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Questions about Open Adoption Laws

For many wishful parents, adoption is often the only choice. There are many types of adoption – open adoption being one of them. Most common persons do not know the pros and cons of an open adoption because they are unaware of the intricacies of open adoption laws. Problems and questions can arise when deciding to adopt. Questions can range from problems with open adoption, meaning of open adoption laws, and how to get more open adoption information. When people are faced with questions like these, they often ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer. Listed below are the top five open adoption questions that have been answered on JustAnswer.

What is an open adoption?

The primary difference between a truly open adoption and a semi-open adoption is that the adopted child has the potential of developing a one-on-one relationship with his or her birth family. It is not about the adoptive parents bestowing birthparents with the privilege of contact, nor is it about birthparents merely being available to provide information over the years. Direct contact, in the form of letters, phone calls and visits between the birth parents, the adopted child, and the adoptive parents is deemed essential in an open adoption, if they are to establish and maintain their relationship.

If someone was promised an "open" adoption, and fraud was committed by the adopting Mom, can it be reversed?

How far along the open adoption is — whether it has been filed with the court already or if it’s in the final stages — will determine what legal recourse to take. There are different laws pertaining to different states, since each state law is different, that could have a major role in the outcome as well. If in fact the adoption still remains open, you could petition the court for a contempt judgment and request that the open adoption stipulations be carried out or abandoned.

Are there specific states where open adoption contracts are enforced?

In most of the states in the U.S they really don’t enforce the “on-going contact agreement” of an open adoption. The adoptive parents have the right to say who the youngster can see or visit once the biological parent’s civil rights are ended. Many times, this leads individuals to not withhold the original contract. An open adoption contract is a binding contract between the two parties, and is not usually linked with the law.

What can a mother do to get back her children after putting them up for an open adoption?

If there was an ultimate court ordered adoption, the mother will usually need to try and adopt their kids back, if she wants to get guardianship and parental rights back. The adoptive parent will need to give up the guardianship of the children to the biological parents. In other words both parties will need to repeat the same process that they had done before the adoption of the children, but now the adoptive mom will be the one relinquishing her rights and the biological mother would be able to adopt the children again.

What can someone do if an open adoption had occurred and the adoptive parents stopped sibling visits once the child was adopted?

If the adoptive parents stopped the visitation rights and it was court ordered, then “contempt of court” maybe considered since the violation of the order occurred. The biological parent or the sibling might need to file a motion for contempt towards the adoptive parents in order to put into effect their court ordered visitation rights. Contempt is known as the headstrong and deliberate violation of a court order, the penalty might be a fine or jail time, and reimbursement of attorney fees.

Open Adoption is a very diverse topic; it can have a lot of legal issues. People often turn to Family Lawyers on JustAnswer for insights or answers to tricky legal questions. Experts on JustAnswer can help individuals get quick and reliable answers.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9263
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Open Adoption Questions

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    Hi, my wife (a legal immigrant with green card, approx. one year in USA) and I will be moving to Washington state soon when my military contract ends, and it is a "community property" state, but we would both prefer to have our property governed normally, as a commonlaw arrangement is better for our situation, is there some way to arrange this and opt out of "community property" rules? Some kind of paperwork we could file?
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    We reside in Texas. I have 2 kids, 15 and 17. They have both lived with me their entire life since I divorced their father until recently when my daughter, after having been grounded for a month for inappropriate, risky behavior, succumbed to her father "buying" and manipulating her to get out of her consequences. She now resides with him, and we are estranged. The Court has now ordered that all child support cease and that I be responsible to pay for both kids' medical insurance of their father's choosing, be it employer or independent agency. I, of course, already carry insurance on them b/c their father usually changes jobs every 18 to 24 months. Is there case law to support this mandate by the judge, and can he actually lawfully order where I actually purchase the insurance from? We're talking a difference of 70% increase if I drop my coverage and pay their father's coverage.  Also, will my obligation legally end with one child when they turn 18/ or graduate high school, whichever occurs first?

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