Open vs. Closed Adoption

pregnant considering adoption

Is it better to choose a closed adoption or an open adoption? Years ago the vast majority of adoptions were “closed” adoptions which mean that no identifying information is exchanged between the birth parent or parents and the adoptive parents. All of the legal paperwork and processes are facilitated by an agency or facilitator. After the adoption is finalized there is no communication, updates or photos shared between the parties. Although closed adoption is seen less often now, Lifeline recognizes and understands that this type of adoption is still relevant and necessary in certain situations and in these situations will help to match an adoptive family with the same desire.

Slowly adoptions have evolved to a point where the correspondence is exchanged between the two parties on a mutually agreed upon plan. This correspondence plan is typically discussed before placement and an agreement is made based on what was in the best interest of all concerned. This exchange still very rarely included identifiable information. Further openness in the adoption process includes facilitated meetings between the birth parent(s) and prospective adoptive couples happening without identifiable information being exchanged and some cases with minimal identifiable information shared.

Open, or fully disclosed, adoptions allow adoptive parents, and often the adopted child, to interact directly with the birth parents. Open adoption allows family members to interact in ways that feel most comfortable to them. In semi-open or mediated adoptions, information is relayed through a mediator (such as Lifeline) rather than through direct contact between the birth and adoptive families.

The vast majority of adoptions are not totally closed or totally open —they do not fall to either end of this spectrum, rather they fall somewhere in between. This seems to be where most people are comfortable. There is access to communication & information but it isn’t intrusive. Our heart at Lifeline is to listen to the desire of the birth parent(s) and help them to make the best decision for themselves and their child.

Understanding all of the details of open and closed adoption can be overwhelming, especially when you are already dealing with so many other emotions. You may change your mind several times throughout the pregnancy about your decision, and that is ok. Our pregnancy counselors can help by listening to you and sharing truth with you.

We know that this is a decision for you to make.

To talk with a counselor call or text 1(800)875-5595 or submit a request for a Pregnancy Counselor to reach out to you today:

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