When you decide to adopt a child, one of the things you’ll need to decide on is the type of adoption you’re going to go through. The two kinds are open or closed adoptions. Open adoptions allow you to choose a child and also interact with their family members. Closed adoptions preserve anonymity and allow for the birth mother to move on without contact (in most cases).
When you’re considering which of these options is right for you or your adoptive child, you should ask yourself first what you’re comfortable with. Are you comfortable with another family coming into your life and continuing to be a part of your child’s life as they grow? Are you happy to allow them to participate in important moments in your child’s life?
Then, think about the pros and cons of each option.
For closed adoptions, the pros include:
- Not needing to build relationships with the birth parents or their relatives
- Allowing for better closure
- Removing the risk of confusion for the child
Some cons include:
- Limited access to information about the child’s family’s medical history
- Guilt over not allowing willing family members to participate in the child’s life
- Concern that your child will eventually want to find the other family and even turn on yours for limiting their options
Open adoptions have pros and cons as well. Some positives include:
- Having access to your child’s family’s medical history
- Growing your own family and building a larger community for your child
- Giving your child a chance to know where they came from
Some negatives include:
- The potential for problems with the biological family
- Potential trouble with a birth mother or father wanting to regain custody or trying to be involved too often
- Some potential issues of confusion for older children who don’t understand why they’re not living with their biological family members
If you’re not sure which you want, you may want to look into the legal implications of each before you decide to move forward.