Open Adoption vs Closed Adoption

If you are considering adoption, the most important thing you need to know is this: adoption does not mean having to say “goodbye.”

As the birth mother, you have the opportunity for a lasting relationship with your child and the adoptive family after placement by choosing adoption. Open adoption vs closed adoption is a difficult decision for many birth mothers to make.

When deciding what kind of post-placement relationship you want to have, there are factors that you should consider, including:

Knowing the differences between the types of post-placement relationships can also help you as you decide. Weighing the pros and cons of open vs closed adoption, as well as semi-open adoption, can help you determine which option is best for you and your child.

To learn more about open adoption or post-placement adoption relationships, contact us online today to be connected with an adoption professional.

Different Types of Post-Adoption Communication

You can choose to have one of three types of post-adoption communication with your child and the adoptive family. They are:

Below, you will find plenty of information outlining the differences between open and closed adoption, as well as why many birth mothers find a happy middle ground through semi-open adoption.

Option 1: Open Adoption

The difference between open and closed adoption depends on the level of communication shared between you and the adoptive family. With an open adoption, the communication is exactly that: open.

Communication and contact is decided and agreed upon by both sides. Open adoption communication can look like:

  • In-person visits
  • Letters
  • Phone calls
  • Pictures
  • And more

Working with an open adoption agency can be helpful, as they will have resources and offer guidance to help you through your decision. They can also walk you through all of the pros and cons about open adoption so you gain a better idea of what to expect if you choose open adoption.

An open adoption agency will also be aware if the state you live in has any specific laws or requirements if you choose open adoption.

Even if you haven’t decided on a post-adoption relationship yet because you’re still in the early stages of your adoption process, there is plenty of time to make a decision. Just make sure to take the time you need to fully understand open adoption.

Option 2: Semi-Open Adoption

Similar to open adoption, a semi-open adoption allows for you to have contact and communication with the adoptive family. The main difference between these two types of post-placement relationships is that communication in a semi-open adoption is always mediated by an adoption professional.

If you can’t seem to decide between closed vs open adoption, think of semi-open adoption as a “happy medium” between the two.

Overall, you feel like you’re getting the best of both open adoption and closed adoption in a semi-open adoption because you still have the opportunity for communication, but also have a comfortable level of privacy that can help you process and heal.

Birth families and adoptive families appreciate the structure and boundaries with the mediated communication and having private information kept confidential, making semi-open adoption the most common type of adoption relationship chosen for domestic infant adoptions.

As you consider what type of adoption relationship you want to have, ask yourself:

  • What types of communication would help you feel at peace with your adoption?
  • Do you want the adoptive family to know who you are?
  • Are you looking for closure in your adoption?
  • And more

Rather than worry about the pressures that come with a fully open adoption vs closed adoption, take the time to learn the benefits you can have with a semi-open adoption.

Option 3: Closed Adoption

If privacy is a top priority for you in your adoption, or you want peace and closure without having to connect with the adoptive family or your child, then a closed adoption may be best for you.

The biggest difference between closed vs open adoption is that little to no information of yours is disclosed to the adoptive family in a closed adoption. There is no communication or contact between you and the adoptive family, and the only post-placement agreement that is made is that there is no relationship to be had.

Once the adoption is completed, all files are closed and sealed. Birth parents who choose closed adoptions often do so for the anonymity and boundaries put in place to try to make the situation less stressful in order to move forward with their lives after placement.

While many experts strongly recommend an open adoption or semi-open adoption, there is nothing wrong with choosing a closed adoption. It can be a closed door on this part of your life, which you may need to help you move forward from making the difficult choice to place your child for adoption.

Find the Best Option for You and Your Adoption

When choosing your post-placement adoption relationship with your child and the adoptive family, remember to make the decision that is going to be best for you in order to heal and process.

Understanding the differences between open and closed adoption, as well as the pros and cons of semi-open adoption, can make an important impact on what you decide.

To learn more about open vs closed adoption, or how semi-open adoption can benefit you, contact us online today.

About the Author

Lindsay Arielle has been a proud birth mother since placing her son for adoption in 2011. Her post-placement agreement has always been an open adoption. She loves the time she gets to spend with her son and his parents during visits. Lindsay truly believes that for herself and her family, adoption has been a blessing, and she enjoys writing about spiritual healing for birth mothers.

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