It goes without saying that adoption is a decision of great enormity. But the type of adoption selected is of utmost importance, too. In a closed adoption, the adopting family and the birthparent(s) may know a few nonspecific things about each other, but no identifying information. There is no contact between the two sides either before or after the adoption. Usually an adoption professional or attorney is in charge of making all the adoption arrangements. Adoption files may be physically sealed; a child might never know they were adopted, depending on what information the adoptive parents give them, and when. Some adoptive parents prefer a closed adoption because there is some angst that the biological parent(s) may eventually want the child back and interfere in their lives. An open adoption commonly means that the adoptive parents and the birthparent(s) meet and stay in touch in some capacity, including phone calls and arranged face-to-face visits with the child. They know each others’ names and addresses. There’s often no third-party liaison in the relationship. The birthparents frequently have input in who the adoptive parents are going to be. A semi-open adoption—as you may have already deduced—falls somewhere between an open and closed adoption.
Adoptive parents and the birthparents often know the first names of the other parties and what state they live in. The birthparents may stay in contact via letters and photos, but this information is exchanged through a third party. There are no in-person visits between the child and the birthparents. There have been endless debates over what form of adoption is best for the child. What one person views as healthy may not be a good fit for someone else, but having choices is so beneficial. If you have any questions concerning adoption, please contact a family law attorney.