Here are some topics to think about, which may help you make an informed decision about adoption. Talking these things over with someone you trust may be helpful, too. A supportive relative or friend, or an adoption counselor or attorney may help you think these things through while you are making your adoption plan.
Years ago almost all adoptions were conducted in secrecy with no contact between the birthparents and the adoptive parents. These are known as a closed adoption. Today, however, most birthparents meet the couple who will adopt their baby, and make arrangements for some type of ongoing contact over the years.
Closed adoption means that there is no contact at all between the birthparents and the adoptive parents, and no identifying information is exchanged.
Semi-open adoptions involve agencies or other intermediaries who may pass correspondence between the two parties before or after the adoption, but they will not give out any contact information to either party. If you prefer not to correspond with the adoptive parents, that choice is yours.
Open adoption offers a wide variety of contact choices, but the basic understanding is that there is open communication between the birthparents and the adoptive parents, both before and after the birth. Open adoption can include the exchange of letters and photos; face-to-face, first-names-only meetings; sharing full-identifying information; and having access on an ongoing basis. The type of communication or contact, the frequency of communication, and any adjustments are worked out between the birthparents and the adoptive parents,often with the help of an intermediary, such as an adoption social worker, attorney, or adoption counselor.
Today, birthparents can select the parents they wants to raise her children. Often agencies and attorneys will show birthparents a selection of profiles and photos of couples.Online profiles of couples hoping to adopt, like Parent Profiles,offer introductions and photos, allowing parents or expectant parents who are making an adoption plan the opportunity to read these introductions, study their profiles and pictures, and then initiate contact by e-mail or telephone.
Please be aware that choosing an open adoption does not mean that you are co-parenting the child. The adoptive parents will be your baby's legal parents and guardians. For more on open adoption, please visit www.openadoptions.com.
To help you work through your decision, we have created an online workbook: Pregnancy Decisions Workbook.
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.