Your Relationship with the Adoptive Family
What is Semi-Open Adoption? [And Could it Be Right for You?]
You are considering adoption for your baby because you want to give him or her the best future possible. During this process, you will spend plenty of time thinking about what your child’s life will look like in their adoptive family. But there’s another question to consider: What do you want your child’s relationship with you to look like?
For some women, deciding what level of contact they want post-adoption is difficult. On one hand, you might want to know how your child is doing and what their life ends up being like. On the other, you might feel like frequent updates would be difficult for you to hear, making it harder for you to heal and move forward after the adoption.
If this describes you, one option is a semi-open adoption, which allows for an agreed-upon, limited level of contact after the baby has been placed with his or her adoptive parents. But what is a semi-open adoption? You can find out now by contacting us here. An adoption professional can help you get the information and services you need to decide whether semi-open adoption is right for you and start the process today.
In the meantime, we’ll break down the pros and cons of this type of post-adoption contact and what it could look like for you here.
Defining Semi-Open Adoption
Today, many birth parents and adoptive families agree to have what is considered a fully open adoption, meaning both sides have open, direct contact and communication throughout the adoption process and after placement. But for some birth parents, this may not be a comfortable arrangement.
Whether it be because you want the adoption to remain confidential or because you want to maintain a level of privacy after an adoption, you might decide a semi-open adoption is a better fit. In the case of a semi-open adoption, contact may be less frequent and is sometimes mediated by a third party, such as an adoption agency or adoption social worker. A semi-open adoption has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will explore below.
Benefits of Semi-Open Adoption
While semi-open adoption is a form of open adoption, it has some important differences from a fully open adoption. If you are unsure of how much interaction you want after the completion your her adoption, but still desire some level of connection with your child and the adoptive parents, a semi-open adoption could be the perfect solution.
Most communication in a semi-open adoption takes place through emails, phone calls, pictures and letters, allowing for certain information to remain private. The main advantages of this type of post-adoption arrangement include:
- The ability for you to choose and interview an adoptive family to ensure your child is joining the right situation.
- A sense of privacy being maintained even though you will continue to have some level of contact post-adoption
- Contact mediated by an adoption agency or adoption specialist, who can help you handle any challenges that may arise in the relationship.
- Relief from post-adoption mourning and stress when you receive updates showing your child doing well.
- Reduced fear and guilt because you can ensure the health and safety of your child is being maintained.
Disadvantages of Semi-Open Adoption
As there are in most situations, pros come with a set of cons. As it relates to a semi-open adoption, having a limited amount of communication post-adoption could mean you miss out on certain aspects of the growth and development of your child. For example, if you do not have a fully open adoption with the adoptive family, you might not be present at important events in your child’s life, like his or her first birthday party or high school graduation. For some birth parents, this is perfectly OK, but others do see it as a disadvantage of semi-open adoption.
On the other hand, maintaining privacy is much more difficult today than it used to be. If you wish to remain somewhat confidential in a semi-open or closed adoption, this may be difficult to maintain thanks to things like Facebook, Twitter and the like.
Here are some disadvantages to a semi-open adoption:
- Despite having some contact with the adoptive family, a semi-open adoption could mean there will be a a more distant relationship with your child.
- Inconsistent contact can sometimes create questions or a void in your life or that of your child.
- Adopted children may develop a less positive outlook on adoption or feel that it’s not OK to have questions about or knowledge of who their birth parents are.
Ultimately, the level of contact after an adoption should be agreed upon by you and the adoptive parents. But, with a semi-open adoption, a third party will help mediate the communication and allow a level of privacy moving forward. This can be a benefit for both parties, but you also need to consider the disadvantages of this type of arrangement. A semi-open adoption will create an environment of moving forward while also allowing for at least some level of contact with your child.
During the adoption process, it’s important to talk to your adoption professional about communication options with the adoptive family. Deciding on the best situation for post-adoption contact will often make the emotions of adoption easier to cope with knowing updates and important information from the adoptive parents can still be obtained.
Interested in making your own semi-open adoption plan? Contact us now to get the support and services you need to start the process.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.