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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Family > What You Need to Know About Open Adoption in Tennessee

What You Need to Know About Open Adoption in Tennessee


There are many ways that families come to be. Adoption can be a wonderful way to bring a child into a loving home, and to expand a family. If you are deciding whether to pursue adoption, there will be several important decisions to be made. One of those decisions will be whether you want to pursue an “open” adoption. But what is an open adoption? How does it work? And what are some of the potential benefits and drawbacks you may encounter if you pursue an open adoption? This article will help readers to understand the basics behind these concepts. One of the expert family law attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers can help with any situation you are in, and discuss more in-depth questions you may have.


There is no one path to accomplish an adoption. There is “family” adoption, in which one relative adopts a relative. This may be the case when a step parent adopts their step child, or an aunt adopts her niece, or a step parent adopts their step child, simply for example. Family adoptions are generally the least expensive and quickest adoptions, generally because much of the time there is already a close relationship there, and you will likely face fewer hurdles from biological parents in the adoption process (of course, every case is different and this is not always the case.)

Other forms of adoption include adoption from the U.S. of a child you do not already have a familial connection to. These may include agency adoptions, private adoptions, or adoption through the Tennessee foster care system.  International adoption is also an option, but it is usually much more complex and much more expensive than a family adoption or adopting from within the U.S. Be that as it may, international adoption is still a wonderful option for many parents and has led to countless happy outcomes.

Basics of Open Adoption

In an open adoption, the birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) share their contact information. There is no one way that an open adoption is constructed, the precise terms of how “open” the adoption will be is something that the parents, both birth parents and adoptive parents, must come together and work out. The birth mother may choose to engage in vigorous communication with the adoptive family prior to the birth of the child, but only seek minimal information or updates about the child after the child is adopted. Alternatively, some families are created where the birth parents remain in close contact with the adoptive family, and even work together to have visitation between them as the child grows up.

There is no right and wrong when it comes to structuring what an open adoption will look like, so long as both sets of parents are in agreement to the terms. Adoptive parents should simply expect that not every birth mother will want the same arrangement that they do, and it is wise for every birth mother to be diligent in ensuring she finds an adoptive home that she is happy with in such aspects.

A pivotal step in negotiating the terms of an adoption is often that of engaging with an attorney who is experienced in family law matters such as adoption. Whatever agreement you come to, and whatever the terms will be, it is so important that the terms of the adoption agreement are clear to everyone involved from the onset. This helps both sides to avoid what could be very emotional and costly potential disputes about an ambiguity or miscommunication

Open Adoption Benefits

Open adoption can truly benefit everyone involved. It requires more of every party involved in it, but that “more” can lead to great blessings for the adopted child. The birth parents gain the benefit of a connection with the child as they grow. Adoptive parents gain the benefit of access to their child’s heritage and family history, particularly the medical history which can be vital to the child as they grow up. Research has repeatedly shown that children gain the most from open adoption, and children with such access to their birth parents are reported to have lower levels of mental health issues, and more securely connect to their own identity as they develop a sense of self.

Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers

Regardless of where you are in your own adoption journey, the experienced Franklin family law attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers can help. Our legal team can help you understand the options you have moving forward and ensure that you move forward with confidence in the days ahead. Contact our office today to begin working with our team.




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