Types of Adoption

There are three basic types of adoption; open, closed, and semi-open.  When considering adoption the level of openness is one of the most important aspects that must be decided upon. Agencies will normally use the preferences of both adoptive parents and birth parents in order to help make matches. The type of adoption you are looking for is a personal decision, and should be carefully considered before accepting any match.

Open adoption is a plan in which parties involved exchange contact information and have regular communication. Open adoption may also include visits between the adoptive family and the birth family. Open adoptions have become more popular during the past several years. A closed adoption is a plan in which no identifying information is exchanged and there is no contact between the parties.  A semi-open adoption is a plan in which some identifying information is shared, and communication occurs several times a year. Communication is usually handled by a third party so that privacy can be maintained. Many states do not recognize or legally enforce open and semi-open adoptions so you should check out the laws in your state before entering into any adoption situation. This is especially important for birth families that are hoping to maintain contact after the adoption is finalized.

Adoptive parents should be reminded that it is unethical although not illegal in most states to say that you will have an open or semi-open adoption and then change your mind after finalization. Sometimes there are valid reasons to change the adoption agreement however, decisions to change the agreement should not be taken lightly. Everyone involved with adoption should be upfront and truthful about the intentions that they have concerning the type of adoption in which they wish to participate. Adoptive parents and birth parents should not agree to anything that they are uncomfortable with or can not follow through with. In the end all parties will suffer if the adoption is finalized and everyone is not 100% comfortable with the level agreed to communication.

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