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Questions about Closed Adoption Laws

What is a closed adoption?

A closed adoption is usually where a child is adopted by another family, and the record of the biological parent(s) is kept confidential. Adoptions where an older child already knows who the biological parents are cannot be treated as closed adoptions. A closed adoption is normally a traditional and popular type of adoption where records are kept sealed so that the adoptee and the biological parents are kept from finding each other, or even knowing about each other. Read below where Family Lawyers on JustAnswer have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about closed adoptions.

In a closed adoption is there any way to find out who the biological parents are?

In a closed adoption there is usually no way of finding out who the biological parents are unless there is consent it’s expressly stated that information can be released. Normally, this confidentiality in a closed adoption is meant to protect the biological parents. If any information about the closed adoption is released, it could lead to a big liability to the agency that released the information. There is usually no other way to receive that information unless all the parties involved in the adoption give consent for the release of the information.

In Georgia, after a closed adoption, what are their rights of the adoptive parents when it comes to the biological parenting trying to establish contact?

A closed adoption is just that — the records are meant to be closed. If someone gets access to information from the records that were sealed, it would be considered an invasion of privacy. The person, government employee or agency that released the information can be sued. As to the rights for the adoptive parent or the adopted person, they can’t really prevent a stranger from approaching them unless they feel that the stranger is harassing or stalking them. Even if the person is actually the birth parent, you cannot usually get a domestic abuse restraining order in advance because the biological parent would be considered a “legal stranger”. The best option for the adoptive parents or the adopted person would be to simply ignore this person. If they feel annoyed, harassed or stalked, they can call their local law enforcement, and report this person.

Two children were adopted in a closed adoption, once they turned the age of 18 their biological mother is trying to contact them, is there anything they can do?

In a closed adoption case the information should have never been released, and the agency that released the information can be looking at a law suit for invasion of privacy and breaking closed adoption laws. If the parents have known where the children were and how to contact them, the only thing to protect the children if they want no contact with the biological parent is usually to file a restraining order against the biological parents.

In a closed adoption how can someone locate their biological parents?

Since the adoption was closed the adoptee will need to get the information about the agency from the adoptive parents. The agency can only provide non-identifying information about the biological parents since the adoption was closed. They then can find a mutual consent registry on the internet. With the information they have gathered from the agency, they can register the available information, information about themselves, and state that they are looking for their biological parents. If the biological parents are also looking for their child, and have registered with this site then they may be able to find them. But since the information is sealed the agency cannot release any information regarding the child or the biological parents.

If a child has been adopted in a closed adoption can the biological parent take pictures of the child and post them on a website, without the adoptive parents’ permission?

There is no law stating that someone cannot take pictures of a child without parental consent. The adoptive parent can ask for an injunction from the court, and the court will most likely grant this request. They can also contact the website where the photos have been posed and request that these photos to be removed. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer have many years on experience when dealing with closed adoption and the questions that can arise as a result of a closed adoption.

When dealing with a closed adoption, whether you are adoptive parents, the biological parents or the child that has been adopted, there are laws protecting each party. The laws may vary from state to state resulting in legal questions. One way to get your questions about closed adoptions answered is to ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer to provide legal answers and insight.
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