When you are placing your baby for adoption, there are three different types of adoptions for you to choose from. To determine which one is right for you, it’s important to define what you are looking for in an adoption. How much contact you want with the adoptive parents. If you want information post adoption about how your child is doing. Do you want to know anything at all? Are you willing to establish a relationship with the adoptive parents and be an active part of both their and your child’s life?
If choosing between no contact or a lot of contact seems too extreme and you want something between, semi-open adoptions may be the best fit for you.
What are Semi-Open Adoptions?
Semi-open adoptions have often been called “the best of both worlds” or a “happy medium” in the adoption industry, as they are the in-between with the amount of involvement you have with the adoptive family and your child. It is a popular choice for birth mothers who want to continue with their life, but still have updates on how their baby is doing. Contact between the birth mother and adoptive parents is mediated through the adoption agency, and only non-identifying information is shared, providing some privacy.
In semi-open adoptions, it’s common for birth mothers to meet with the adoptive parents before the baby is born. Sometimes, the adoptive parents are able to be there for the actual birth and delivery. Letters and photos can be exchanged over the years through the adoption agency, and if either family would like an adjustment to the arrangement, perhaps to permit greater contact, that can easily be discussed. Beyond this, there is not typically continual contact.
Semi-Open Adoption Pros
1) Information about Your Child
A major pro for birth mothers with semi-open adoptions is the ability to learn how her child is doing post adoption. The letters and photos she receives from the adoptive parents give her peace of mind and comfort that she made the right decision.
2) Limited Contact
It’s not uncommon for birth mothers to feel that consistent communication and establishing a relationship with the adoptive parents is too much. That she won’t be able to live her life the way she wants and that there won’t be the amount of separation she needs to healthfully heal and move forward. The limited amount of contact within semi-open adoptions gives her this chance. All she needs to know is that her child is happy, healthy and safe. That he or she is loved and being cared for in the way she wanted for them. Knowing this is enough.
3) Protection of Privacy
Another benefit with semi-open adoptions is that you don’t have to communicate directly with the adoptive parents. The adoption agency does that for you. An adoption caseworker will act as a mediator with conference calls or emails, and help you set up a profile on ChildConnect. This safe, confidential and secure online resource allows you to receive updates from the adoptive parents once or twice a year, depending on the agreement you all made during the adoption process. It also ensures that sharing pictures and letters back and forth goes smoothly. If you want to have any of those printed out, ChildConnect lets you create a Lifebook photo album you can print and have with you in your home.
Semi-Open Adoption Cons
1) Loss of Contact with Adoptive Parents
After the adoption has been finalized and time passes, you may begin to lose contact with the adoptive parents. Whether this is your choice or theirs, it’s been known to happen. This can also include the bond you made with the adoptive parents during the initial adoption process.
2) Agency goes out of Business
Because the majority of the contact is mediated through the adoption agency, it can feel like an additional loss if you lose contact with the adoption agency. This could happen if the mediator leaves his or her position with the agency, retires or the adoption agency itself goes out of business. However, in a situation like this, all client files, pictures and correspondences are immediately given to another agency or the state so that you are not left in the dark.
3) Internet decreases Privacy
In our current age of technology, there’s a risk that identities can be revealed through the magic of the Internet. That either party could find themselves via social media. Complete privacy may not be as possible as it once was. So, this is an important factor to keep in mind.
Semi-Open Adoption Pros and Cons
Choosing the type of adoption you want for you and your baby is a big decision. It can take time, and that’s completely natural. Research all you can about the three different levels of openness in adoption. Discuss your options with an adoption caseworker or speak with trusted friends and family members who have adopted, if you feel comfortable doing so. Ask them why they chose what they did. All of this can help you determine which is the best fit for you.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
Adoption Choices, Inc. is a private, non-profit adoption agency licensed by the state and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive parents since 2002. Our staff has a genuine commitment to providing an empathetic, empowering, and progressive experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Semi Open Adoption Pros And Cons: What Is A Semi Open Adoption.” Help With Adoption, helpwithadoption.com/steps-to-adoption/understanding-open-adoption/semi-open-adoption-pros-cons/.
“Semi-Open/Mediated Adoption – The Best of Both Worlds.” Considering Adoption, Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/adopting/open-adoption/mediated-adoption-the-best-of-both-worlds.
“What’s the Difference Between Open, Semi-Open, And Closed Adoption?” Adoption.org, adoption.org/whats-difference-open-semi-open-closed-adoption.