What’s the difference between a closed and open adoption?

If you want to adopt a child, you have a lot of important decisions to make. One such important decision is whether you prefer an open or closed adoption.

In this post, we will explain the differences between the types of adoptions and what you should consider before making any decisions about adoption.

Open adoptions

In an open adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents agree to stay in contact before and after the adoption. The child also has the option of contacting birth parents.

In open adoptions, the birth parents may choose the birth parents, and adoptive parents may be present for the child’s birth. Adoptive parents might keep the birth parents updated on a child’s development; some even become friends and spend holidays together.

Closed adoptions

Closed adoptions typically involve adoptions where adoptive parents and birth parents don’t meet, and may not even know each other’s name. An agency or other third-party will coordinate the adoption.

Closed adoptions used to be much more common than they are today. However, they are not unusual in international adoption cases or situations where birth parents do not want to have any future contact with the child.

Semi-open adoptions

There may also be situations in which a semi-open adoption can be what is best. In these cases, parties may contact each other, but the contact is facilitated by a third party.

Which is the right type of adoption for your family?

To determine whether an open, closed or semi-open adoption is right for you, consider the following questions.

  • Do you want your child to know he or she is adopted?
  • What are the circumstances under which a child was adopted? Were they painful and contentious?
  • Is having access to a child’s medical and genetic information important to you?
  • Do you feel comfortable setting relationship boundaries and limits?

Understand that there are benefits and drawbacks of each type of adoption, so it is crucial that you think about these types of questions carefully. Whether you are the birth parents or adoptive parents, this process can be very emotional, and you should be able to feel confident that you are making the best decision for you and your family.

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