There’s an alternative to the state adoption process. You have a choice. Your voice matters.
If you struggle with issues related to:
Your child may be removed and placed in foster care.
It’s important to carefully consider your three options:
We know that you sincerely love your child and want to provide for them. You may have had some challenging events in your life and you are under enormous stress. You want to be involved in their life and see them grow. You want them to know you love and care about them.
After the state removes your child and places her in a foster home, you may be offered the option of reunification. Your state caseworker will require that you meet certain requirements to regain custody of your child.
A reunification path may include:
- Resource Support Such as Parenting Classes
- Mental Health Assessment and Counseling
- Drug/Alcohol Treatment
- Domestic Violence Intervention
If you meet these requirements in the time frame you’ve been given, this path to reunification with your child may give you the outcome you hoped for and your efforts are well worth it. The state will continue to supervise to insure that you continue to meet the criteria. Sometimes parents continue to struggle. Your child may go back and forth into foster care, which is difficult for them and you.
A state adoption is the likely next step if:
- This path does not lead to reunification.
- You don’t feel like you can complete the reunification requirements.
- You don’t feel able to parent at the time.
In a state adoption your child will likely spend months, even years, in foster care. This can be an emotional time of confusion and separation for you and your child. If your child has multiple moves and caretakers, it can become hard for them to bond and attach. They may also struggle with other issues.
If your path doesn’t lead to reunification, there are two types of state adoption.
Voluntary relinquishment. You sign adoption paperwork.
Involuntary relinquishment. There’s a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) hearing.
With either type of state adoption:
- Your child will likely spend months/years in foster care.
- You won’t choose the adoptive family. You won’t experience the sense of empowerment that comes from hand-selecting a family based on your hopes and dreams for your child. Even if your child is being adopted by a family member, they might not be your choice.
- This process doesn’t provide lifelong open adoption relationship building skills or ongoing guidance.
- The adoptive parents will determine how involved you are in your child’s life, even if the contact agreement is mediated.
There is another path.
It’s important to know that you have choices.
You can avoid foster care for your child and pro-actively plan an open adoption through Open Adoption & Family Services.
OA&FS Open Adoption
Many parents believe that they have failed their child if they place them in an adoption, or that only parents who don’t love their child would consider adoption. They might think the only type of adoption available to them is a state adoption.
But what if “adoption” is an open adoption in which you’re empowered with resources and information as you make choices and have a voice in your child’s future?
At OA&FS open adoption means:
- You are heard, valued and respected.
- You hand-select an adoptive family, meet and form a lifelong friendship with them.
- You are a part of their extended family, and have an honored role in your child’s life.
- You create a legally enforceable agreement for ongoing visits.
- You receive lifelong counseling and relationship guidance from OA&FS.
At Open Adoption & Family Services, we can help.
Through our free options counseling:
- You access free services and resources.
- You make an informed choice.
- You are supported no matter what you decide.
Talk to a Counselor 24/7
You do have a choice. Your voice matters.
You have rights in adoption.
Our services are free of charge.
We place infants and children up to the age of three.
Maybe you’ve already had a state adoption, are pregnant again, and this time you want an open adoption.
Or maybe this can be a back-up plan if you need it later.
Don’t give up on having a lifelong relationship with your child.
What to expect in an OA&FS open adoption.
You’ll be welcomed by the adoptive family and treated with respect and compassion.
You’ll be there for your child letting her know how much you care.
You’ll know she’s safe and loved by all of the people who are dear to her.
OA&FS adoptee Aven with birthparents James and Katt, and adoptive parents Eric and Heather, (r-l).
Birthparents speak out about their open adoption experiences.
Advice for at-risk pregnant and parenting moms: “If it’s important for you to maintain some control over the situation then I would recommend open adoption. It’s a lot easier to have a say what happens to the kids and who adopts them verses DHS making that choice. I wanted to know Preston as he grew up. So far it has exceeded my expectations.”Birthmother Misty
Adoptee Preston (in vest) with birth siblings Nikita, Alex and Owen, (l-r).
“Child Protective Services came to the hospital. They began to use every mistake we had ever made in our past against us. So we made the decision to call our adoption counselor at Open Adoption & Family Services. The next day we met the wonderful parents we chose. We named our son Tristen. Today he is a thriving six year old big brother to a beautiful baby sister. I have never regretted our decision to give our son a better life.”Birthfather Chris
Adoptee Tristen with birthfather Chris.
“Planning an open adoption was an opportunity for me to get my life back on track and still be part of my children’s lives. I knew I could make my life better with support, and my open adoption has given me a whole new family. I just graduated from a recovery program and have a part- time job. I couldn’t have done that with court involvement, or threats and pressure from an authority figures. When we struggle in life, we need someone to support us, not judge us. When we make bad choices in life, we can’t change the past, but we can change the future, for ourselves and our kids. I’m so proud of my open adoption.”Birthmother Angela
Birthmother Angela, right, with her twins and their adoptive mom.
Birthmother Sharene’s story.
“I was having a hard time and the state took my daughters away. When they were put in foster care, I didn’t know anything about the foster parents. When I found out I was pregnant again, I went to OA&FS.
This time I had a choice. I chose the best parents for my son. When we met, I knew Brady and Peter were a good fit for my child. I knew they’d cherish him and that he’d grow up to be a good man.
The adoptive parents got to know who I am first, and know that I’m a good person. They didn’t judge me. I like spending time with them and building our relationship.
When things went awry in my daughters’ foster home, Brady and Peter adopted my girls too and have been wonderful fathers to them.”
“In an open adoption, your child is not gone. You still get to see them,
to have that relationship, to bond with them. It’s a great feeling.”Birthmother Sharene
Adoptee Finn as a newborn with birthmother Sharene, Finn sleeping with birth sisters Sophia and Joan, Sharene and Finn, (clockwise from top).
Christine was adopted in 1994. Before her placement she lived with her birthparents, who struggled with addiction, and then in a foster home for 10 months.
Open adoptee perspectives: Meet Christine.
When Christine was three years old she was adopted from foster care by a family from Open Adoption & Family Services. Her three full siblings were also adopted by families through the agency. They have remained close and the families celebrate holidays together. They have a relationship with their birthfather. Sadly, their birthmom died of an overdose many years ago. Now as a young woman Christine is a graduate of Portland State University and was recently married.
“Open adoption has shown me that love is limitless. It has empowered me to be the writer of my own story. I have always known I was loved deeply by so many people. In open adoption there are no lies or secrets. Just the truth. In my family we believe the truth is always right. It may not always be easy, but it is always the right thing. The honesty and openness my parents have shown me has created an unbreakable bond in our relationship and has helped me become the woman I am today.”Adoptee Christine
How is an OA&FS open adoption different from a state open adoption?
One of your options is to plan an adoption through the state. Maybe your state caseworker has discussed this with you. There are differences between a state adoption (whether it’s closed or open) and an OA&FS adoption.
At OA&FS you make all of the important decisions in your open adoption. It’s empowering to hand-select a family for your child that reflects your hopes and dreams for them. You choose a family based on all of the values, interests, personality traits and viewpoints you have in common. You form a genuine, lifelong friendship with them that looks like an extended family relationship. You get together often and are actively involved in your child’s life.
Our open adoptions repect and include you. In our process family preservation is created by adding family and supports. We honor your child’s need to have you in their life, and your need not to be separated from your child.
Know your options.
We’re here for you. You can access our services free of charge during your pregnancy, after your baby is born at the hospital and until your child is three years old. You’ll be treated with dignity and respect as you explore all of your options. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form. We’re available 24/7.