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What is an open adoption in New Jersey? | what to know

To learn more about open adoption in New Jersey, read on and reach out to our skilled Morris County adoption attorneys.

How does open adoption work in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, open adoption refers to an adoption in which a biological parent holds some sort of relationship with the family who adopted his or her biological child. The essence of that contact ranges depending on the circumstances. In some cases, the adoptive family may send the biological parent a periodic photo and an update while in other instances, the biological parent may be motivated to visit and spend time with the child.

On the contrary, a closed adoption refers to a circumstance in which the adoption records are closed, and no identifying information is passed between adoptive and biological parents. Keep in mind that thirty states, however, have set up mutual consent registries permitting children who were adopted through a closed adoption procedure to pursue information about their biological parents once they come of age so long as the biological parents consent to do so.

What are the benefits of open adoption?

The possibility of an open adoption can be threatening to adoptive parents. 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 goes on, medical science is finding that many chronic health conditions have genetic features. When adoption records are closed, it can be hard to gain access to medical information that could help specify the most effective treatment strategies 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 terrible flaw. Because of this, 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 unsure about is often scarier than what people do know. 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 intentions.


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