Types of Adoption

Open Adoption

Open Adoption: Advantages

Open adoption occurs when the birth parents and prospective adoptive families have personal interaaction with one another. In this type of adoption, the identities of all parties are shared with each other. The interaction may be different for each family and may include letters, emails, telephone calls, or visits. There are several potential advantages to an open adoption for birth parents, the adoptive parents and the adopted child.

Open Adoption: Advantages for Birth Parents

The open adoption experience is different for each person. Here is a list of potential advantages with open adoption: 

  • Sense of control – Having the ability to review, interview, and select the parents to place your baby with, usually provides birth parents with a sense of empowerment and control.
  • Reduced uncertainties – Most birth parents experience a sense of comfort knowing about the child’s well-being through interactions and updates with the adoptive family.
  • Improved mourning – Being able to visit and talk with the adoptive family and the adopted child often provides an increased ability to deal with the grief and loss.
  • Reduced fear – When there is on-going communication with the adoptive family before the birth and following the adoption, it often helps reduce fear about what is going to happen to the child.
  • Relationship with the child – With an open adoption, there is the potential to develop a healthy relationship with the child as he or she grows.
  • Relationship with the adoptive family – There is an opportunity for you to develop a relationship with the adoptive family. For some birth families, the adoptive family may feel like a part of their own extended family.
  • Reduced guilt – With an on-going relationship and communication about the well-being of the child, you may experience less guilt about making a decision to place.
Open Adoption: Advantages for Adoptive Family

The open adoption experience is different for every family. Here is a list of potential advantages that you might encounter with an open adoption:

  • Reduced fear – When there is on-going communication with the birth mother or birth families before the birth and following the adoption, it may help reduce the fears one might have about the birth mother’s intentions because her desires are known.
  • Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however, with an open adoption there is an ability to seek additonal medical information as things may change as the child develops.
  • Relationship with the birth families – There is an opportunity to develop a relationship with the birth mother or birth families. For some adoptive families, the birth mother or birth familis may feel like a part of their own extended family.
  • Affirmation – You may experience a sense of empowerment or encouragement knowing that you were chosen as the adoptive family.
  • Understanding and confidence – An open adoption provides a greater understanding of your child’s history making it easier to answer the questions: “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”
Open Adoption: Advantages for Adopted Child

The open adoption experience is different for every child; however, there are many advantages that an adopted child might experience with an open adoption:

  • Identity and self-confidence – Open adoption provides adopted children with direct access to birth families for information about family history and family trees. This often makes it easier to answer the questions: “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”
  • Protection against a sense of abandonment – Having the opportunity to communicate with the birth family and learn the reasons behind the adoption can help prevent the child from experiencing a sense of abandonment.
  • Absence of the need to search – The potential need to search to find the birth families is removed.
  • Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however, with an open adoption there is an ability to seek additional medical information that may become necessary with the onset of medical symptoms in adulthood or questions about genetics with future family planning.
  • Relationship with the birth families – There is an opportunity for the adopted child to develop a relationship with the birth mother or birth families. For some adopted children, the birth mother or birth families may feel like a part of their own extended family.
  • Support newtork – the birth mother and birth families have a genuine concern for the well-being of the child which often makes them advocates for the child and serves as additional support to the child.

The open adoption experience is different for each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, and expectations, the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process.

Open Adoption: Disadvantages

Open adoption occurs when the potential birth mother and prospective adoptive families have a personal interaction with one another. Through this type of adoption, the identities of all parties are shared with each other. The interaction may be different for each family and may include letters, emails, telephone calls, or visits. With open adoption there may be potential disadvantages that should be considered for the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the adopted child.

Open Adoption: Disadvantages for Birth Parents

The open adoption experience is different for each person and agencies are prepared to help each person work through the following concerns should they arise.

