What’s Best for the Child? About Open or Closed Adoption

One of the decisions you will encounter when adopting a child is whether you will have an open or closed adoption.

First let’s take a look at what each will mean for you and your family.

A closed adoption or confidential adoption does not allow the biological parents to have contact with the child or the new family. The child will not know any information about their biological parents, such as, where they are living.

Families sometimes choose closed or confidential adoptions to ensure that there will be no further struggles with the adoption of the child. Adoptive parents may feel that it would be harder for both families to deal with information, visits and gifts being sent.

On the other hand, you have an open adoption. In years past there was a secret blanket over adoptions, you didn’t know anything about anybody, then came open adoptions.

This simply means that there is an open communication between the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the adopted child.

This communication can range from a letter once a year written by the adoptive family to the birth mother all the way to some type of visits that are planned. But you will have a choice.

An open adoption will give the child a sense of wholeness and allow the two families to become, in many ways, one blended family. It will also allow both families to get to know the child.

In an open adoption, it must be clearly understood however, that the birth mother has relinquished all parental and legal rights to the adoptive family. Therefore, the fear that the birth mother will try to reclaim her child is minimal. If you do everything with a good attorney and a good agency all fears are dispelled.

Learn more about the Pros and Cons of Open Adoptions

There is a third choice or middle ground. It’s a semi-open adoption. It allows the child to receive letters and gifts from their birth parents, however, does not permit visits.

Many families choose semi-open adoptions to allow their new child to feel as though they know who they are and where they are from. This way the adoptive parents do not have to deal with the emotional stress, the financial stain of traveling to visit the other family and the sense of confusion the child may feel being part of a blended family with two sets of parents.

Whatever your decision may be, remember that what you decide is not about you. For example, an open adoption may make you feel uncomfortable and you may decide that you want to opt for a closed adoption so that you and your new child can get on with your new lives.

But what about the needs and wants of the child involved. There is always a possibility that the child may feel the need to look for his/her biological parents and this could cause problems with a closed adoption.

If you know the birth parents, you will be able to determine whether allowing the child to have contact with the parent is in their best interest. Talk with families who have experienced open or closed adoptions to see what their opinions are before making your decision.

Leave a Reply