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Open Adoption in Washington, D.C.

Maintaining a Relationship with the Family and Your Child

What is open adoption in Washington, D.C.?

First, let’s start off with the open adoption definition, which is an adoptive relationship in which a child’s birth parents and adoptive parents get to know each other, exchange identifying information, and share a relationship that lasts for the rest of their lives. Because both parties exchange identifying information, including last names, phone numbers and addresses, the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate without the help of an adoption professional. An open adoption in Washington, D.C., is the only type of adoptive relationship with this degree of contact.

If you know that remaining in contact with your baby and his or her adoptive family is important to you, your American Adoptions adoption specialist can help to start you on the journey that is an open adoption in D.C. When you first choose your child’s adoptive parents, your adoption specialist will help you to begin a relationship with them, whether that communication happens via emails, letters, phone calls, in-person visits or other contact methods. The more you get to know the adoptive parents you’ve chosen, the more you’ll be comfortable communicating with them without the help of an adoption professional. Eventually, your relationship will be completely independent of any mediation.

What is semi-open adoption in Washington, D.C.?

The semi-open adoption definition refers to an adoptive relationship in which, like an open adoption, a child’s birth parents and adoptive parents exchange updates throughout the child’s life. Unlike a completely open adoption in D.C., though, this usually occurs through the mediation of an adoption professional, and no identifying information is exchanged. A semi-open adoption in the District of Columbia is also sometimes referred to as a mediated adoption.

For many women, a semi-open adoption in D.C. is appealing for two reasons: it allows them to receive updates on their child’s health and happiness, but it also allows them a sense of closure and space after making the decision to place their child for adoption. If this is the type of adoptive relationship you choose, your adoption specialist will help you understand your options moving forward as you create your adoption plan.

What is closed adoption in Washington, D.C.?

The closed adoption definition, then, describes an adoption relationship in which absolutely no contact is shared between a child’s birth parents and adoptive parents after placement occurs. In a closed adoption in Washington, D.C., a birth mother never receives any updates on her child, from the adoption agency or otherwise. For this reason, a closed adoption is the least common type of adoptive relationship. Women typically prefer to know beyond doubt that their child is doing well.

There are, however, different reasons why a closed adoption may be best for you. If you feel that no contact is what you need to move forward or to properly heal, your American Adoptions adoption specialist will explain what this post-placement relationship will look like. You should also know that you will still be able to choose your child’s adoptive family with American Adoptions.

Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption in Washington, D.C.

When it comes to open adoption vs. closed adoption in D.C., the easiest way to compare the two relationships is to consider the benefits that come with open adoption that are not associated with closed adoption. Just by having some degree of communication — whether in a completely open adoption or a semi-open adoption in D.C. — everyone in the adoptive triad benefits. The list of pros that come with maintaining communication with your child’s adoptive parents is long, but here are a few highlights:

  • You’ll get to explain to your child — in your own words — why you made the decision to place him or her for adoption. Many women fear that their children will not understand their adoption stories or feel like they were “given up” by someone who didn’t want them. With an open adoption in Washington, D.C., you’ll be able to explain just exactly how untrue that is.

  • You’ll be able to develop a lasting relationship with your child’s adoptive family. In many instances, women who choose open adoption in D.C. feel that their child’s adoptive family is theirs in a way as well.

  • You get to watch your baby grow up and know that he or she is happy, healthy and safe. You’ll never have to wonder how your child is doing, because you’ll receive regular updates letting you know just exactly how much they’re thriving. 

  • In the event of a medical emergency, your child’s adoptive parents will be able to contact you quickly. It’s easy to assume that an open adoption benefits the birth parents and the child more than the adoptive parents, but this is not the case. In particular, it can be invaluable to have access to you should medical issues arise and family history become important.

Interested in learning more about open adoption in Washington, D.C.? Contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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