  • Abuse of trust – The relationship with the adoptive family opens the door for trust to be abused. The adoptive family may use the trust you place in them to manipulate the situation.
  • Potential disappointment – With the opportunity to interact and observe the adoptive family as the child develops, there is the potential for disappointment when the adoptive family does not meet all expectations or needs.
  • Feelings of obligation – A birth mother may feel a sense of obligation to place the child for adoption because of the financial and emotional investment made by the adoptive family.
  • Changed mind – The adoptive family can choose to halt or terminate the process at any time. This could leave the child in a state of limbo and possibly lead to the child being put in foster care until new arrangements can be worked out.
Open Adoption: Disadvantage for Adoptive Family

The open adoption experience is different for every family; however, here are some potential disadvantages that you might encounter with an open adoption:

  • Additional pressure – The adoptive family may be interested in a closed or semi-open adoption. The birth mother or birth family may want a greater level of openness. The adoptive parents may feel pressure to accept certain expectations of openness from the birth family or fear not getting the child.
  • Unstable relationships – The adoptive family may discover that their relationship with the birth family results in a relationship with an  unhealthy or emotionally disturbed birth family member.
  • Additional support – The adoptive family may feel the need to be the emotional support system for the birth family.
Open Adoption: Disadvantage for Adopted Child

The open adoption experience is different for every child; however, there are some potential disadvantages that an adopted child might encounter with an open adoption:

  • Reduced ability to assimilate into family-interaction with the birth family may present barriers for the child to fully assimilate into the adoptive family.
  • Sense of rejection – If the contact stops between the birth family and the adoptive family, the adopted child may develop a sense of rejection.
  • Peer communications – With continual interaction with the birth families, the adopted child may struggle with ways to communicate the various relationships to his or her peers.
  • Power struggles – The adopted child may use the adoptive family and the birth family as pawns playing one against the other.
  • Identity confusion – There is a chance that a teenage child may struggle more with identity because of the extent of family history and genealogy information.

The open adoption is experienced differently in each situation. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, expectations, the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process.

Semi-Open Adoption

Semi-Open Adoption: Advantages

A semi-open adoption occurs when the potential birth mother or birth families experience non-identifying interaction with the adoptive families. In some cases, the interaction is facilitated by a third party, usually the adoption agency or adoption attorney. Through this type of adoption, the identity of all parties is usually kept from one another. In many cases, the interaction includes letters or cards: however, in some cases, there may be non-identifying emails or visits hosted by the adoption professional. There are several potential advantages to a semi-open adoption for birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child.

Semi-Open Adoption: Advantages for Birth Parents

The semi-open adoption experience is different for each person; however, here is a list of potential advantages that you might encounter with a semi-open adoption:

  • Sense of control – Having the ability to review, interview and select the parents you place your baby with usually provides birth mothers with a sense of empowerment and control.
  • Privacy – Interaction between you and the adoptive family that is facilitated through the adoption profession provides a sense of privacy.
  • Reduced uncertainties – Most birth mothers experience a sense of comfort knowing the child’s well-being through the interactions and updates provided by the adoption agency or adoption attorney.
  • Improved mourning – Receiving updates on the child’s well-being, and leters from the adoptive family often provide an increased ability to manage feelings of grief and loss.
  • Reduced fear – When the adoption  professional facilitates on-going communication between the adoptive and birth families before the birth and following the adoption, it may help reduce fears about what is going to happen to the child.
  • Reduced guilt – Through the updates and letters from the adoptive family provided through the adoption agency, you may experience less guilt about making a decision about placing for adoption.
Semi-Open Adoption: Advantages for Adoptive Family

The semi-open adoption experience is different for every family, however these are potential advantages that you might encounter with a semi-open adoption:

  • Reduced fear – When the adoption professional facilitates on-going communication between you and the birth mother or birth familieis before the birth and following the adoption, it usually helps you reduced the fears you might have about the birth mother’s intentions.
  • Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however, with semi-open adoption there is the potential to go through the adoption agency or attorney to seek additional medical information as things may change as the child develops.
  • Affirmation – As an adoptive family, you may experience a sense of empowerment or encouragement knowing that you were ‘chosen’ as the adoptive family.
  • Roles clearly defined – With a semi-open adoption it is easier to manage the roles of each party involved than it would be with an open adoption.
  • Understanding and confidence – Even though there is less access to birth parents than in open adoption, adoptive parents may address concerns about the child’s history through the adoption professional.
Semi-Open Adoption: Advantages for the Adopted Child

