Open adoption allows the birth family to have visitation rights with the child and the adoptive family. The idea is that maintaining contact with the birth family is beneficial for the child. In some cases it may be, but it can also create uncomfortable situations in which the child ends up being forced to make a choice most children should never have to make. An open adoption can take place only if both the adoptive and birth parents sign an agreement and only if that agreement meets the approval of the court. Different states have different rules about open adoption procedures and also different approaches for addressing whether open adoptions are legally enforceable.
Again, this issue requires careful consideration by prospective parents. In some cases agencies encourage open adoption, but if you wish to adopt a child and open adoption makes you uncomfortable, you should make your concerns known early on.