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This section is open to anyone who has questions or wants information on adoption. The only thing we require is that all questions and comments be respectful of parents who've adopted.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:31 pm
Posts: 2915
Location: Florida by way of Brooklyn.
Your Adoption Connection: Adopted three siblings in 2003.
Adoption Types: Open Adoptions, Semi-open Adoptions, and Closed Adoptions
by Faith Allen


Many people who are new to adoption are surprised to learn that not all adoptions are closed. Adoptions can have different levels of openness and fall into one of the following three categories:

[*]Closed adoptions
[*]Open adoptions
[*]Semi-open adoptions

Closed Adoptions

Historically, most adoptions, particularly private domestic infant adoptions, were closed ones, which meant that the adoptive family and birth family had limited, if any, information about each other. From the birth mother’s perspective, the baby disappeared into a black hole, and the birth mother had no knowledge about the baby’s life. From the adoptive family’s perspective, the baby seemingly dropped out of the sky.

Unfortunately, most closed adoptions denied adoptee’s access to their medical records, so the adoptive family had to make educated guesses about family medical history issues. Adoptees were also denied basic information about their biological history and background.

Some closed adoptions still happen today, but closed adoptions are generally viewed as less desirable by people entering into adoptions. International adoptions are more likely to be closed than domestic infant adoptions, although some birth parents and adoptive parents continue to choose to enter into closed adoptions.

Open Adoptions

Open adoptions are the opposite of closed adoptions. In an open adoption, the adoptive and birth families share identifying information. In many open adoptions, the adoptive and birth families stay in contact throughout the adoptee’s childhood. This contact might include pictures, emails, phone calls, or even visits.

In open adoptions, the birth parents generally provide the adoptive family with a full family health history. The birth parents are also available to answer questions such as why they chose to place the child for adoption.

Open adoptions can be as successful as the parties involved in them. Some open adoptions are wildly successful with birth family being treated like extended family and everyone getting along. However, other open adoptions are filled with tension as the birth parents and adoptive parents experience conflict over the role that the birth parents will serve in the adoptee’s life during childhood.

Semi-open Adoptions

Semi-open adoptions are a hybrid between open and closed adoptions. Most semi-open adoptions involve a third party who acts as the intermediary. The third party (often an adoption agency or an adoption attorney) has full identifying information for all parties involved, but the birth parents and adoptive parents only know one another on a first-name basis.

The parties might meet before the baby is born. After the baby is placed for adoption, the adoptive family often put together packages on a regular basis that include photographs of the adopted child and a letter sharing information about the child. The adoptive family sends the package to the third party intermediary, who forwards the package on to the birth parents. In some semi-open adoptions, the birth parents also send packages to the adopted child through the intermediary.

Semi-open adoptions seek to fix the problems inherent in closed adoptions, such as lack of access to family medical history. As with open adoptions, semi-open adoptions can be very successful or filled with tension. Semi-open adoptions work best when both the birth parents and the adoptive parents are seeking the same level of contact.

Faith Allen is an adoptive mother who has been blogging about adoption issues since January 2007. She adopted her son as a newborn through semi-open adoption. You can read her professional adoption blog at Adoption Under One Roof

Related Articles:
[*]Levels of Openness in Private Domestic Adoption
[*]How to Choose between a Semi-Open Adoption and a Closed Adoption
[*]How to Explain a Semi-Open Adoption to an Adopted Child
[*]How to Open a Semi-Open Adoption
[*]How to Close a Semi-Open Adoption
[*]How to Prepare for Pre-Adoption Meeting with Possible Birth Mother


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:31 pm
Posts: 2915
Location: Florida by way of Brooklyn.
Your Adoption Connection: Adopted three siblings in 2003.
Thank you Faith. :pink

_________________
Mom To Three
~ Cimion
~ Shawna
~ Jacqueline
Siblings Adopted in 2003


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:20 pm 
This article is a great resource for people, especially with the links at the end.

I am bookmarking this as a resource for people who are starting out on the adoption journey.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:45 am 
Joanne and Faith -- I would like to feature this article on Bridges. It's an awareness consortium to promote compassion in many areas, including adoption.

http://awarenessbridges.blogspot.com

It help out readers who are considering adoption.

To do so, I just need emailed approval from either of you (who is the permission-giver?).

Thanks!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:31 pm
Posts: 2915
Location: Florida by way of Brooklyn.
Your Adoption Connection: Adopted three siblings in 2003.
Faith wrote it so you would have to ask her although I'm sure she would say yes. :pink

_________________
Mom To Three
~ Cimion
~ Shawna
~ Jacqueline
Siblings Adopted in 2003


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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 862
Location: North Carolina
Yes, you have my permission. I will email you.

- Faith


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