Adoption is a fulfilling way to start or grow a family. But couples in Texas considering going through the process should be aware of three legal issues that can arise with open adoptions.
What is open adoption?
Closed adoptions are when the birth parents relinquish all rights and don’t have any contact with the adoptive family or children. Open adoptions are when the biological parents maintain some level of communication with either the adoptive parents or the kids. In the past, nearly all adoptions were closed. These days, open adoptions are a lot more common.
Three legal issues associated with open adoption
If you’re considering an open adoption, it’s important to understand the legal hurdles that may present themselves.
Even if adoptive parents are chosen, birth parents retain all rights until they sign the relinquishment papers. As a result, some biological parents withdraw from the agreement at the last minute. Therefore, getting the paperwork signed sooner rather than later is almost always the best option.
One of the biggest fears adoptive parents have is that the biological mother or father may one day demand the child back. The good news is that this only happens in the rarest of cases because most adoption agencies and attorneys make sure the legalities are sorted early on.
The third most common open adoption issue is when there’s a visitation plan in place, and one party wants to change it. Sometimes, the birth parents desire more access than originally agreed upon. Other times, the adoptive parents want to reduce time spent with the biological family. When situations arise, it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer to determine what’s possible and what isn’t.
People have been adopting children for millennia, and it often works out beautifully. So try not to let potential legal hiccups stand in your way.