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Most adoptions today are open, meaning that the birth parent(s) and adoptive family continue to have contact with one another after the child’s adoption has been finalized. Some exchange occasional letters and pictures through an online portal called Child Connect, others have visits (with or without a social worker present) once or twice a year (and sometimes more often), and some communicate directly on a regular basis.
You can choose the family who will adopt your child. If you have a vision of the kind of parent(s) you want for your child, your Adoptions Together counselor will give you multiple profiles of families to choose from based on your preferences. If you’d like, you can even meet with an adoptive family virtually or in-person prior to your child being placed with them.
You decide what kind of contact you want to have. Your counselor will only match you with an adoptive family that wants the same level of contact. Once you have decided what level of openness you want and have come to an agreement with the adoptive family regarding what months the updates and visits will occur in, you and the adoptive family will sign a Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA). A PACA is a legally binding agreement in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Many women considering adoption choose open adoption because they find it comforting to be able to see for themselves that their child is safe and happy. However, if you feel that it will be too painful to choose the adoptive family or for you to keep in touch with your child and their adoptive family, that’s okay, too. If you do not want to choose an adoptive family, Adoptions Together will place your child with the longest waiting family who is a match racially and otherwise.
Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families, can help you make an adoption plan immediately after your baby is born, or later in their childhood. If you decide to place your toddler or young child for adoption after birth, the following steps will take place.