Some people ask why adoption is necessary. Why, they ask, cannot there be some continuing visitation with birthparents? The answer is that there can be in some situations and not in others, and that the decision should be made by the adoptive parents, who are the only ones sufficiently attuned to the individual needs of the child to be able to make that decision in a manner which is responsive to the particular needs of the particular child. Judges usually cannot adequately make that determination.
Also, chldren are so very much more perceptive than many adults tend to think that they are. When a birth parent has an inconsistent presence in a child’s life, the child may very well sense a risk that he or she may be forced to go with the birth parents and be separated from the perceived parents. The anxiety and fear which this creates can cause great harm to the child. It can prevent learning and healthy development. But if permanency has been achieved through adoption, the child senses no risk, and may be able to have successful visitation with the birth parent. (Terms of post adoption visitation may now be negotiated and incorporated into the Final Order of Adoption through the use of a Post Adoption Contact and Communication Agreement. Sections 63.2-1220.2 to 63.2-1220.4 of the Code of Virginia). If the adoption is not granted, then the child remains in legal danger of custody and visitation proceedings being brought up repeatedly. It is hard for the custodians to hide these proceedings from the child, and a perceptive child will sense the fear and anxiety which is caused to the perceived parents.