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Open versus closed adoptions

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Adoptions |

Adoption offers opportunities for both birth parents and adoptive families.

However, both parties have decisions about the choices between open and closed adoptions, and each of these choices has distinct implications.

Understanding open adoption

In 2021, individuals adopted 2,214 children in Pennsylvania through both closed and open adoptions. In an open adoption, the birth parents, adoptive parents and the adopted child maintain open communication. This option connects the parties through exchanging information about the child’s well-being, upbringing and life events.

Benefits of open adoption

Open adoptions give adopted children a sense of identity and connection with their birth families. Birth parents receive reassurance and peace of mind. Adoptive parents may also learn about their child’s birth family.

Challenges of open adoption

Both sets of parents need to maintain healthy relationships while respecting the roles and boundaries of all the parties. Additionally, adoptive parents may experience concerns about the birth family’s influence or involvement in their child’s life.

Understanding closed adoption

Closed adoption involves limited or no contact between birth parents and adoptive families. Once the adoption becomes finalized, records about the birth family become sealed and communication between the parties ceases.

Benefits of closed adoption

Closed adoptions offer privacy and closure for the parties. Adoptive families have the opportunity to focus solely on parenting without external influences. Birth parents can move forward with their lives without ongoing reminders of their decision.

Challenges of closed adoption

Children in closed adoptions have limited access to information about their heritage and biological family’s medical history. Additionally, they may have unanswered questions and experience a sense of loss.

Both open and closed adoptions present unique dynamics and considerations. The choice depends on the preferences and circumstances of the birth parents and adoptive parents as well as the best interests of the child.