Open vs Closed Adoption: Which Is a Better Option For You?

If you are looking to adopt a child, there are a lot of decisions to make. You will need to decide on the preferred age of the child, where to adopt from, and whether or not you want an open or closed adoption. With an open adoption, you still remain in contact with the birth parents, providing updates about the child. In a closed adoption, there is none or very little contact after the adoption is complete. Here are some things to consider when deciding between these two options.

Are you willing to keep in contact with the birth parents?

The main objective to an open adoption is that you will keep in contact with the birth parents. It is important that you really think about what this means, but also that there are certain rules and boundaries set. A family attorney can guide you through the process and help both you and the birth parents come up with a compromise. This might include how often you contact them and in what capacity. Some open adoptions allow for visitation, while others don't. If this sounds okay to you, then open adoption might be a good option.

Do you feel open adoption is better for the child?

In some situations, an open adoption would be great for the child, but in others, you may not completely trust the birth parents. This is why it is important to get to know them first before deciding which form of adoption you want to request. If you believe that your child would be better off having absolutely no contact with their birth parents, then perhaps choose a closed adoption or an open adoption with only pictures and letters, but no visitation.

Is the closure of a closed adoption more appealing?

For some adoptive parents, they want the closure that comes with a closed adoption. In this form of adoption, once those papers are signed, you never have to contact the birth parents again, and they are not allowed to contact you either. This is another detail you should make sure is in the adoption contract, which your attorney can help you with. There are also some rules where the birth parents can't try to contact the child at all, or not until they reach a certain age.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about. This comes down to your own comfort level, what you think is best for your child, and how you think the birth parents would handle an open versus closed adoption.