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How Choosing an Open Adoption Can Affect Your Child

 Posted on February 20, 2014 in Adoption

adoptDeciding to adopt a child is a deeply personal decision. Couples may choose to pursue a closed adoption, where the child and family has no contact with the birth mother, or an open adoption where the child and family has access to a degree of personal information, and may choose to maintain contact with each other once the adoption is complete. According to The Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project, having an open adoption may affect the child's self-esteem and adjustment.

According to the study, in children between the ages of 4-12 the level of openness in the adoption didn't affect self-esteem or adjustment. It did however seem to have an impact during middle childhood for adopted children. The empathy and mutual respect generated by an open adoption between the adoptive and birth parents had a significantly positive impact during this time.

In adolescents, the level of openness wasn't significantly important to the child's adjustment levels. Instead, qualities such as relationship collaboration and compatibility were more likely to impact an adopted child's self-esteem. Another somewhat surprising result from the study was that the level of openness in the adoption did not seem to result in any differences in a child's degree of preoccupation with being adopted, or their adoptive identity.

In general, it seemed that the choice to have an open adoption had more impact on the parents than on the child. For examples, birth mothers who choose open adoptions experience less grief than those who chose closed adoptions. Furthermore, adoptive parents reported a stronger sense of permanence in their relationship with their child, and less fear when participating in an open adoption.

Deciding to adopt is a deeply personal choice. Unfortunately, legal issues can often complicate the adoption process. Whether you are seeking to adopt a child in an open adoption or close adoption, having a qualified attorney can help. Contact Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC today for a consultation; they can help ensure that your adoption proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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