Type of Adoptions?
If you are exploring adoption as an option for your unexpected pregnancy, we know this is difficult decision, but you are in control of what type and how involved you will be in your child’s life.
Here are the three most common types of adoptions:
An open adoption is pretty much exactly how it sounds. It’s open. Most adoptions in the United States now are open adoptions. It allows a birth mom (and birth dad), with the help of an adoption agency, the ability to choose an adoptive family that meets her personal criteria to raise her child. Many women (and men) like this option because it allows birth families to keep in touch with the adoptive family. The communication can be done directly from the birth parent to the adoptive parent or through means of a mediator (someone who communicates to both families). The adoptive and birth families work together and come up with an agreed upon communication plan. This can include emailing, texting, calling, personal visits, letters; anything and everything is up for discussion. On the other hand, if the families would rather just have identifiable information (first and last name, address, phone number), and medical records shared that is fine, too. Each open adoption is different.
What You Need to Know: As with all decisions, it’s not always easy. Open adoptions do come with some difficult emotions. Some adoptive families may be insecure if the child has a strong bond with a birth family. And vice versa. Sometimes life can cause people to move to another city or state making visitation more difficult, or when a child grows into an adult, they may not want the same contact agreement. These are all real issues that come with adoption. However, there are people to help guide you through the journey if you choose this as your best option. Consider contacting an adoption counselor who is skilled in working with birth moms and the adoption process.
A semi-open adoption falls somewhere in between an open and closed adoption. Normally, semi-open adoptions have less direct communication between birth parents and adoptive parents. Although medical records are shared, no identifying information is shared. In semi-open adoptions, an adoption professional mediates between birth parents and adoptive parents. Like open adoptions, the birth parents have a lot of say in what their wishes are for potential adoptive parents.
What You Need to Know: Like open adoptions, no 2 semi-adoptions are the same. They can change over time. It gives you the freedom to be flexible on contact as it may change over time as you become more comfortable with the adoptive family/birth parent relationship. This is the most common type of adoption plan made. The exchange of information post adoption is done through a third-party agency or attorney. This creates a more formal style of on-going involvement and can provide space for the times at which a birth parent may want less information or involvement about their child. A semi-open adoption can become an open adoption should both parties be open to the arrangement. All of this, and more, should be discussed in making your adoption plan.
According to the American Adoptions, an estimated 1 out of every 10 adoptions is a closed adoption. Even though closed adoptions are uncommon, that does not mean they don’t exist. The process includes an adoption agency finding a placement for the adopted child. The birth parents’ medical records are still given to the adoptive parents. But no other identifiable information is shared. There may be very limited contact or none in a closed adoption.
What You Need to Know: Although a closed adoption may seem like a good option now, it does make it more difficult in the future if a grown adoptive child or a birth mother want to reconnect. Closed adoptions tend to cause various unanswered questions for the adoptive child and the birth family.