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Unlike a closed adoption in which the birth parents have little to no contact with the adoptive family after the child is born, an open adoption maintains the biological relationship while providing the child a suitable home with a loving family. An open adoption can include interactions such as letters, phone calls, electronic communication and in-person visits depending on the wishes of the adoptive parents and birth parents.

If you plan to grow your family by adopting a child, consider these advantages of an open adoption in North Carolina.

Available medical history

Genetic issues contribute to many health problems, including but not limited to the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. Establishing an open adoption will allow your child access to the medical information of his or her biological family even into adulthood. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, adult adoptees do not automatically have access to medical records and other details about their families of origin.

Connection to roots

When the birth family remains a mystery to the adopted child, an identity crisis may occur as he or she yearns to learn about the family of origin. Maintaining an ongoing connection through open adoption provides an avenue for the answers to common questions about identity faced by adoptive children.

Flexible arrangements

Open adoptions are not one-size-fits-all. Some families prefer open adoption in which the birth parents have direct contact with the adoptive parents and child. With a semi-open adoption, a social worker, attorney or representative will send letters and photos to keep the birth parents updated on the child’s life. However, your identity and contact information remain confidential. Both sets of parents can choose an arrangement that best fits their needs and comfort level.

Although many agencies offer open adoption, North Carolina does not enforce contracts mandating contact with the birth family. Visits, letters and phone calls occur at the sole discretion of the adoptive family.