Open Adoptions vs Closed Adoptions
Open adoptions and closed adoptions are very different from one another and you need to be well-informed about both to ensure that you and your spouse are making the right decision in how you want to adopt a child. Closed adoptions have been the norm for adoption agencies across the U.S. until a few years ago when open adoptions began to gain popularity due to changes in technology and the ease of which adoptive parents can share e-mails, photos, and videos very easily with the birth parents.
Open adoptions involve the birth mother having most of the options at the beginning. She is able to look through available candidates at an adoption agency to see which ones she think would be the best fit for her baby. She will look through candidate profiles which describe a couple's careers, lifestyle, hobbies, likes/dislikes, interests, and much more. Generally, a birth mother isn't told the candidates' last name, and instead told only their first names.
Once the birth mother has chosen who she believes is the right couple for her baby, she will meet with them and if all goes well, it will be considered an official match. From this point, it's up to the adoptive parents and the birth mother to talk through what will be acceptable and not acceptable going forward. Will the birth mother be able to visit weekly/monthly/yearly? How often will messages and photos be exchanged? Will the birth mother ever get to speak with the child on her own? These are all questions that the two parties will need to work out together.
Open adoptions allow the child to grow up seeing their birth mother as an extended family member. They will always be in their child's life and will get to interact with them on a somewhat regular basis. This can be great for once the child has reached an age where you can explain to them that they are adopted and who their real birth mother is.
Closed adoptions involved the adoptive parents being matched with a birth mother. Typically, the two never meet and never learn any details about each other. The birth mother waives her rights to have any contact with the baby after it is born. If the adoptive parents ever decide to meet with the birth mother someday, it's their own doing and not a requirement in any way.
Once your child has reached an age where you can explain to them that they are adopted and you aren't his or her actual birth parents, it may be rather difficult for a child to wrap their head around. They will probably have many questions about their actual birth parents and you have to ask yourself whether or not you will be prepared to handle this situation. However, the child may not be as upset since they were with you since they were a baby and you were the ones taking care of him or her the entire time. You are who they love, look up to, and have a special bond with.
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