Adoption is a beautiful and life-changing process that connects a child with a loving family. When it comes to adoption, one crucial decision to make is whether to pursue an open or closed adoption. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two approaches, shedding light on their unique characteristics and how each path might look for your family.

What is an open adoption?

Open adoption refers to a type of adoption where identifying information and direct communication are exchanged between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adopted child. It promotes ongoing contact and transparency, allowing all parties involved to have a greater understanding of each other’s lives. Open adoption can range from minimal contact and updates to frequent visits and shared parenting responsibilities. The level of openness is typically agreed upon by the birth and adoptive parents, considering the best interests and comfort levels of everyone involved.

What is a closed adoption?

Closed adoption, on the other hand, is a more traditional approach where identifying information about the birth parents and adoptive parents is kept confidential. The parties involved have limited or no direct contact with each other. Closed adoptions were more prevalent in the past, and the confidentiality aspect is intended to protect the privacy and anonymity of the birth parents and sometimes the adoptive family as well.

What else do you need to know?

The most significant distinction between open and closed adoptions is the level of communication and contact. In open adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents have the opportunity to establish a relationship and maintain direct contact. This can involve in-person visits, phone calls, or emails that have been agreed upon by both parties. Closed adoption, in contrast, restricts direct communication between the parties, with information often channeled through intermediaries such as adoption agencies or attorneys.

When deciding between open and closed adoption, it is crucial to consider the unique dynamics and preferences of all parties involved. Open adoption facilitates ongoing contact and information exchange, nurturing a sense of connection and understanding. Closed adoption emphasizes more privacy and confidentiality. Ultimately, the birth mother typically will choose if they would prefer to have an open or closed adoption, but it’s important to know that every situation is unique.

At Herrin & Leach, our team will walk you through the process, advocate for you, and answer all of your questions along the way. Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more about your options.