Open or Closed, maybe a little of both
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
In adoption, there are either open or closed adoptions. These terms refer to the amount of contact the birth parent(s) have with the child and adoptive family.
Open adoption means there is contact with the adoptive family. Many times there are visits and phone calls on a regularly scheduled basis. There are different levels of openness and some adoptions may only include letters or pictures. These are referred to as semi-open adoptions since there isn’t physical contact but there is still a line of communication.
Closed adoption means there is no contact with the birth parent(s). This could mean that the birth parent(s) meet the adoptive parents before birth but then after parental rights are relinquished then there is no contact or the two parties may never meet.
Today‘s adoptions are mainly open or semi-open adoptions. This was not the case decades ago when adoptions where closed and adoptees where left in the dark. Thankfully, many things have changed from decades ago and adoptees now have much more information about their birth parents even if there is a closed adoption.
Every adoption is unique and we must navigate these relationships with the utmost respect, remembering to put the adoptee first.