If you have decided to place your child for adoption, you need to consider what type of adoption you have in mind. There are three different types of adoptions:
- Open Adoptions
- Semi-open Adoptions
- Closed Adoptions
Here are the significant differences and similarities between these three types of adoptions to help you choose the best future for you and your baby.
In open adoptions, both birth parents and the adoptive family know one another’s full contact information. They come up with their own communication plan and do not require an intermediary to facilitate communication between them, such as an adoption agency or other “middlemen”. They coordinate visits and work with the child in whatever way works for all parties. This is the preferred method of adoption, and most agencies strongly encourage some form of open adoption because it tends to be easier for the child in the future.
In an open adoption, the birth mother gets to meet and choose the adoptive family. This often helps her feel more secure about the future of the child, knowing who they will be raised by and cared for. The adopted child will also have a better sense of who they are, where they came from, and who their extended family is, which helps prevent situations where the children fantasize about their birth parents or try to seek them out. This is also very important to all parties have relevant family medical history information, should medical issues arise.
There is one main challenge to open adoptions. Since there are two sets of parents, the communication between all parties needs to be frequent and handled well, so the child does not feel like they have to choose sides and so the families do not get set up against each other by the child. This is no small challenge, especially when the child gets older. Excellent communication and teamwork between both sets of parents is the key to giving your child the best life they can have.
If you do not feel confident in your own discernment or communication abilities, you may want to look into semi-open adoptions. These kinds of adoptions are similar to open adoptions, but they involve less contact and communication. In these adoptions, the adoptive families typically agree to limited interaction between the adopted child and their birth parents. There are usually very few visits, though they are sometimes not allowed at all. The communication with the birth parents usually comes in the form of sending pictures and written updates on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where the adopted child’s family of origin is so fraught with conflict and trouble that the knowledge of that family would cause much more harm than good. In these extreme conditions, closed adoptions are recommended. In closed adoptions, the birth parents and the adoptive parents are kept unaware of one another. All communication is done through a double-blind screen by the adoption agency. All contact info is kept confidential by the agency or by an attorney. Family information is kept secret.
An important factor about closed and open adoptions to keep in mind is that children who are adopted in semi-open or closed adoptions will probably never have a chance to meet their birth parents.
Adoption is a challenging and deeply personal decision made by all birth parents. If you are considering adoption, be aware that you have options. If you have any questions or confusion about the process and your options, contact your local adoption agency.