Open Or Closed Adoption: Which Is Best For You?

Are you thinking about adopting a child? Are you wondering which kind of adoption may be best for you? You have a wide variety of options, including from using an agency, fostering a child in your home, and adopting from overseas. There's no better or worse way to adopt. It all depends on your goals, needs, and desires. For many people, one of the biggest factors is whether they want an open or closed adoption.

Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider both before making a decision.

Closed Adoptions

There was a time when every adoption was closed. The adoptive and biological parents may never meet each other. Even if they do before the adoption, all communication ends after the adoption is complete. The adoption records are then sealed until the child turns 18. In some cases, they're sealed permanently.

Some adoptive parents prefer closed adoptions because they don't want the biological parents involved in the child's life. They also may feel that a closed adoption will reduce confusion on the part of the child and will encourage the child to think of the adoptive parents as the "real" parents. On the other hand, it's common for adopted children to have questions about their biological parents. If the adoption is closed, it may be difficult for adoptive parents to answer those questions.

There are few true closed adoptions in the United States these days. Most domestic adoptions are open in at least some sense. If you want a fully closed adoption, you may want to look internationally. Also, a domestic closed adoption may be possible in situations in which the biological parents mistreated or neglected the children and are legally prohibited from having contact.

Open Adoptions

An open adoption is one in which the adoptive and biological parents have contact and their identities are known to each other. In many cases, there is some level of ongoing communication, even if it's just an annual update letter with pictures of the child. In extremely open adoptions, the biological parents may even be able to communicate or visit with the child.

The primary benefit of an open adoption is that it can often ease the amount of confusion and stress for the child as they grow older. As they have questions about their biological parents, the adoptive parents can provide honest and informed answers. In this sense, it may be easier for the child to understand their situation. On the down side, though, it's possible that the child may maintain a strong bond with the biological parents and never fully accept the adoptive parents as full parental figures.

An adoption agency can help guide you through the adoption process. If you prefer a closed adoption, they can direct you to appropriate adoption opportunities. If you want an open adoption, they can help you identify a child and negotiate  the terms of the adoption with the biological parents. To learn more, contact a company like Hope's Promise with any questions you have.