Deciding Between Open and Closed Adoptions

Deciding Between Open and Closed Adoptions

Deciding Between Open and Closed Adoptions – Adoptions come in different varieties, open and closed. Learn the differences between the two in deciding which one to pick.

When you are adopting, one thing to think about is whether you want an open or closed adoption. “Closed adoptions have been the norm for quite some time.” (“Open and Closed Adoptions Explained – How to Make a Wise …”) It is the way adoptions have been traditionally done with the two parties involved not knowing anything about the other, not even names.

In this scenario, there were many secrets and no way to tell if any sort of information you got from the other party was true. This at times could lead to resentment between the parties and cause problems in the future if the two had ever met. Closed adoptions are still similar in the respect that no information is given on any parties, but they are managed with more care than historical recalls. (“Open and Closed Adoptions Explained – How to Make a Wise …”)

Open adoptions are quite different. The particulars of an open adoption are confidential except to the parties involved. Open adoptions give the birth mother an active role in deciding where her child is going to end up. In this situation instead of an agency finding a match and telling parents there is a baby available without any other information, the birth mother selects candidates. After going through a list of potential parents, the birth mother will pick who she wants her baby to live with. This begins the process of an open adoption.

The two parties do not meet right away. They are gradually brought together. In the beginning, only first names are given. More information is given to both parties as the adoption progresses further and with each party’s comfort level. In open adoptions, the parties often meet and can exchange contact information.

This way the birth mother has a way of meeting the people her child is going to and the prospective parents know about the child from the mother. In an open adoption, the mother can never claim ignorance that she did not know what was going on. The terms of the adoption are spelled out for her right from the beginning giving an advantage to the prospective parents.

Open adoptions can bring complications or joy depending on how an individual sees it. With open adoptions, there are ways to keep an open line of communication between the two parties once the baby is given to the adoptive parents. The birth mother can stay in the loop on what is going on in the child’s life. However, there are some adoptive parents who may not feel comfortable in this situation or even know anything about the birth mother. Some adoptive parents want to remain as anonymous as possible and not share more information than needed with the birth mother.

These are people who need to consider closed adoptions. Another disadvantage to an open adoption is the actual communication itself. By the birth mother meeting the prospective parents, she may see something or hear something she may not like and change her mind on that family. (“Deciding Between Open and Closed Adoptions – Todays Parenting”) Some prospective parents might not be able to oversee this type of rejection. “Open adoptions require a lot of communication and the better the line of communication, the better the process will go.” (“Deciding Between Open and Closed Adoptions – Todays Parenting”)

In a closed adoption, usually the only type of information that is given is non-identifying medical information or any background that is pertinent to the child. Once a closed adoption is finalized, the file is sealed and usually never made available again. This can pose problems in the future when the adopted child wants to know more about their birth family.

There are many options to consider when adopting. Deciding on open are closed adoptions is just one of those choices.


Best Wishes, Coyalita

See Tomorrow: “Adopting Your Stepchild” 

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