Open Adoption with Your Child
Is Semi-Open Adoption Right for You? [How to Decide]
Adoption decisions can be difficult. Because you want the best for your child, every decision you make is important — and none more so than the level of contact you wish to have during the adoption process and after completion.
- Do I want the adoptive family to know who I am?
- How much information should I share?
- Is it important for me to have a strong relationship with my child?
These are just a few of the questions a prospective birth mother may ask herself when it comes to communication not only with the adoptive family but also the level of connection with the child after the adoption is finalized. An open adoption where the lines of communication range from phone calls and email to in-person meetings, might be too much. A closed adoption where no identifiable information is exchanged, might be too difficult. In this case, a semi-open adoption with mediated contact could be the ideal situation for a prospective birth mother wanting to move forward from her adoption but maintain a certain level of contact between herself, the adoptive family and the child., might be too difficult. In this case, a semi-open adoption with mediated contact could be the ideal situation for a prospective birth mother wanting to move forward from her adoption but maintain a certain level of contact between herself, the adoptive family and the child.
Adoption professionals are waiting to answer your questions, and you can speak to one today for free.
WHAT IS A SEMI-OPEN ADOPTION?
Semi-open adoption is often considered the best of both worlds in terms of communication after an adoption. There are many birth mothers that wish to keep their distance from the adoption for their own personal needs, whether that means keeping a relative amount of space in order to cope and move forward from the adoption or because she simply doesn’t wish to have a close connection with the adoptive parents and child.
Semi-open adoptions allow a prospective birth mother to get to know the adoptive parents and feel confident her baby is going to a loving and caring home, as well as keep a line of communication open to receive important updates as the child grows up. As with any difficult choice, semi-open adoption comes with advantages and disadvantages. While keeping a more limited connection to the adoptive family and child can help everyone move forward, it can potentially create issues for both the birth mother and the child as time passes. This is why some level of ongoing contact is always encouraged, even if you are not ready for a fully open adoption.
In a semi-open adoption, contact with the adoptive family is often mediated by an adoption professional in order to maintain the desired level of privacy. This can mean anything sent by the adoptive family will first come to the adoption professional, who will then send the items — such as pictures and letters — to the birth mother. This helps keep identifiable information private on both sides. However, some adoption agencies are moving away from contact mediation, and many birth mothers and adoptive families today choose an open arrangement that allows for direct contact.
SEMI-OPEN ADOPTION PROS AND CONS
Fully closed adoptions are becoming a thing of the past. Most birth mothers and adoptive parents wish to build some level of a relationship and keep the lines of communication open as the child grows up. When it comes to a semi-open adoption, there are some clear advantages to having even a limited relationship with the adoptive parents and child.
Semi-open adoption pros:
- The ability for the birth parents to choose and get to know an adoptive family to ensure their child is joining the right situation
- A sense of privacy is maintained even though both parties continue to have some level of contact post-adoption
- Contact is mediated by an adoption agency or adoption specialist
- Post-adoption grief and stress is helped by allowing for a certain level of continued contact and updates provided to the birth parents
- Reduced fear and guilt by allowing for mediated contact between birth parents and adoptive families to ensure the health and safety of the child is being maintained
Semi-open adoption cons:
- Despite having some contact with the adoptive family, a semi-open adoption means there will be a disconnect or potential loss of a relationship with the child
- Inconsistent contact can create a bigger void in the ability to maintain a connection in the child’s growth and development
- Limited information on the life of the child can make a birth parent feel increasingly distant
- A negative perspective developed by the child that it’s not ok to have knowledge of who their birth parents are
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR ADOPTION
Ultimately, it’s important to know that whatever decisions are to be made for your adoption are entirely up to you. When it comes to the level of openness in your adoption, you will make that choice based on your comfort level and personal needs. Many birth mothers choose a semi-open adoption because it allows some space from the adoption itself while also keeping a limited level of communication so you can maintain a connection to your child. Over the course of time, relationships can change, meaning the amount of openness you have with the adoptive family can change.
Something else to consider is how the advancement in technology has made it difficult for birth mothers to remain completely closed off from the adoptive family and child. Between social media, access to records and DNA testing, a closed adoption has become more difficult to maintain.
Talk to your adoption professional about your comfort level when it comes to contact with the adoptive parents during the adoption, as well as the level of communication post-placement.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.