What is Best for You?

Learning about the different types of adoption will enable you to make the best decision for you and your baby. There are three types of adoption available; open, closed, and semi-open, and the one you choose will help determine the kind of interaction you have with your baby and adoptive parents before and after the adoption is complete. 

Open Adoption: Simply put, an open adoption means that the adoptive and birth families share identifying information and have contact with each other during and after the adoption. 

Identifying information can include first/last name, phone numbers, personal email, address, and more. With open adoption, contact between birth and adoptive parents can happen both before and after adoption through phone calls, emails, and visits.

This is the only type of adoption that will allow you to get to know the adoptive family before your baby is born. Open adoptions make it possible to involve the adoptive parents in doctor visits, the birth experience, and have contact after. Some birth mothers find it helpful to hold an entrustment ceremony  to make the baby’s transition from birth parents to adoptive parents feel more meaningful. Open adoptions allow both sets of parents to communicate, share updates, and create their own unique blended family. 

The definition of an open adoption has lots of room for interpretation. The types and frequency of contact depends on what the birth mother (you) requests and what the adoptive parents agree to. All decisions should be included in the adoption plan  so everyone is well informed.

Closed Adoption:  Closed adoption means that little-to-no identifying information is shared between birth and adoptive parents and they do not have direct contact with each other before or after the adoption. Historically this was the most common type of adoption but in the last few decades birth and adoptive parents have moved away from this option. 

If the adoptive and birth parents need to contact each other for any reason, the adoption agency or lawyer will act as a mediator or “go-between” to protect anonymity. Such contact can only happen if both agree to the terms.  

Semi-Open Adoption: A semi-open adoption is limited to non-identifying interactions like letters and cards (first name only, no addresses included). Emails and visits can be arranged and hosted by an adoption professional such as the adoption agency or lawyer but no identifying information is exchanged. 

This type of adoption requires very specific arrangements to be made between the birth and adoptive parents. Semi-open adoption can be problematic and confusing if, for instance, one set of parents chooses to stop contact altogether. Make sure you are explicit with what you want and what you are willing to negotiate and include all details in your adoption plan.


If you are considering adoption, A Act of Love believes that finding an adoption specialist to lean on and confide in is essential. The right person can answer your questions, advocate for your needs, explain your rights, and share important resources with you. 

Call us day or night. 800-835-6360 or text 801-450-0094

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