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For Birthmothers: What Type of Adoption is Right for You?

Adoption itself is the first important decision for a birthmother, but the next decision is to determine which type of adoption arrangement is most preferable. This is not a simple decision since a birthmother needs to decide about the level of communication between her, her baby, and the future adoptive parents, which can be quite challenging. There are three different types of adoption, so read about them here and maybe you are going to find just the right fit for you and your baby.

Open Adoption

In open adoption, adoptive parents meet and stay in touch with a birthmother. Nowadays, adoption agencies encourage some degree of openness. The process itself usually means that the agency gives the birthmother adoptive family profiles and she chooses the family she is most comfortable with. First, the birthmother and adoptive parents meet, and later on, visits during the pregnancy can be arranged. The level of openness and the frequency of visits are something that the birthmother and adoptive parents can discuss together and find the best solution for both parties and the baby.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Open adoption is the first choice for most people since it can reveal the mystery of the adoption process. This adoption type also allows adoptive parents to answer their child’s questions about where they come from more easily. In case of open adoption medical records of birth parents are also shared, which can mean a lot to adoptive parents. A downside to open adoption is that some birth parents find that degree of openness to be too difficult emotionally. If you find the right family however, everything can be shared, and you can find solutions that work for everyone if you talk honestly about your feelings and fears.

Semi-open Adoption

In this adoption type, the relationship between the birthmother and adoptive parents includes the sharing of personal information to some degree. Rather than completely open communication and in-person visits, semi-open adoptions usually just include the exchange of photos or letters.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Every birthmother needs to choose an adoption type based on the level of contact she wants with an adoptive family and her child. This is a great option for birthmothers who find it emotionally difficult to have a fully open adoption but still want to receive updates about their child as he or she grows. With this option, your child will still know who you are; however, if he or she ever chooses to meet you in the future, it may be difficult to establish a relationship at that time.

Closed Adoption

This adoption type is more common when it comes to international adoptions, but it is also not all that rare in domestic adoption. This adoption type means that little to no contact is made between the birthmother and the adoptive parents. The degree of information sharing varies widely from state to state, but usually no personal details or contact information is shared between the two parties.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Sometimes birthmothers choose this adoption type because they find any level of open adoption too emotional and hard to handle. Some women feel that a closed adoption is the only way for them to move forward with their life after the adoption. This type of adoption can, however, be difficult for the child involved because he or she will know little to nothing about where he or she came from nor the motivation behind the adoption. 

When it comes to this decision, there is no right or wrong answer. It should be whatever type works best for you, your baby, and your baby's adoptive family. If you're having difficulty making your choice, we recommend talking to a trusted friend or family to find the right adoption type for yourself. Our birthmother coordinators are also here for you 24/7 to talk you through your decision, so never hesitate to contact us.

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