the child back.

Whether an adoption is open or closed or happens for other reasons, such as a stepparent wanting to adopt a stepchild or a family member losing custody of the child, a person who is interested in adoption might want to consult an attorney. There might be complications in this process. For example, if the biological parents can no longer care for the child, there might be more than one family member who wishes to adopt the child. In a stepparent adoption, the other biological parent may need to give up rights to the child.

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