How You Can Have an Open Adoption in Wisconsin

Placing your baby with his or her adoptive parents at the hospital may be one of the most emotionally challenging parts of the entire adoption process. However, in today’s adoptions, placement doesn’t mean saying goodbye forever — in fact, if you choose to have an open adoption in Wisconsin, you can continue to have a lifelong relationship with your child and their adoptive family after placement.

Keep reading to learn more about open adoption in Wisconsin so you can decide whether this option might be right for you.

What is Open Adoption in Wisconsin?

While there is no single open adoption definition, in Wisconsin, an open adoption generally refers to any adoption in which there is an ongoing relationship between a child’s adoptive and birth parents. Often, birth parents and adoptive families involved in Wisconsin open adoptions will exchange personal information like last names, phone numbers and mailing addresses. This allows everyone in the adoption triad to easily exchange direct communication through letters, phone calls, video chats, text messages, emails and more.

Every situation is different, and it is always up to the prospective birth mother to decide how much openness she wants to have in her adoption. If you are considering adoption for your baby, you’ll be able to decide the types and frequency of contact you want to have with the adoptive parents before and after placement.

What is a Closed Adoption in Wisconsin?

A closed Wisconsin adoption, on the other hand, is an adoption in which birth and adoptive families share very little to no identifying information. Instead of sharing ongoing contact, adoptive and birth parents may go their separate ways after completing a closed adoption in Wisconsin.

While closed adoptions are rare today, this type of the adoption was the norm throughout most of history. Until the last few decades, adoption was often considered secretive or even shameful, and most adoptions were kept closed in an effort to protect the privacy of everyone in the adoption triad.

However, closed adoption in Wisconsin and across the country was often detrimental; adopted children grew up with unanswered questions about their birth parents and adoption stories, and many birth parents felt a void that could never be filled without information about the children they placed.

As a result, the vast majority of birth parents today choose to have an open adoption in WI, and adoption experts encourage openness whenever possible. However, it is up to every prospective birth mother to consider open adoption vs. closed adoption in Wisconsin and choose the option that she feels is best for her baby. If you would prefer to have a closed adoption, that can still be an option for you.

What is a Semi-Open Adoption in Wisconsin?

Some expectant mothers know that they don’t want a closed adoption but aren’t sure that they’ll be comfortable with a fully open adoption in Wisconsin, either. If you want to have a relationship with your child after placement but still maintain some privacy, there is a third option you might consider: semi-open adoption.

Women who choose to have a semi-open adoption in Wisconsin can enjoy ongoing contact and updates from their child and his or her adoptive family while keeping certain identifying information, like their last name and contact information, private. To help facilitate this type of adoption, American Adoptions can coordinate picture and letter exchanges for up to 18 years after placement.

However, you can also choose to exchange more frequent updates in a Wisconsin semi-open adoption through other means, like a dedicated, non-identifying email address.

The Benefits of Wisconsin Open Adoption

Now that you know a little more about how open adoption works in WI, you might have more specific questions about what it’s really like to have this type of adoption: What are the benefits of open adoption in Wisconsin? What does open adoption mean to the people involved?

As a woman considering adoption in Wisconsin, open adoption means that:

  • You can be involved in your child’s life. Probably the greatest advantage of open adoption in Wisconsin is the opportunity it gives you to watch your child grow up. Birth mothers today are able to receive frequent updates on the children that they place; adoptive parents may send them videos of their baby’s first steps, pictures that their child drew or even invitations to important events, like their child’s high school graduation. All of this is and more is made possible through an open adoption in Wisconsin.

  • You can build a relationship with the adoptive parents. Open and semi-open adoptions in Wisconsin give prospective birth mothers the opportunity to build a relationship with their chosen adoptive parents — both before and after placement. Many times, birth mothers come to think of their child’s adoptive parents as close friends or extended family members.

  • You can answer your child’s questions. When you have an open adoption, you never have to worry whether your child will understand your adoption decision and the love you have for them — you’ll be able to explain that to them yourself. When you choose to keep in touch through a Wisconsin open adoption, you’ll be able to remind your child that you love them and are proud of them, and you can answer any questions that they have about you and your adoption decision.

There are many, many more benefits of open adoption in Wisconsin. Most importantly, open adoption can really be whatever you want it to be — it’s up to you and the adoptive parents you choose to build a relationship that everyone is happy and comfortable with.

Like every decision in the adoption process, the choice of open vs. closed adoption in WI belongs to you. If you need help deciding between open, semi-open or closed adoption, your adoption specialist can always provide the additional information and guidance you need.

To learn more about your options for open adoption in Wisconsin, or to start your own open adoption process today, call 1-800-ADOPTION any time or request free information online.

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