What is an open adoption?

3. Get an openness order

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An is a that says an adopted child can have contact with their birth parent, relative, or community member.

You can talk to a lawyer for advice about an openness order. They can also help you with the court process. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

Birth Parents who Want an Openness Order

A birth parent usually asks for an openness order after:

If this happens, a birth parent should contact a lawyer right away because they only have 30 days from the date they receive this Notice to apply for an openness order.  

If a birth parent wants an openness order, they have to go to court and ask for an openness order. Before making an openness order the court will see whether:

  • the contact would be in the child’s best interests,
  • the adoptive parents can do what the order asks them to do
  • the contact would be beneficial and meaningful for the child

If the child is 12 years or older, the child is the only one who has to agree to the order for the court to make it. If the child is younger than 12 years old, nobody needs to agree before the court can consider the above criteria and make the order.

“Beneficial and meaningful for the child” means that the relationship the court is being asked to order will have a good effect on the child and is an important relationship for the child. The court looks at your specific situation to see whether this is true, before making the order.

Other People Who May Want an Openness Order

An adopted child, or anyone who was given an access order for the child, can also ask for an openness order. If they do, the Court considers the same things as they do when a birth parents asks for an openness order.  Adoptive parents cannot ask the court for this order, but they can ask someone else with an access order to ask the court to make one.

When the CAS Asks for an Openness Order

If the CAS asks for the openness order, the following people must agree to it:

  • the birth parent, relative or other person who wants to keep in contact with the child
  • the proposed adoptive parents
  • the child, if they are 12 years or older
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