The Difference between Open and Closed Adoptions

While adoption has been around for many years, the types of adoption available have changed. It used to be when adoption was thought of or discussed society envisioned adoption as a process where a mother gives birth to her baby and the baby is immediately taken and placed with a family. Adoption has changed, while those placing their baby for adoption got new choices, those seeking to adopt did as well.

Today the choices for adoption are closed, open and semi open. While closed adoption still exists it is rare. Closed adoption is the choice selected when the adoptive family and birth family decides not to have any information about one another. The most common types of adoption are open and semi adoption. While adoption continues to grow, so does the method. It is more common today for adoptions to involve varying degrees of contact between the birth family and the adoptive family. The amount of information provided is strictly up to the individuals.

While the decision to share information between adoptive families and birth families, the type of adoption changes. Open adoption is when adoptive families and birth families began communication prior to the birth of the child, as the communication continues into the life of the child. Communication can include written letters, telephone calls and/or day to day visits. The decision of having an open adoption is an option that requires well thought out planning. For some families, blending of families is a positive result for the overall development of the child, as open adoption provides many benefits for both families involved.

For some blending of families is too much for them to handle, so the decision of sharing basic information about one another such as names, state of residency, full detailed contact information is not shared, when this type of adoption occurs it is considered a semi-open adoption. Today, semi-open adoption is the most common type. Throughout, the child’s life a 3rd party representative is used to handle any communication between the families such as pictures and letters. The third party representative is usually the agency that handled the adoption or a lawyer.

When the use of a third party representative is used, the third party keeps and maintains all contact information for both the birth family and adoptive family. If the families decide to communicate through letters, then the letters are sent to the third party representative, repackaged in a non identifying envelope to protect both families. Sometimes birth families will undergo some times if they unsure if they want to communicate with the adoptive family and/or see any pictures as it may be too painful still. If this is the case, the third party representative will hold all correspondence until notified the birth family is ready.
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