Now that you have made sure that you are financially ready to adopt, that you have the right motives and information and are familiar with the types of adoption, you are ready to know about the open and closed adoption. This is a very significant choice in the adoption process. This has to do with the amount of contact, if any, the child will have with his or her biological parents.
Full open adoption refers to when the child has the option of having a personal relationship with his or her biological family. This specifically refers to the child having direct contact with the birth parents. Whether you choose this option or not, you will be involved with the child’s birth family in some way. The biological family of your child makes up much of who your child is. The option of open adoption allows you to further know the child that you have adopted, by allowing you to know the child’s birth family personally. In this case, the adoptive parents and the birth parents need to see the contract that they agree upon as a covenant that they made for the child’s sake. This type of adoption gives a child a sense of wholeness and allows that two families to become, in many ways, one blended family. It allows both families to get to know the child as a whole.
The other side of things is the closed adoption. This form of adoption allows the child no contact at all with his or her birth parents. The child may not know the name or location or any other information about his or her biological parents. Some families choose this option to ensure that there are no further struggles with the adoption of the child. Their justification is that it would be harder for both families to deal with visits and information and gifts being sent.
There is however, a middle ground. Semi-open adoption allows the child to receive gifts and letters from the biological parents but does not permit visits. This is a common way that many families tend to go about the adoption process. It allows the child to feel as though they know where they are from and who they really are, without having to deal with the emotional stress, the financial strain of traveling to visit the other family and the sense of confusion the child may feel being part of a blended family, with two sets of parents.
You must keep in mind that what you decide is not about you. You are not to make a decision that would make the adults involved more comfortable. The decision that you make should focus around the needs and the wants of the child involved. You need to know about the parents of the child, prior to adopting to know whether allowing the child to have contact with the parent is in the child’s best interest. Again, it is important that you talk with families that have experienced both open ended and closed adoptions to see what their opinion are, before making a final decision.