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Open adoption refers to a type of adoption that allows birth parents to remain in contact with the child after the adoption is final. Many soon-to-be parents decline the option of an open adoption almost as soon as the idea arises, but if you plan to adopt in North Carolina, maybe you should not be so quick to shut down an open adoption. ChildWellfare.gov explores the benefits of open adoption for you and your child.

When you choose open adoption, you have access to information and resources you would not otherwise have had had you gone the closed adoption route. For instance, if you have any questions regarding your child’s medical history or background, you can always ask a member of your child’s biological family. Open adoption also allows you to facilitate a lifelong relationship with the birth parents, something that should help to alleviate the loss your child might feel at having been in the adoption system in the first place. Finally, an open adoption can give you a sense of security, as you know the birth parents and their wishes.

Of course, your needs are only secondary to those of your child’s. Children benefit from open adoption in many ways. For instance, many adopted children feel the need to eventually seek out their birth families. If you encourage open communication between your child and his or her biological parents and siblings, your child will not feel compelled to search for them. Moreover, your child will not have to bear the guilt that those who search in secret often feel.

Open adoption also ensures your child enjoys the sense of identity and security that comes from knowing one’s biological family. It may also lessen his or her feelings of abandonment and increase his or her connection to his or her cultural background and ancestry.

This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.