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Closed Adoption Facts

Definition

Women Considering Close Adoption

How do you know if a closed adoption is right for your baby? Below we have created a list of the most common closed adoption facts to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.

Adoptions tend to be called “open adoptions” or “closed adoptions.”

Definition: a closed adoption refers to an adoption where the birth mother and adopting parents don’t know each other’s identities and there is no contact between them.

Fact #1 – Closed adoption involves no contact with the adopting family before the baby is born

In a closed adoption, the birth mother typically allows an adoption agency to choose the adoptive parents for her.  She will not have any information about the family who is adopting her baby.  In a closed adoption, there is no contact with the adoptive family before the baby is born.

Fact #2 – There is no future contact with the adoptive family in a closed adoption

Generally, it is not possible to have contact with the family or baby in the future in a closed adoption.  Birth mothers are not required to provide their contact information to the adoptive family.  However, it is possible to provide this information in case a birth mother wants future contact.  Even if the birth mother provides contact information, the adoptive family is not required to contact the birth mother for any reason.  This includes if they divorce or one of them dies or if either remarries and gets custody of the child.

Fact #3 – You cannot share ongoing medical information

If you do not share contact information with the adoptive family, they cannot request medical information from you moving forward.  You also will not get medical information from them regarding your child.  This information could be important when diagnosing and preventing illness.

Fact #4 – Privacy is the main benefit of a closed adoption

If you feel the need for privacy, that is the main benefit of a closed adoption. The adoptive family cannot contact you without your prior consent.  This means you will not be contacted by your child in  the future.  It also means that any children you have now, or in the future, will not have contact with the sibling who was adopted.  However, it’s important to note that today, many adoptees have been able to find their biological families using new DNA technologies and social media.

Fact #5 – Studies show that closed adoption isn’t always best for the child

Adopted Boy SmilingThere are some drawbacks to a closed adoption that effect the birth mother and the adoptee.  Here are a few:

  • Birth parents might change their mind in the future and want contact
  • Uncertainty about how the baby is doing may cause depression and anxiety
  • Knowing the child is happy and thriving can help with processing grief and loss
  • Not knowing their birth parents can lead to a feeling of loneliness and lower self-esteem for a child
  • Many adoptees feel a piece is missing when they don’t know any information about their biological family

What I Think

I want you to understand the facts about closed adoptions, so you can make the best decision for your baby.

I have an open adoption with my son and his family.  It has worked out so well for all of us that I am definitely an advocate of open adoption.  Open adoption offers flexibility for each individual situation.  I have watched my son grow through photos and updates.  We met for the first time after he was born when he was 7 but only because I wanted to.  I didn’t meet him again until he was 20.  His parents are very respectful about boundaries.

Some birth mothers are afraid of their adopted child will find them one day at a time when they don’t want contact.  What I’d say to these women is that in an open adoption, you will have more control over that relationship from the beginning.  When the adopted child knows who the biological parent is their whole life, there is less of a chance that they will contact you out of the blue.  This is because their curiosity was satisfied at a very young age, and they likely have all the information they need.

I also encourage you to take a look at open vs closed adoption, hoping you will find that helpful or contact me with any questions you have.

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Contact Us

Are you pregnant and thinking about adoption for your baby? I can help. You can send me your questions about adoption or ask me to send you more information. Your communication with me is always confidential, and you’re never under any obligation to do an adoption. I’m here to help, not to pressure you or tell you what to do.

Sincerely,

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Megan Cohen, Birth Attorney

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