Open Vs. Closed Adoption
The adoption staff at Families United Network realize that for many prospective adoptive parents and birth mothers/parents, the amount of personal information that they are willing to disclose to one another before and after placement is a delicate issue.
Today, it is common (and often expected) for prospective adoptive parents to provide to an adoption agency or adoption attorney detailed personal biographies and birth mother letters that can be reviewed by expectant birth mothers. These profiles can also be seen on a variety of internet web sites. Birth mothers are also expected to provide adoption professionals with accurate answers to a detailed questionnaire that addresses their health history, educational background and other relevant topics that are reviewed by the prospective adoptive parents that they select.
Once the birth mother and prospective adoptive family agree to move ahead with an adoption plan through phone conversations, face-to-face meetings or other means, it is our hope that they will mutually agree upon what level of openness is appropriate for their unique situation.
“Open Adoption” is a broad term that can have many meanings to many different people. To some adoptive families, open adoption may mean that their birth mother would be a frequent guest at their adopted child’s birthday celebration or at other significant events. Other families may be fearful that open adoption will lead to a birth mother demanding to have some type of visitation privileges throughout the course of their child’s life. While these adoption scenarios do occur, they are few and far between.
One recognized view of open adoption simply refers to the sharing of letters and photos at important times (birthdays, holidays, etc.) forwarded to the interested parties by an intermediary (agency or attorney).
If at some future point after placement, the birth mother and adoptive parents through a mutual agreement decide to develop a relationship with a greater degree of contact and openness, the appropriate intermediary should be notified so that the necessary "release of confidentiality" documents can be properly processed to facilitate this new cooperative arrangement between the parties.
Simply stated, a “Closed Adoption” refers to an adoption placement where minimal or no confidential information is shared between parties prior to the birth of the child and none after placement. In certain cases, current events dictate that a closed adoption plan is in the best interest of both parties.
Families United Network views each adoption as an intimately personal and unique way to expand a family. Every relationship between the prospective adoptive family and birth mother will present its own distinct assortment of challenges and opportunities before and after placement. We will encourage our client families and birth mothers to treat their partner in this process with empathy, respect and the sensitivity that they deserve. It is our hope that all of the interested parties involved in the adoption experience can move ahead with their lives and view the adoption placement as the best solution that will have long term, positive benefits to all concerned.