When you decide to place your baby for adoption, you need to think about whether you’d like an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or closed adoption. Below, we’ll outline the main differences between these three types of adoption in order to help you make the best choice for you and your baby.
In an open adoption, the birthparents and the adoptive family know each other's full names and other information about each other. While deciding how to communicate, they do not need a middleman or an adoption agency. They are allowed to arrange visits and communicate with the child in a way that suits both parties. Most adoption agencies encourage some type of open adoption, since they consider it to be easier for an adopted child in the future.
An open adoption allows a birthmother to choose the adoptive family and meet them, which can make her feel less uncertain about the future of her child, since she knows it will be loved and cared for. Adopted children will also understand who they are and where they come from, so there will be no situations in which the child will fantasize about their birthparents or search for them. Having access to current medical information in case of serious illness is also very beneficial for the adoptive family.
Having two sets of parents can be complicated for a child, since he or she may feel forced to choose a side. Open adoption usually requires a great level of communication between adoptive parents and birthparents. If you have any doubts about open adoption being the right choice for you, then consider semi-open or closed adoption.
Semi-open is like open adoption, but involves less contact and communication. In this type of adoption, adoptive families will usually agree to limited communication and few to no in-person visits. They will often send pictures and updates on a regular basis.
In a closed adoption, neither the birthparents nor adoptive parents know each other. Usually, all the paperwork and the arrangements are done by the adoption company or an attorney. The main characteristic of this confidential adoption is keeping the identifying information a secret. Both closed and semi-open adoptions mean that a child will likely never have the chance to meet his or her birthparents. This may be problematic down the road if the child ever wants to know where he or she came from, or the cultural and historical background of his or her birthparents.
Adoption is a complicated and personal choice for every birthmother. When making an adoption plan, you have options. If you are confused and not sure about the decision, let us know! The adoption specialists at LifeLong Adoptions will be happy to help you make your decision.