Your Relationship with the Adoptive Family
What is Closed Adoption? [Pros & Cons of This Option]
As a prospective birth mother, you get to make all the important decisions about your adoption. One of those decisions is whether or not you prefer an open, semi-open or closed adoption.
There are very distinct differences between the three when it comes to the level of contact and communication you’ll have with the adoptive family and your child post-placement. A closed adoption allows for the privacy you may desire after your adoption, but there are pros and cons to the anonymity of a closed adoption.
In this article, we will go over those pros and cons so you can decide whether a closed adoption is right for you. You can also contact us today to get more free information about adoption, as well as the services you need to start your closed adoption process.
Defining Closed Adoption
Before we talk about the benefits and challenges of closed adoption, there’s an important question we need to answer: What is a closed adoption?
In general, a closed adoption means identifying information is kept private during and after the adoption. With most adoption professionals, the definition of closed adoption is one in which the adoptive family and birth parents exchange little to no contact and know only basic information about each other.
Some birth mothers decide that placing their baby for adoption should be an anonymous act. With the help of your adoption agency, you may be able to keep your identity and contact information private from the adoptive family and child, allowing you and the adoptive parents to go your separate ways once the adoption is complete. However, these types of closed adoptions are rare today — and they’re usually not recommended, for reasons we’ll explain below.
The Pros of Closed Adoption
Privacy and the idea of moving forward after an adoption can be highly appealing to many birth parents. Like any other type of adoption, it gives you a chance to place your child into a good home and continue your life knowing you’ve made the right decision.
Here are some of the advantages of a closed adoption:
- Closure for some birth parents – Sometimes, staying connected with the adoptive family and/or your child can make it emotionally difficult to cope with the adoption. While this isn’t true for every birth parent, you may feel that a closed adoption will bring you closure beyond the actual finalization of the adoption process.
- Privacy – Many birth parents want their privacy after the adoption process. This can include privacy from the adoptive family as well as privacy from a general perspective, not having to explain the adoption to anyone. While it is always up to you who to tell (or not tell) about your adoption, closed adoption can sometimes make it easier to keep your adoption decision private.
- Reducing stress and anxiety – For some birth parents, maintaining a closed adoption with no contact or communication with the adoptive family can alleviate some of the challenging emotions that come with watching your child from a distance.
The Cons of Closed Adoption
As with any decision, there are cons to be considered. While the privacy of a closed adoption can be beneficial to birth parents in certain situations, it removes any connection to your child after an adoption. This can create potential feelings of detachment and the desire for updates on your child later on. It can be very difficult to contact the adoptive family and your child if you decide you want a relationship after initially choosing a closed adoption.
Here are some of the cons of a closed adoption to consider before making a final decision:
- No shared information – Not having even basic updates on your child from the adoptive family can be difficult. Many birth mothers in closed adoptions report dissatisfaction, as they are left always wondering whether their child is doing OK and what their life turned out to be like.
- Negative impact on the child – Adopted children not knowing who their biological parents are can potentially create identity and self-esteem issues, leading to questions without answers.
- A lack of important information – A closed adoption can make it difficult to obtain important medical information about the birth parents should the adoptive family and child need it.
These are just a few of the general closed adoption pros and cons to consider as you determine the type of relationship you want with the adoptive family and your child in the future. As with every decision in the adoption process, only you can decide whether an open or closed adoption is right for you.
Can a Closed Adoption Remain Private?
Adoptions were once considered taboo. That has changed considerably since the 1970s, and more recently, closed adoptions have become far less common as expectant mothers and adoptive families have opted to maintain some level of connection, either with a completely open adoption or a semi-open adoption. Changes in social media and home DNA testing have made it easier than ever before for everyone in the adoption triad to find each other and remain connected.
However, this has also impacted the ability for closed adoptions to remain completely private. It’s become significantly easier for identifying information to be found when the intention of the adoption was to make sure that wasn’t possible.
When deciding what level of communication, if any, should take place during and after the adoption, weighing the long-term pros and cons of a closed adoption is important. Remember that post-adoption relationships can change and will likely ebb and flow over the years. If you choose a closed adoption now, this could include the possibility that your child will one day find you or another biological relative and express interest in developing a relationship.
Every adoption is different, and it is up to every prospective birth mother to choose the adoption relationship that’s best for her.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.