Open and Closed Adoption

Starting a family is one of the biggest decisions a man or woman will make in his or her lifetime. It can be especially daunting if natural pregnancy is not an option. Fortunately, both domestic adoption and international adoption serve as wonderful alternatives in such cases. If you are part of a potential adoptive couple considering adoption for the first time, one of the other big decisions you have to face is whether you will choose an open or a closed adoption. While distance and language barriers make closed adoption more common in inter-country adoptions, open adoptions have become the standard in domestic adoption.

In a closed adoption, the birthmother does not come into contact with the adoptive couple or adopted child. An open adoption means that the birth mother, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child have some degree of contact between each other, depending on what is best for the child and families in that situation. Communication can range from regularly meeting face-to-face to simply having each other’s contact information. Adoption agencies or lawyers may also mediate meetings. According to the National Adoption Center, open adoption is especially common if a child is adopted when he or she is older or has siblings with whom he or she wants to stay in touch. When making tough choices like this, adoption agencies can provide services to adoptive couples trying to weigh the costs and benefits of both options.

There is no definitive answer about which type of adoption is “best.” The important thing to consider is what will be best for the adopted child and what will be best for the birthmother and the adoptive parents. While there is no evidence to suggest that children of open or closed adoptions fare better than the other, research indicates that adoptive parents’ worries associated with open adoption are generally not a problem. Sometimes adoptive parents are concerned that an open adoption may lead the adoptee to be angry with the birthmother. Rather, it may help the adoptive child answer many questions and give the birthmother peace of mind knowing her child was able to have a better life with the adoptive family. In addition, if you do choose an open adoption, adoptive couples can often be a part of the prenatal care and the pregnancy. This sometimes gives adoptive parents a sense of bonding with their baby in the womb. Still, whether a couple chooses an open or a closed adoption, their decision should always reflect what will be best for their new child.

Adopting a child is an important decision that requires much careful consideration. Are you contemplating adoption or are you already planning to adopt a child? Do you have any idea about how or where to start? Providence Place will guide you through the adoption process while making sure all your questions are. Providence Place offers adoption services for birth mothers, birth fathers, adoptive families for children, and adoptees. They also provide supportive services, post adoption services, and much more. Providence Place is a national leader in open adoptions. Visit provplace.org today to learn more about adopting a child.

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