What Is The Difference Between Open, Closed, and Semi-Open Adoptions?

The length of the adoption process varies by individual and depends on when you reach out. Some expectant parents reach out to Adoption Choice, Inc. early on in their pregnancy. This helps them learn about adoption, make an adoption plan, and think about what they want to see in a prospective adoptive family. Others may reach out from the hospital after they have given birth or even after they have been parenting for some time. Whenever you decide is the right time to reach out, one of our counselors will be available to assist you and work at the pace you are comfortable with. 

Open Adoption

What is an open adoption?

Open adoption is an adoption which involves some level of initial and/or ongoing contact between birth and adoptive families, ranging from sending letters, texts, or emails to exchanging names and/or scheduling visits after the adoption occurs. Most birth parents prefer this type of adoption as it allows them to get to know the prospective adoptive family during their pregnancy and continue to receive updates after they place their child for adoption.

What does open adoption mean?

Over the past several years, adoption has become increasingly “open” in that birth parents have more opportunities than ever to continue a relationship with their child and the adoptive family. Speak with one of our counselors to learn more about what open adoption is and if it is right for you and your child.

How does open adoption work?

As the parent, you can decide what level of openness you would like to see during your pregnancy and after you place your child for an adoption. This is something your adoption counselor will discuss with you and you can determine what is right for you. Adoption Choice, Inc. will help you find a family that is also open to the same type of contact that you are looking for. If contact before and/or after the adoption are important to you there are many prospective adoptive families who are seeking the same level of contact with you. 

Can adoptive parents close an open adoption?

It can be scary to think about whether the adoptive parents that you choose will follow through on the agreement that you have made for the level of contact you wish to have after you place your child for adoption. We educate all of our families about openness and work to ensure that the family is really open to following through on the level of contact they state they are willing to have. While the agreement for contact is not legally binding, families typically understand what openness means, what the benefits are, and are looking forward to being able to maintain contact with the birth family so that they can share that information with the child as they grow up.

Semi-Open Adoption

What is a semi open adoption?

Many people use the words semi-open or open adoption. Adoption is a lifelong process and level of openness is something that varies with every individual. Semi-open adoption could mean that less identifying information is exchanged between the birth and adoptive families or the agency is assisting with communication by forwarding on letters or emails to both parties. Most birth and adoptive families choose to facilitate their own communication with an open adoption plan and may exchange phone numbers or emails in order to stay in contact or set-up in person visits. There isn’t a right or wrong way, just a way that you think is best for you. 

Closed Adoption

What is a closed adoption?

A closed adoption is where the birth and adoptive families have little or no information or contact with one another. Usually identifying information such as contact information and last names are not shared with one another. In closed adoptions, some expectant parents choose the families they would like to place their child with, but may not want any contact with them after that. In other cases, some expectant parents prefer for the agency to choose the family for them so that they do not have any information about the family. In most placements both birth and adoptive families prefer some level of openness. However, we will support whatever you ultimately decide is right for you and assist you in this process. If you aren’t sure what type of adoption and level of contact is right for you, contact one of our adoption counselors who can help you explore all of your options so you can make the best decision for you and your child.

Have more questions?

Talk to a counselor today. We'll review ALL your options together to help you make the best decision for yourself and your baby.