Adoptive Parents | Openness in Adoption
Definition of “openness” in adoption: Openness – the level of contact or amount of information shared between a birth family and an adoptive family
Levels of Openess
Closed Adoption – placement is completed by the agency or attorney with only the legally required information shared pertaining to the medical and social history of the infant. All identifying information on forms is redacted (blacked out) and affidavits are signed to seal the original birth certificate. Not post-placement exchange of information/pictures/correspondence will be made.
Semi-Open Adoption – expectant birth parents select the potential adoptive family based on Family Profile books. First names only are used and if agreed upon, the expectant parents and the adoptive parents may have some phone or in person interactions prior to the birth of the baby. The adoptive parents may be at the hospital for the delivery. Following placement of baby in their care, the adoptive parents agree to provide pictures and updates to the agency to pass along to the birth family. The birth parents may correspond to the adoptive family thought the agency when appropriate.
Open Adoption – expectant parents and adoptive parents decide they are willing to share all contact information. The two sides mutually agree to contact each other directly and take on the responsibility to navigate their relationship in the best interest of the child. Boundaries are clearly set and respected to ensure the attachment is made in the adoptive family.
Birth parents have some control in choosing the level of openness. This helps in processing the decision to place a child for adoption and they feel more comfortable moving forward with their lives knowing the child is happy and safe.
Adoptive parents have a better understanding of the motivations of the birth parents which helps alleviate anxieties.
Adopted children grow up with the complete store of their adoption which can help dispel fears and/or fantasies about the biological family.