The process of adopting a child is filled with decisions. One of the decisions that you have to make involves the type of adoption you plan on using. This is an important choice because it can impact how you handle your new child’s upbringing.
There are two types of adoptions for you to think about — open and closed. Each has very specific points that you need to consider when you are trying to decide which is right for your family.
In an open adoption, you know who the birth parents are and they know who you are. There is typically some relationship between the adoptive child and the birth parents. The extent of the relationship varies according to the circumstances. In some cases, the birth parents only receive updates about the child through the adoptive parents. In other cases, the birth parents play a central or supportive role in the child’s life.
When you opt for an open adoption, you have a big benefit of being able to ask the birth parents specific questions. While this might not seem very important now, it can prove to be crucial if there is any medical history information that you need.
Open adoptions often have an agreement between the adoptive parents and birth parents that clearly defines the roles. Adoptive parents should understand that these agreements can be changed if something happens and you aren’t comfortable with the arrangement any longer or feel that it isn’t in the child’s best interests.
Closed adoptions were once the primary adoption type. In this adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents don’t know each other. Instead, they each have a basic profile that they can review, but no identifying information is provided to either side.
Some people prefer closed adoptions since there isn’t any role of the birth parents in the child’s life. You should remember that this also means that you don’t have the option of asking the birth parents questions about medical history or similar matters if the need arises.
While one of these options might seem right to you right now, you have to think about how the decision might impact the child later. No matter which adoption option you choose, you will likely have some questions to answer down the road as the child becomes more aware and able to understand what is going on. Make sure that you consider this now so that you can start thinking about how you will handle those situations.