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What is the difference between an open or closed adoption?

If you are thinking about moving forward with an adoption, there is no doubt many choices and arrangements that you have to consider. For many, at the top of that list comes whether to pursue an open or a closed adoption. 

Like in most situations, knowledge is key when it comes to each option. While a family law attorney will be able to provide much more in-depth information, according to one legal source, here are some of the basics:

  • Open adoption: With an open adoption, the biological parents and adoptive parents have some type of communication with each other. The two sets of parents may talk during the pregnancy, and in some cases, the adoptive parents may even be present during the birth. As the child ages, both sets of parents may decide to continue with communication through the respective adoption agency.
  • Closed adoption: With a closed adoption, there is no contact between the biological parents and the adoptive parents. In some cases, the two sets of parents may have had some contact during the pregnancy, but once the child is born, contact ceases. Many times, the records regarding the adoption are also sealed. 

In deciding which type of adoption makes sense for you and your family, it is important to weigh both sides. While most adoptions in the U.S. used to be closed, many more are remaining open. In some ways, this can make it easier for the child, especially when questions surface as to why he or she was put up for adoption or what their birth parents were like. On the other hand though, some parents are wary of open adoptions as there is fear the biological parents will overstep their boundaries. Closed adoptions are also still quite common when it comes to international adoption.

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