The Difference in Open and Closed Adoptions
An adoption where the adopting parents and the birth mother or parents know each other is called an open adoption. Depending on how comfortable the birth parents and adoptive parents are with each other, they exchange information. Choosing parents for the unborn child is one of the privileges that the birth mother has in an open adoption. Being able to take an active role in the adoption plan is also a factor for the birth parents with an open adoption. The details of an open adoption are very confidential, though it all sounds very public. The information and details of the open adoption are only known by those involved in the open adoption process. When first undergoing an open adoption, only first names are used, but later full names and relationships, and even other information can be made stronger as time progresses.
The standard method for adopting a child was known as a closed adoption in the past. Secrets and often lies were involved in a closed adoption case. Information in a closed adoption was scarce, if offered at all to either party involved. Bitterness and hurt were often times the result of a closed adoption due to the inability to retain information of either party. The adopting parents and birth parents were often treated as adversaries. When a mother had a child out of wedlock was the reason for most closed adoptions in the past. In this situation the birth mother was often forced to hand the child over to a public adoption agency. This would result with the child being handed over to the adopting parents by the agency. The records and documents of the adoption would then be sealed by order of the court. When this happens the child is taken away from the birth parents and their roots. The result of this situation usually ended up that the child spends a lifetime tracking down birth parents upon discovery of their adoption.
Completely opposite are the open adoptions of today. In today’s open adoptions the opportunities arise where the birth parents and adopting parents can share information with each other. The parties involved can use such resources as emails, phone calls, and even visits. There are two ways in which the open adoption can be worked out between the birth parents and the adopting parents. Using either a verbal agreement or even a simple handshake can work out the open adoption details. When drawing up open adoption agreements avoid in making promises that are not intended to be kept as these agreements are not legally binding.
The adopting parents have the advantage in an open adoption. The fact that the birth mother takes an active part in the open adoption process means that she is unlikely to change her mind. The birth mother wouldn’t be able to later say that she did not know what she was doing, as a result of her active part in the open adoption process. The adopted child is also allowed to know of the birth parents and their roots as well as the differences between the adoptive parents and the birth parents.
An open adoption is one that is not comfortable with every one. The key ingredient in this process is that of communication. With out good communication the open adoption process will not work out. There is always a risk that something will go wrong in the open adoption. The adoptive parents may say something that doesn’t sit well with the birth mother and she may change her mind as a result. Having a straight forward and open line of communication is the most important thing for both the birth mother and the adopting parents in an open adoption.