Choosing the Type of Adoption that Best Fits your Needs

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Figuring out the type of adoption that is best for you may take some time.  You may begin by talking with an adoption specialists and gathering information about the options you have for communicating with your adoptive family and baby.  As you learn more about your options and figure out how you feel about communicating, you may change your mind about what you think will be best for you.  The descriptions below will give you an idea of the options available to you.

Open Adoption

An open adoption provides the opportunity for you to have a relationship or direct contact with the adoptive parents and your child. The communication varies greatly, as it can be minimal communication, or include open contact between families. Generally in an open adoption, you will exchange identifying information with the adoptive family.

You and the adoptive parents can decide what level of contact is appropriate, including if you prefer to share pictures, use social media or participate in phone calls or in-person visits. When children already have a relationship with their biological families, selecting an open adoption is likely best for the child, as it can help facilitate sharing medical information, having communication with siblings, contact with other family members, etc. The level of openness and the amount of contact varies greatly, ranging from on-going contact to occasional letters every few years. Some birth parents and adoptive parents form relationships and share holidays and family gatherings. As a birth parent, you have the right to choose what level of openness you prefer.

Closed Adoption

A closed adoption was the type of adoption common decades ago. If you select a closed adoption, you will not share or disclose any identifying information about you to the adoptive parents and the adoptive parents will not provide you with any identifying information. During the course of your pregnancy, information may be exchanged via an adoption specialist, but no identifying information, such as names, or addresses will be provided to either party. A closed adoption does typically not have any contact before or after the placement.  You may choose to select your adoptive family from profiles and then not have any contact with the family or you may choose to have minimal contact until placement and no further contact after the placement. Once the adoption is formalized in court proceeding, all adoption records are legally sealed. Local laws vary regarding the ability for closed adoption paperwork to ever be court petitioned for unsealing. Some states allow records to be available to children once they turn 18 years old, while other states and locales do not make this information available.

Semi-Open Adoption

A semi-open adoption is a combination of an open and closed adoption. Typically, you will not have direct contact with the adoptive family or your child, but the adoption agency will be your intermediary to exchange periodic information, medical history, pictures, etc.  Generally, a semi-open adoption does not require identifying information to be exchanged, but it does allow for the option if you or the adoptive family prefers. This may also mean that you may want to select your adoptive family, as well as, have communication with them prior to placement and spend time with the family and baby at the hospital.

It is important to understand that the post-adoption contact may be legally or morally binding.  Make sure you ask the adoption counselor to help you fully understand what the agreement will be between you and the adoptive family after placement.  Take your time and select the type of adoption that best suits your personal needs. Counseling with an adoption agency can be helpful as you make your decisions regarding future contact.

Call us 24/7 at 800-835-6360 or Text 801-450-0094
We want to help make sure you receive the information that you need.


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