What is meant by a Closed Adoption and an Open Adoption?
In a closed adoption, while some details including exchanging first names and even a face-to-face meeting take place, no identifying information such as last name, phone numbers, and addresses is exchanged.
In an open adoption the parties exchange identifying information and are then able, if they so choose, to be in direct contact with one another.
The degree of openness varies widely from occasional letters or phone calls, providing pictures and updates, to ongoing physical meetings.
Our not-for-profit adoption agency conducts both open and closed adoptions. Since 1985, we have worked with thousands of birth parents and adopting families from all over the world.
We have completed over 900 successful placements. We are committed to putting your needs first and to helping you in every way possible. Feel free to contact us or call (toll-free 1(800)943-0400). All calls are confidential and there is never any obligation to you for our help.
Historically, in western society, a closed adoption was the most traditional type of adoption; however, due to changing attitudes about adoption, open adoptions are now very common and, in some places, they are the norm.
Want more Open Adoption and Closed Adoption Information?
At one time almost all agency adoptions were closed and if a birth mother wanted an open adoption she would need to contact an attorney and proceed with a private adoption. This began to change about 15-20 years ago and is no longer the case.
Nowadays the birth mother and/or birth father can, and typically do, request some combination of updates, pictures, meetings, a closed adoption, an open adoption, or a semi-open adoption and most adoption agencies and adoption attorneys will fulfill their requests. At the same time, you as the adopting family can decide what you are willing and desirous of doing. Then the adoption agency or adoption attorney will match you and the birth parents based on the comparability of your requests.
Note that in some states open adoptions or closed adoptions are restricted and many agencies have their own way of dealing with open and closed adoption. Accordingly, whether an adoption is open or closed will depend on what you want, what the birth mother and birth father request, what your state allows, and what agency you select.
No one level of openness in a child adoption is best for everyone and each child adoption changes over time. Whether an adoption is open or closed will not cause your child to be emotionally healthy or unhealthy. Make sure to make known to your adoption agency what you are comfortable with, and then stick to what you want.
Where are more Open and Closed Adoption Resources?
Several other websites provide research and issues to consider in open child adoption. These include:
American Association of Open Adoption Agencies helps families find agencies practicing open child adoption.
Child Welfare Information Gateway is a good source of general adoption information and has an article titled Openness in Adoption Factsheet for Families.
Insight: Open Adoption Resources and Support offers open child adoption resources for professionals and support for adoptive and birth parents considering open child adoption.
Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project provides information on a longitudinal study of openness in child adoption since 1985.
Want Additional Open and Closed Adoption Help?
Adoption Services has extensive experience with open and closed child adoption as well as variations of these two. We are here to help you determine the best choice for you and then to help implement your choices in a way that will eliminate problems and concerns. We are able to help you with an adoption regardless of the state in which you reside.
For additional help with an adoption agency adoption visit the link Selecting an adoption Agency. You can also find a list of adoption agencies in your state and neighboring states at the link Domestic Adoption Agencies.
If you need or want some specific personal advice contact your state child welfare agency or state adoption contact. You can also call Dr. Vince Berger, a psychologist and adoption professional.
Please visit our home page to read about our commitment to assist adoptive parents like you as well as pregnant women and birth parents.
[ Return to Domestic Adoption Types]