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If I place my child for adoption, can they find me someday?

It is a difficult decision to place a child for adoption, with competing emotions and desires. If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, one of the main questions you have may be whether you will ever see your baby again.

Open adoptions are very popular among birth parents and adoptive parents, especially as social science has indicated how beneficial it is for all parties. In these adoptions, both parties communicate regularly with one another and often the biological parents can be part of the child's life. 

However, while they are available in Ohio, they are not legally enforceable in the state. All terms are voluntary and anyone who enters into an agreement, including you, can terminate at any time.

This is not to say that the adoptive parents will cut off communication and you will never hear from your child again. Most adoptive parents understand the value of having the birth parents in the child’s life is and want to keep that line of communication open. And even if they don’t, when that child is an adult they have the option to find you themselves.

Opening adoption records

In Ohio, adoption records may be opened if the person who was adopted is over 21 years old. They can also be opened by the adoptive parent if the adoptee is between 18 and 21 years old. If there is no Denial of Release Form in the file from you, they can reach out to you by applying for their file.

If you are considering placing a child for adoption, know that you can work with an attorney to understand how open adoptions work in Ohio and to help you find a family that is a good fit for you and your child. You deserve to have confidence that whoever adopts your child will love them, keep them safe and allow you to be involved as much or as little as you want in the child’s life.

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