Archives for March 2018

Closed Versus Open Adoption: What You Need to Know


Making the decision to adopt a child is an important milestone for your family, but it is one that can also be fraught with confusion and concern over the legal processes surrounding adoption.


There are so many myths that have to do with how adoption works and what it looks like. The truth is that adoption has evolved into a more modern form, so stories you have heard from others in the past may not be accurate with how adoption works today. Understanding what’s in front of you and the options available to you as adoptive parents will guide your decision.


Having a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the law will be very valuable as you go forward to add a new family member and celebrate this milestone. One common question that many people considering adoption want to know is whether closed or open adoption is more appropriate and what each of these means.


Open versus closed adoption is an important decision you will need to make early on in the adoption process and may be determined or affected by the family you’ll ultimately choose to work with.


A closed adoption means the adoptive parents and child have no contact with the birth parents after the adoption is finalized. This used to be the majority of adoptions. In some cases, there may have been no contact prior to the adoption. However, the United States trend with regards to adoption is now towards open adoption, in which different boundaries can be established based on the parties remaining in one another’s lives and closed adoptions are now rare in the U.S. but are still a common practice for parents adopting internationally. In the past, a family would be included on a list a social worker would identify a match.


Adoptive parents may not have known who the birth parents were or where the child came from. Many states now have procedures where someone who wants to open a closed adoption can access information about the other parties. However, this varies from state to state. The open adoption process is the most common today. The adoptive parents usually meet and keep in touch with the birth parents. Most adoption agencies encourage some degree of openness and these birth parents participate in choosing the adoptive parents in many cases. With the open adoption process adoptive parents can answer questions about who the birth parents. However, there are downsides associated with open adoption.


Adoptive parents might find the openness degree threatening, and become concerned that the birth parents may intrude in lives of the family after or even try to reverse the adoption. Adoptive parents might be concerned that the child will suffer some confusion about who his or her real parents are. However, when this situation is set up with the assistance of a knowledgeable New Jersey adoption attorney, the relationship for all parties can be very beneficial.


Birth parents and adoptive parents may stay in touch frequently over the duration of the pregnancy and stay in contact after the birth. In some cases, the adoptive parents might be able to witness the child’s birth as well. Other families may choose to stay in touch on holidays and birthdays only, but a friendship can develop that can last for many years. If you are interested in the various aspects of adoption and what you should do to plan ahead when your family is thinking about making use of these procedures in New Jersey is to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer immediately.

Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia.

To set up an appointment with Attorney Don Cofsky, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail.