When it comes to adoptions, there is a spectrum of options that start with a closed adoption and end with an open adoption. What sort of adoption you choose is entirely up to you and may land anywhere on that spectrum. When you choose an adoption agency in California, they may have a recommendation about where you should fall on the spectrum, but if they have a policy that you aren’t comfortable with, you can work with another agency who allows you to have the adoption as open or closed as you wish.
What Are Open and Closed Adoptions?
Closed adoptions were much more common in the past before recent laws began granting more information to persons who had been adopted. A closed adoption is an anonymous adoption. The entire process is handled through an agency. The adoptive parents don’t know the identity of the birth parents, nor do the birth parents know the identity of the adoptive parents. No communication happens between the two parties after the adoption, and in many cases, the records are sealed forever.
Open adoptions are much more common now. Open adoptions mean there is some form of communication between the adoptive and birth parents. That might just mean that photos and updates are shared once a year through the agency to retain some anonymity, but some families might even choose to allow the birth family to visit occasionally or connect with the family on social media. How open the communication is can be determined before the adoption is finalized to ensure both parties are on the same page.
What Studies Say About Open vs. Closed Adoptions
On the whole, most long-term studies show that open adoptions are better for all the parties involved. For the child, it gives them a chance to discover any biological siblings, connect with their ethnic heritage, or even gain access to important medical information. For birth parents, occasional updates give them the opportunity to see how happy and well cared for the child is with their adoptive family. For adoptive families, it gives them an opportunity to provide information to their adoptive child, and studies show that this kind of open communication is a benefit to their relationship with the adopted child.
Which One is Right for You?
When it comes to open or closed adoptions, the one that’s right for you is entirely up to you. You will be able to find an adoption agency in California that will meet your need. However, unless there is a good reason not to, some kind of open adoption arrangement may be in the best interest of the child. You can speak with an adoption counselor about your options. Many adoptive families are initially hesitant about open adoption, but then quickly find they enjoy access to important information in the future!
Our Center Can Help You Learn More
If you’d like to learn more about open vs. closed adoptions and choosing the options that’s right for your family, get in touch with our team by clicking on the button below.