The open adoption experience is different for every child; however, here is a list of potential advantages that an adopted child might encounter with a semi-open adoption:

  • Identity and self-confidence – Semi-open adoption provides adopted children access to birth families through the adoption professoinal, enabling them to acquire information about family history and family trees. This often makes it easier to answer the questions: “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”
  • Protection against a sense of abandonment – Having the opportunity to receive communication from the birth families and receive the reasons behind the adoption can help prevent the child from experience a sense of abandonment.
  • Absence for need to search – The potential need to search to find the birth families is removed.
  • Medically informed – A medical history is provided prior to the adoption; however with an open adoption there is an ability to seek additional medical information that may become necessary with the onset of medical symptoms in adulthood or questions about genetics with future family planning.

The semi-open adoption experience is a different experience for each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, expectations, etc., the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process.

Semi-Open Adoption: Disadvantages

A semi-open adoption occurs when the potential birth mother or birth families experience non-identifying interaction with the adoptive families. In most cases, the interaction is facilitated by a third party which is usually the adoption agency or adoption attorney. Through this type of adoption, the identity of all parties is usually kept from one another. In most cases, the interaction includes letters or cards; however in some cases there may be non-identifying emails or visits hosted by the adoption professional. When considering semi-open adoption, there are several potential disadvantages for the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child.

Semi-Open Adoption: Disadvantages for Birth Parents

The semi-open adoption experience is different for each person; however, here is a list of potential disadvantages that you may encounter with a semi-open adoption:

  • Loss of relationship – Since the communication between the birth families and the adoptive family occurs through the adoption professional there is the potential loss for a direct relationship with the adopted child.
  • Increased grief – During the initial years following the placement of your child, there is a greater potential for heightened grief without the opportunity to observe how the child is doing with the adoptive family.
  • Interruption in contact – If the adoption professional changes or leaves there is the potential to have communication interrupted, at least temporarily.
  • Feelings of obligation – As the birth mother, you may feel a sense of obligation to place the child for adoption because of the financial and emotional investment made by the adoptive family.

Semi-Open Adoption: Disadvantages for the Adoptive Family

The semi-open adoption experience is different for every family; however, here is a list of potential disadvantages that you may encounter with a semi-open adoption: 

  • Limited relationship – Because all communication goes through the adoption professional, there is an absence of a deeper and more genuine relationship with the birth family.
  • Limited information – Since communication is dependent on the adoption professional, there is potentially less information acquired regarding medical histories, family genealogies and family histories. 
  • Delayed responses – If questions arise from the adoptive family or adopted child, there is potential for delayed answers because the questions have to go through the adoption agency or adoption attorney.
Semi-Open Adoption: Disadvantages for the Adopted Child

The semi-open adoption experience is different for every child; however, here is a list of potential disadvantages that an adopted child may encounter with a semi-open adoption:

  • Negative perceptions – Because the birth family is kept away from the family, the adopted child may develop a perception that it is unsafe or wrong to interact with the birth family directly.
  • Postponed or avoided reunions – Negative perceptions about the birth family may result in the adoptive child postponing or avoiding altogether seeking to reunite with the birth family.
  • Identity confusion – There is a chance that a teenage child may struggle more with identity because of the limited communication with the birth families or because of the additional family history and genealogy information.
  • Preoccupation with adoption issues – A child in a semi-open adoption my be slightly more prone to experience a preoccupation with adoption issues. 

The semi-open adoption is experienced differently in each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, expectations, the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process.

 

Closed Adoption

Closed Adoption: Advantages

Closed adoption refers to an adoption process where there is no interaction of any kind between the birth mother and the prospective adoptive families. There is no identifying information provided to either the birth families or the adoptive families. Non-identifying information such as physical characteristics and medical history may be provided to both parties.

