As you prepare the paperwork to adopt a child, you may come across the option box for "closed" adoption vs. "open" adoption. If your social worker or adoption agent has not clued you in regarding what these two types of adoptions mean, then you should become more familiar with them before checking this box. Both have some interesting effects on your adoption choice and on the baby's and your family's future.

Closed Adoptions

Closed adoptions mean that when a woman is giving a baby up for adoption, she chooses never to know who the baby goes to, and never wants the baby to come looking for her when the baby becomes an adult. A closed adoption is often considered the "easy" adoption because you do not meet the birth parents of the child and neither will the child. However, there may be some major difficulties with this in that any major illness the baby/child has will be difficult to treat without the birth family's medical history and/or ability to contact the birth parents regarding medical history.

Open Adoptions

Open adoptions mean that you meet the birth mother or possibly both birth parents. You are allowed to ask them any questions you want to ask and she/they can ask you any questions they want to ask you as well. The birth mother and/or birth father are allowed to be in the child's life if you and they decide that. Additionally, if the child ever wants to know who his/her birth parents are, you can tell the child. There is also the advantage of tapping the birth parents for donor organs and blood in the event that the adopted child develops any major illnesses or disease.

The downside to an open adoption is that the birth mother can change her mind. She can pursue parental rights and resume primary parentship of the baby/child (up to six months in some states!) after a child is born. Most birth mothers in an open adoption situation change their minds within a few days of birth, making it a heartbreaking moment for the adopting couple. 

The Best Solution

The best solution in either type of adoption case is to create an adoption contract that is solid and has no loopholes or confusing content. It helps protect some of your rights as adoptive parents. It also gives you the right to pursue guardianship of the child you chose to adopt. This process is never easy for adoptive or birth parents.

For more information on adopting a baby, check out companies like Adopt Triad Consultants Inc