open adoption in texas

The Pros and Cons of an Open Adoption in Texas

If you are considering adopting a child, you’re surely weighing the differences between open and closed adoptions. If you are a birth parent who will be placing their child for adoption, you’ll be weighing these options as well. While a closed adoption is the right choice for some families, we’ll be focusing on the pros and cons of open adoption in Texas here. 

An “open adoption” refers to an adoption where the birth family and adoptive family stay in touch after the birth of the child and the adoption, for the benefit of the adopted child. The level and type of contact between the two families can be different in each adoption and can include emails, phone calls, photographs, letters, and even regular visitation. Contact can be just between birth and adoptive parents or can include contact with birth grandparents and siblings. Some families even make open adoption work in international adoptions. 

Open adoptions aren’t always in the best interest of the child, however, and it can be helpful to consult a therapist or social worker if you aren’t sure what is the best choice for your family. As with many choices in life, it can also be helpful to break open adoption down into pros and cons. 

Pros of Open Adoption

  • The birth family can choose the perfect adoptive family. 
    • Open adoption in Texas gives a birth family the chance to choose the family that will raise their baby. They can also meet and get to know this family through an open adoption agency. 
  • Easier answers to the adoptive child’s questions
    • In an open adoption in Texas, contact with the birth family can prevent an adopted child from feeling that something is missing in their life. The child will also have the opportunity to ask why they were placed for adoption and receive an honest, balanced answer. This lets them grow up with the truth rather than with an imagined or romanticized version of their adoption story. 
  • Links to ancestry and heritage
    • An adoptee in an open adoption also has the benefit of access to information about their birth family’s heritage, which can be a valuable part of their identity. 

  • A wider support network
    • More support for a child is never a bad thing, and an open adoption can give them just that. The child will be even more loved, and the adoptive family will probably be grateful to have extra support as well. 
  • Easy access to medical information
    • Many adoptees in closed adoptions lack access to basic medical information and family medical history. This information can be invaluable to mental and emotional health and can help medical professionals make informed decisions for the adoptee as a patient. 

Cons of Open Adoption

  • Boundary issues
    • Some birth families may have trouble knowing where exactly they fit into the big picture, and into their biological child’s life. Adoptive families may have issues with boundaries as well and be unsure of how to incorporate two sets of parents. 
      • To avoid confusion around boundaries, it can be helpful to be upfront about boundaries around visitation, phone calls, and birth parent input on how the child is raised.
  • Possibly unrealistic expectations
    • Open adoption in Texas can be difficult when each set of parents has different expectations of the other. The birth parents might expect perfect parenting from the adoptive parents, while the adoptive parents might expect less input from the birth parents. 

  • Lifestyle conflict between parents
    • We tend to look for shared values and lifestyles in our friends, but an adoptive family and birth family might not necessarily have these things in common. If this is the case, you should prioritize what is good for the child over what is most comfortable for you. However, if there are differences that cause a safety issue, such as drug use, then you can limit contact with the birth family to letter and emails rather than in-person visitation. Be sure to explain this change to the other party and the adoptee to avoid confusion. 
  • Less closure for birth parents
    • Some birth parents hope to feel a sense of closure when they place their child for adoption, and with open adoption, this isn’t always the case. Open adoption can instead bring new beginnings and new relationships for birth parents, which may not be what they intended or prefer. 
  • The pressure to keep in touch
    • Some birth parents may feel pressured to keep up contact with their child and adoptive family, even if it is detrimental to their own emotional or mental health. 

If adoption is the right choice for you and your family, it’s important to consider whether open or closed adoption is best for your child. As with any major choice in life, there are many arguments for and against each side. You should of course do your research, but don’t be afraid to lean on professionals for help as well. In the end, the choice is yours. We hope this list of pros and cons of open adoption in Texas helps you make the one that is best for you and your child. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *