Choosing adoption for your baby is a big decision to make. Before you start looking for adoption agencies or professionals, you’ll want to decide what type of adoption you want. There are 3 main types of adoption: closed, semi-open, and open adoption. Each one offers something different that you may or may not want. All of the adoption types vary from levels of openness, amount of contact, and whether or not identifiable information is shared. Identifiable information is first/last names, addresses, phone numbers, personal email, etc. Different types of contact may include in-person meetings before & after the adoption, phone calls, emails, text messaging, and any other correspondence. In order to make the best decision for you and your baby, it’s good to collect as much information as you can. The more you know the better the decision you can make. We’ll explain the different types of adoptions down below, so you can have as much information as possible. You’ll also find out what our agency does too.

 

  1. Closed Adoption

When adoption comes to mind, most people typically think of closed adoption. This was the primary form of adoption until the 1980s. During the closed adoption process, there is no interaction between the birth parents and adoptive parents. Communication will only be between you and the agency. No identifying information is given to either party. However, non-identifying information such as physical characteristics or medical history can be shared. Some birth parents choose closed adoption because they feel a sense of closure. They feel that closed adoption allows them to move on with their lives. Birth parents may choose this route if they are nervous or scared about telling their family & friends about their decision. Closed adoption makes it possible to avoid confrontation and reduce this fear.

 

  1. Semi-Open Adoption

Semi-Open adoption is becoming the most common type of adoption. It is also called a “Mediated Adoption”. Most or all communication between birth parents and adoptive parents are facilitated by the adoption agency or adoption professional. The agency will arrange a phone call or an in-person meeting between the birth & adoptive parents before the adoption. A social worker will be present or available for either situation you choose. If you decide to have an in-person meeting, a social worker will prepare both you and the adoptive parents for the meeting. Identifying information will still be withheld and a social worker will be present. A social worker will also exchange any emails between both parties as well.

      • At the hospital

In a semi-open adoption, the birth mother creates a hospital plan that resonates with her comfort level. This makes sure that everyone involved (hospital staff, adoptive parents, & social workers) understands and respects her wishes during labor & delivery. It is entirely up to the birth mother’s level of openness and the desired amount of contact. Adoptive parents could possibly be in the delivery room, she may allow them to hold the baby, or she could choose for the adoptive parents to meet her family. It’s all up to what she decides and what she wants.

      • Post Placement Contact

After the baby is placed with the adoptive parents, birth parents can begin receiving pictures and letters if they choose too. The adoptive parents will send pictures and letters to the agency or adoption professional. The agency will review the correspondence to make sure that certain identifiable information is redacted before sending it to the birth parents. This is to protect the privacy of both parties.

Emails are generally the most common form of communication for semi-open adoptions. It’s an easy and convenient way to stay in touch. Emails also allow easy access to one another if something happens. It’s also possible to have future phone calls and in-person visits. This would just mean that the adoption is going from semi-open to open adoption. Especially if both parties start sharing more identifying information.

      • Why some birth parents choose semi-open adoption

Semi-open adoption gives birth parents a peace of mind. It gives them enough contact to stay in the loop with their child, but they aren’t personally involved. Since semi-open adoptions are on the middle of the openness scale, the amount of contact can increase or decrease. Both parties must agree on the new level of openness for contact to increase. It’s up to the birth parents if the level of openness should decrease.

  1. Open Adoption

With open adoption identifying information and contact is shared between the birth parents and adoptive parents. No two adoptions are alike. Some adoptions can be more open than others. It depends on the level of openness that everyone has agreed on. Some adoptions include texting, periodic phone calls on birthdays/holidays, personal visits, and whatever form of contact you feel comfortable with.

  • Our Agency (Adoptions From The Heart)

We do semi-open and open adoptions. When an expectant parent reaches out to us, a social worker counsels them on all their available options. Just because you start working with us does not mean you have to place your baby. You have the right to change your mind. If you choose to parent, we can also provide you with resources to help you and your baby.

The social worker is the liaison between adoptive parents and birth parents. Adoptive parents and birth parents can also decide to handle all communication, correspondence, contact, and visits amongst themselves. Both parties must be in agreeance with this before moving forward.

Birth parents receive pictures and letters every month for the 1st year. After that, birth parents receive pictures and letters once a year until their child is 18. Birth parents can also opt out of receiving correspondence. The agency will hold all correspondence until the birth parents are ready for it. With our agency adoptive parents must be open to at least one visit a year. If the birth parents aren’t comfortable with the visit that’s fine, but the option is always available. We also offer an annual picnic every summer as a meeting point for those yearly visits.

 

Making an Informed Decision

Choosing adoption is a decision that only you can make. You must decide what is best for you and your baby. Once you make the decision of adoption think about what level of openness and the amount of contact you would like to have. If you’re not sure about which adoption to choose it might be safe to pick a semi-open adoption. You have the option to have as much or as little contact and openness as you want. You kind of have the best of both worlds in a semi-open adoption. If you are having a hard time and you decide you don’t want any more contact or openness at this time, that’s fine. If you change your mind later that’s fine too. It all depends on how you feel and what you want. I hope this helps you to make not only an informed decision, but the best decision for you and your child.