Open or Closed Adoption: Advantages of Each Type of Adoption
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors| Last updated November 23, 2018
Adoption, in and of itself, is a complicated and confusing process. Adding to the complexity, there are several different types of adoption. While open adoption and closed (or confidential) adoption are at either end of the spectrum, mediated or "semi-open" adoptions also are an option. The type of adoption you choose will depend on the laws of your state, your needs, the needs of the birth parent, and other factors.
In order to decide whether an open or closed adoption, or some other form of adoption, is the best method for you, you'll want to understand these degrees of "openness" in adoption processes. Read on to learn about the benefits associated with confidential (closed) adoptions, open adoptions, and mediated adoptions.
The Main Types of Adoption
Confidential (Closed) Adoptions: No contact between birth and adoptive families. Only nonidentifying information (e.g., height, hair color, medical history, etc.) is provided through a third party (e.g., agency or attorney).
Identity questions are answered (Who do I look like? Why was I placed?).
Eases feelings of abandonment.
Lessening of fantasies: birth parents are "real."
Increased circle of supportive adults.
Increased attachment to adoptive family (especially if the birth parents support the placement).
Preservation of connections (e.g., with siblings, relatives).
Lessens loyalty conflicts (according to recent research).
Exposure to racial and ethnic heritage.
Ability for evolving, dynamic, and developmentally appropriate account of the adoption.
Should You Pursue an Open or Closed Adoption? An Attorney Can Help
While it's ultimately a personal decision that will depend on your specific situation, a legal professional will be able to help you understand the advantages (and disadvantages) of open adoption, closed adoption, and options in-between for your specific situation. Consider speaking with an experienced adoption attorney near you to learn more.
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