Types of Adoption
Closed Adoption: Closed adoption, not to be confused with sealed records, is an adoption in which the adopting parents and the placing parents never meet and know nothing or very little about one another. With the advent of open adoption, closed adoptions have become the exception in domestic adoption rather than the rule. Although things have started to change over the course of the last few years, children adopted from the foster care system are generally involved in closed adoptions. In closed adoption, the adoption professionals involved will usually choose the adopting parents for the child. This is generally true regardless of whether the adoption is domestic or within the foster care system. It is important to remember that having a closed adoption does not guarantee that once a child reaches the age of majority he or she will not seek out and reunite with their biological families or that the biological family will not seek and reunite with the child that was placed. The closed or open adoption agreements made between the parties of an adoption at the time of the child's birth only stay in force until the child reaches the legal age in which he or she can make decisions for him or herself.
Open Adoption: Open adoption refers to an adoption arrangement, either pre-finalization or post-adoption, in which an adoptee's birth parents and adoptive parents meet one another. There are varying levels of open adoption and the kind of relationship between the parents. Semi-open adoption, for example, refers to a relationship in which the triad members operate on a first-name basis and do not reveal overly personal information to one another. A traditionally open adoption means the triad members know more identifying information than in the other scenarios such as last names, a mailing address or phone number. Open adoption relationships are most common in infant adoptions and are used when a birth mother wants to be active in the placement process of the infant. While an open relationship during the placement process can put her mind at ease and lower the chances of a birth mother changing her mind, choosing to maintain a relationship after placement is a tough decision that makes many adoptive parents uneasy. Before working toward an adoption arrangement, a couple should decide on whether or not they want a closed, semi-open or open adoption experience.
Adoptions that stay very open after the placement, consent and finalization of an adoption are sometimes called cooperative adoptions if the birth parents make in-person visits with the adoptee.
Open adoption is an often debated preference that has convincing arguments for and against it. People that support open adoption feel that it takes the mystery away from birth parents as an adoptee matures. Adoptive parents also feel that establishing a relationship with the birth mother before the adoption is finalized may also reduce the chance of her changing her mind about placing
There are practical reasons to stay in touch with an adoptee's birth parents. Health updates, for example, may be useful. Having a birth parent in an adoptee's post-placement life may work for some family dynamics. It can also help a birth mother cope with her decision. Sending photos or updates about the adoptee once or twice a year may help her feel she made the right decision during rough times.
Pregnant women looking to place and couples seeking placement should be open about what they want out of an adoption.
Most birthparents today want to take a more active role in finding a home for the baby they cannot care for. They want to choose their baby's new parents themselves, so that they have peace of mind in knowing that they did all they could for the baby they are unable to take home.
Aware of this reality, we have designed a safe and confidential format wherein birthparents may choose adoptive parents through limited communication and adoptive parents may avoid the long waiting lists they have traditionally faced in seeking a child to adopt. Our adoptive process involves the standard application, interviews and home study. Once a birthmother is located, you and the agency may provide her with telephone contact and emotional support, while the agency provides counseling, medical care, obtains background information and finally legal and placement services. It is very important that you understand that this open adoption process is done while still protecting your anonymity. Your last names and addresses are not revealed unless you agree to this and we supervise the contact you have with the birthparents.
Applicants pursuing adoption by way of a birth mom who has not yet delivered a child are not afforded the flexibility of specifying the gender of the child. The agency has taken this position in fairness to all parties involved. It would not be fair for you to make contact with a birthmother, build a relationship with her during the pregnancy and then decline to accept the child because he was a boy instead of a girl or vice verse. Accordingly, it would not be fair for the agency to ask you to expend funds in a situation where we cannot guarantee your gender preference. Therefore, if you desire a child of a specific sex and you are not flexible in this regard, then your adoption process will only involve those children who are born and waiting for an adoptive family.
There are different levels of openness before and after the adoption.
* Least open – The birth mom will read about several possible adoptive families and pick the one that sounds best for their baby. The birth mom and you will only know each other’s first names, medical, social and educational information.
* More open - You and the birth mom will speak on the telephone and exchange first names and some background information.
* Even more open - You can meet the birth mom. Your social worker will arrange the meeting and be there with you when you meet.
* Most open - You and the birth mom will share your full names, addresses, and telephone numbers. You stay in contact with the birth mom over the years, by visiting, calling, or writing each other.