Plenty of adoptive parents are opting for open adoptions these days, giving their children the opportunity to stay in touch with their birth parents. As a matter of fact, the percentage of adoptive parents going for open adoptions has increased from 1 percent 20 years ago to about 70 percent nowadays. If you’re thinking of taking this route, you wouldn’t be wrong in doing so as open adoptions can be very beneficial for all parties involved, and they can also help the children develop a healthy sense of identity as they grow up among adults who love them.
Possible Issues With Open Adoptions
However, open adoptions also expose the adoptive parents to possible conflict with the birth parents whether because the birth parents disappear intermittently out of the child’s life, robbing them of any sense of stability, or because the birth parents are too intrusive in the child’s life. Moreover, any significant upheaval in the adoptive parents’ or the birth parents’ lives can be cause for friction.
Disappearance of the Birth Parents
Giving a child away can be an excruciating ordeal for the birth parents, which is why some of them tend to drop off the grid for the first couple of years after the adoption. They’re simply trying to make matters easier for them as well as their children. Nevertheless, adoptive parents might not understand, causing them to blame the birth parents for this unexplained disappearance. If the adoptive parents have a hard time explaining this behavior, you can only imagine what’s going through the child’s mind.
Fortunately, this blame can be avoided with the help of a professional who’s seen multiple cases such as these and is aware of common behavior patterns that occur during them. If you live in the tri-state area, you would do well to visit a qualified New Jersey adoption attorney.
Intrusiveness of Birth Parents
It’s possible that the birth parents can become overly involved in their child’s life, threatening the relationship the adoptive parents are trying to foster. For instance, a birth parent may insist on seeing their children during every holiday, which precludes the adoptive parents from spending any quality time with their new family member.
Moreover, if the adoptive parents and the birth parents have conflicting values, this can manifest itself in rising tensions over what the child is taught at home. Additionally, a birth parent who feels entitled to have a say in his or her child’s life is liable to ignore any boundaries and barge in on the new family any time he or she feels like it.
A Change in the Adoptive Parents’ Lives
A natural part of life is change, which is never contained and always spills out into other aspects of life. A case in point is if the adoptive parents decide to get divorced, which may lead both the adoptive parents and the child to cut back temporarily on contacting the birth parents. As unfortunate as this change may be for the birth parents, they have to learn to accept it.
A Change in the Birth Parents’ Lives
Just as a change in the adoptive family’s circumstances engender a change in the relationship they have with the birth parents, changes in the birth parents’ lives can have adverse effects on the child. For example, should a birth parent develop a drug habit at some point in time, this may leave a negative impression on the child.
How to Address These Issues
As a result of all this, it’s imperative for the adoptive parents to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement with the birth parents early on. This arrangement should set the expectations for all involved parties so as to accommodate any possible shifts in the future. This arrangement should also specify how much time the birth parents are allowed to spend with their child, what the child should call them, and to what degree the extended birth family has the right to be involved in the child’s life.
Contact Our Office
Whether you need someone to help you come up with such an arrangement or you’re looking for a third party to help address serious conflict between you and the birth parents, you should reach out to a professional New Jersey adoption attorney. 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.