Whether you are placing your child for adoption or are hoping to adopt a child, you should be aware of all of your options. There are three types of adoption arrangements: open adoptions, semi-open adoptions, and closed adoptions.
In many cases, open adoptions are best for all people involved – biological parents, adoptive parents, and the child. Today, we’re going to go over open adoption and help you make the best choice for yourself and your family.
Open V. Closed Adoption
When you choose an open adoption, you are choosing to become involved with the adoptive/biological family. You will have each other’s full names and information, often given to be able to stay in touch. This can include sending letters/pictures, calling each other, and even facilitating visits between biological family and children.
Conversely, in a closed adoption, you will not be able to contact the other party. The adoption is finalized through an adoption agency, in most cases. The child being adopted will not know their birth parents if a closed adoption is chosen.
Open Adoption: The Benefits
Open adoption is a wonderful choice for many sets of biological and adoptive parents. There are several benefits to doing so, depending on your situation. These benefits include:
Being able to get regular updates about the child. Biological parents often place their child(ren) up for adoption due to circumstances outside of their control. Either way, it’s not unusual for these parents to still care for the child deeply. In an open adoption, they get regular updates about the child and get peace of mind knowing that they made the right decision.
Biological parents get a choice in who will adopt their child. In an open adoption, arrangements are usually made between two parties without an agency getting too involved. That means they get a choice in who will be the future parents. Knowing that the adoptive parents are good and kind people will make life better for all involved.
Children will grow up knowing where they came from, and as a result, they are less likely to have low self-esteem when it comes to being adopted. Children who do not know their birth parents often struggle with the concept of being “unwanted,” wondering why they were placed for adoption. They also may go searching for their parents without the consent of either set of parents. In an open adoption, those questions and insecurities are resolved early in life, leading the child to be happier and more secure in their personal life.
Is open adoption the best choice for you?
Open adoption is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every situation varies. It’s up to you to decide whether open adoption is the best choice for you. Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to all of them, open adoption might be the best fit for you.
Do I want to be involved with the child and the adoptive parents?
Do I want to choose the parents?
Am I in a position to provide support and stability in the child’s life emotionally?
Can I handle seeing the child without trying to exert control over them and cause them to feel that they must pick a side?
If you feel uncertain about any of these, or you answered no to one of them, then you should opt for a semi-open or closed adoption instead. Remember, adoption is a personal decision, and it isn’t always as simple as reading off a checklist. Go with what you feel is best for you and your child.