What is Closed Adoption in New York and What are the Benefits?
Open adoption is the norm nowadays. That’s because of the proven benefit for everybody involved, but especially adoptees. However, birth mothers are allowed choice and control in the type of adoption they prefer before making this life-altering decision. What’s more, closed adoption, in general, might be the best choice for her.
If you think you want a closed adoption for you and your baby, it’s important to inform yourself before then. At Adoption Choices of New York, we will give you all the necessary information so you will feel confident in your adoption choice.
What Defines a Closed Adoption in New York?
In a closed adoption, only non-identifying background information is provided about the adoptive family and the birth family. Meanwhile, identifying information, such as the name and age of the birth mother, is kept private. The adoption documents are sealed after the adoption is finalized and may remain sealed until the adoptee becomes a legal adult.
When Choosing a Closed Adoption will My Information Always Remain Private?
In a closed adoption in New York, the adoptee may seek out non-identifying information about the birth mother, as long as he or she is 18. This may include the birth parents’ age, heritage, education, physical appearance, health history, circumstances of the adoption, the existence of birth siblings, occupation, and even hobbies.
As of 2020, the adoptee may also request his or her birth certificate in New York, which may aid in searching for one’s birth parents.
What if I want Updates about My Child, but I want to Keep My Identity Private?
If you want updates about your child without sharing identifying information, you may prefer a semi-open adoption. In this kind of adoption, you and the adoptive family will decide just how much contact you would like and how much information remains private. This way, you could also easily share non-identifying information, such as medical records.
What are Some Benefits of Closed Adoption in New York?
- May help birth mothers create distance from trauma. Some birth mothers, who are victims of rape or sexual assault, may not want any reminders of their trauma. A closed adoption might be what she needs to fully heal.
- Can provide safety for the adoptee. If a birth mother is a victim of an abusive relationship, and cannot get out or cannot create distance from her abuser, she may prefer a closed adoption. Similarly, if a birth mother is struggling with addiction. In this case, a closed adoption would help protect the child’s identity and make sure that he or she stays safe.. Safety comes first and foremost for a child, so it might outweigh any positives of open adoption for some birth mothers.
- May give birth mothers emotional closure. While emotional closure is not a guarantee from any type of adoption, some birth mothers feel that having no contact with the adoptee will help them cope with adoption. She believes that watching the adoptee grow up with another family would be too painful, even if she is sure choosing adoption was the best option. Sometimes, knowing that the adoptee is placed with a good family is enough.
What are Some Cons of Closed Adoption in New York?
- Future contact cannot be predicted. You might want a closed adoption because you are not ready for contact or news about your child. Or, if you need time to cope with your feelings. However, choosing a closed adoption does not leave a lot of options to reopen that door later. There is no way to predict how an adoptee might feel in the future. So, you won’t know when or if he or she might seek out information and contact you. If you don’t want updates about your child right away, but you think you might later, closed adoption may not be for you.
- Identity struggles for the adoptee. In a closed adoption, the adoptee might wait a long time to get answers about the story of his or her adoption. This can result in struggling to identify with the adoptive family, not feeling loved, and generally filling in the blanks about the birth parents on their own. The adoptee may feel rejected or abandoned for some time.
- Difficulty moving on. While some birth mothers feel that closed adoption would shut tight this chapter of their lives, this isn’t the case for others. In fact, many birth mothers feel comforted knowing that their child is well adjusted and happy with his or her adoptive family. The idea of not knowing where the adoptee is, how they’re faring, or how they’re coping with adoption can prevent birth mothers who choose closed adoption from healthfully moving forward. Some birth mothers of closed adoption might constantly wonder about their child.
Is Closed Adoption in New York Right For You?
If you think a closed adoption is best for you and your child, please reach out to our adoption agency in New York. We would be happy to answer any of your questions. Closed adoption, while no longer the norm, is an option that may work best for some mothers. At Adoption Choices of New York, we promise to consider your wants and needs as you figure out which type of adoption is the right fit for you.
Meet the Author: Tara Giuffre has always loved reading and writing and grew up in the worlds of Narnia, Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Taking this passion for stories, she received a degree from Rutgers University in Journalism & Media. Besides writing, she likes long walks on the beach, spending time with her family (and her cat, Sansa), and baking the perfect loaf of bread.
She enjoys sharing vital information about adoption and birth mothers choosing adoption to families making important choices for their future family!