The Three Types of Adoption: Understanding Open, Semi-Open, and Closed Adoption as a Birth Mother
The internet can be a daunting place for anyone, especially when you’re a pregnant woman trying to swim through buzzwords in order to find helpful facts. Pregnant women searching for the best way to approach adoption are no exception to this rule. There are many different aspects of adoption that need to be considered, and possibly the most major decision is how much involvement and communication you want to have with your child and their adoptive parents. That is where we come in to help you weigh all your options.
When you’re considering adoption as a pregnant woman, it can be overwhelming to understand all of your available options. It is already difficult enough to make this choice for yourself and your child, so we want to make it easier for you to choose the path that is best for your own unique circumstances.
The Three Types of Adoption
- Closed Adoption
Closed adoption is when birth parents have no contact with either the adoptive parents or their child. It is the least common form of adoption in the United States, but this may be a great option if you are seeking privacy — whether for safety or other personal reasons — or if you believe a no-contact policy will work best for your circumstances. Sometimes, anonymity is the best option available for everyone involved.
This is also the best for you if you are looking for the most uncomplicated, straightforward approach. Not everyone is in a place where they feel comfortable providing contact information with their child’s adoptive family, and that is perfectly valid. Only you know how much of yourself you can provide throughout your child’s life. So, if you know a closed adoption is best for the both of you, it is the right choice.
- Semi-Open Adoption
Semi-open adoption has gained traction over the years, and many pregnant women view it as a perfect middle ground between the other two types of adoption. If neither of the other adoption types sound like the right fit, you may want to consider this one.
Like open adoption, semi-open adoption allows for contact between you and your child’s birth mothers and the adoptive family, but from a distance. There is no direct face-to-face contact with semi-open adoption. Rather, it’s conducted through a secure online portal called ChildConnect. Your adoption caseworker can help you set up a profile where the adoptive parents are able to exchange letters, pictures and other updates regarding your child with you. However, it is from a mediated distance. Your adoption caseworker will act as a communicator between you and the adoptive family, and help you set up a profile. You will remain anonymous to each other but you have the option to communicate with your child’s family if needed.
Privacy is still central in this arrangement. Although there will be some means of communication, you don’t have to share any information that you aren’t comfortable with. However, if you’d like to send them a copy of family history, you have that option. This will allow you to have peace of mind and will let you know that you are not involving yourself in a situation you are not sure you are ready to handle.
If you like the idea of a more flexible arrangement that still has privacy and communication, this type of adoption may be the best choice for you.
- Open Adoption
Open adoption will allow for the most involvement and communication between you, the adoptive family, and your child. While a closed adoption determines that you will never meet the adoptive family, open adoption allows you to select how you want to raise your child during the adoption process, then meet and interview them. get to know them and exchange contact information. For instance, as you’re getting to know the adoptive parents, you’ll be able to discuss appropriate boundaries and how life will look for you all after the adoption has been finalized. You’ll also get to share more about your personal history and background, which allows your child’s adoptive parents to better understand how to provide the best medical care. Having the power to control who your child goes home with can be very comforting and give you peace of mind that you’re making the best choice.
This form of adoption may be great for you if you want to have a more active role in your child’s life. If you want to be able to see your child at designated times or be able to answer questions they might have in the future- this could be the path to take moving forward.
How do I Know I am Doing What is Best for Me and My Baby?
In the end, only you know what is best for you and your baby. Remember, you have no need to justify your reasoning to anyone else — especially if they are being unkind about your decision. Although it can be a bit scary, know that you have options at your disposal. So, take a deep breath and know that you have got this.
If you have any follow up thoughts or questions that you would like to be answered about adoption, please feel free to reach out to us at Adoption Choices of New York. We have the resources and support available to help you throughout your entire adoption journey. This may be a difficult process; but, together, we can determine the best possible path for you.
About the Author: Alexandra Georgiton is a fourth-year student at the University of Cincinnati studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and is receiving certification in Copyediting and Publishing. She has been passionate about the English language for her entire life, and reading and writing have always been her favorite hobbies. She enjoys professional writing and editing because she loves to use her talent and love of writing to make a difference in the world.