Closed Adoption: Advantages for Birth Parents

The closed adoption experience is different for each person; however, here is a list of potential advantages with a closed adoption: 

  • Sense of closure – Some birth mothers and birth families report that having a closed adoption provides a sense of closure and enables them to move on with life.
  • Privacy – Placing a child for adoption is an extremely sensitive and vulnerable choice. Having a closed adoption creates an opportunity for a stronger sense of privacy.
  • Reduced fear – Some birth mothers are concerned about explaining their choice, and a closed adoption serves as a way to prevent them from a confrontation with a child placed for adoption.
Closed Adoption: Advantages for Adoptive Family

The closed adoption experience is different for every family; however here are potential advantages that you might encounter with a closed adoption:

  • Family freedom – If the birth families are not involved, the adoptive family is free to have their family time without restraints of visitations and on-going communication.
  • Absence of fuzzy boundaries – There is no danger or risk of birth parent interference or co-parenting concerns.
Closed Adoption: Advantages for the Adopted Child

The closed adoption experience is different for every child; however, here is a list of potential advantages with a closed adoption:

  • Absence of fuzzy boundaries – There is no danger or risk of birth parent interference or co-parenting concerns.
  • Protection from unstable birth families – A closed adoption protects the adopted child from an unstable or emotionally disturbed birth parent or birth family member.

The closed adoption is a different experience for each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, expectations, etc., the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process. In a closed adoption, this communication takes place through the adoption agency or adoption attorney.

Closed Adoption: Disadvantages

Closed adoption refers to an adoption process where there is no interaction between the birth mother and the prospective adoptive families. There is no identifying information provded to either the birth families or the adoptive families. Non-identifying information such as physical characteristics and medical history may be provided to both parties. When considering a closed adoption, there are a number of disadvantages that need to be thought through carefully for all parties involved.

Closed Adoption: Disadvantages for Birth Parents

The closed adoption experience is different for every family; however here are potential advantages that you might encounter with a closed adoption:

  • Dealing with grief – Some birth mothers and birth families report that having a closed adoption makes the grieving process more difficult because there is a lack of information on the child’s well-being.
  • Dealing with denial – Placing a child through a closed adoption may lead you to deny that the child was born and placed for adoption.
  • Dealing with guilt – Since there is no opportunity to communicate with the child about why you placed him or her for adoption, it may be easier for feelings of guilt to develop.
  • Dealing with abandonment – Some birth mothers report that they feel like they are abandoning their baby. Without the ability to communicate with the child, you may be more vulnerable to experience this type of emotion.
  • Dealing with lack of information – An absence of information about the child’s well-being combined with denial or guilt may make you more susceptible to depression.
Closed Adoption: Disadvantages for Adoptive Family

The closed adoption experience is different for every family; however, here is a list of potential disadvantages that you may encounter with a closed adoption: 

  • Increased denial – The closed adoption may encourage the family to have a sense of denial on “adopted family” or “fertility” status.
  • Increased fear – Adoptive families commonly fear that the birth mother will change her mind and want the baby back. Fear commonly increases for adoptive families without the communication with the birth families and knowledge of their true intentions.
  • Limited medical history – Although a medical history is provided prior to the adoption, there is no means for acquiring additional information if something medically changes or develops for the child.
  • Less control – In a closed adoption you have less control as you are relying on the agency to communicate on your behalf with the potential birth mother.
Closed Adoption: Disadvantages for Adopted Child

The closed adoption experience is different for every child; however, here is a list of potential disadvantages that an adopted child may encounter with a closed adoption:

  • Identity confusion – There is a chance that a teenage child may struggle more with identity because of the absence of communication with the birth families.
  • Preoccupation with adoption issues – A child in a closed adoption may be slightly more prone to experience a preoccupation with adoption issues.
  • Limited information – Whether it is medical histories, family genealogies or family histories, a child of a closed adoption has limited access to information about things that most people take for granted. This lack of information may leave the child with unanswered questions.

The closed adoption is experienced differently in each adoption. The most important thing for all parties involved in the adoption process is communication. The more communication about wishes, desires, and expectations, the more comfortable each party will be in the adoption process. In a closed adoption, this communication takes place through the adoption agency or adoption attorney.