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Open vs Closed

In modern adoptions, birth parents like you and adoptive families build lifelong connections through open adoption. Because you’re in charge of your adoption journey, you get to decide the level of openness with the family you choose.

Open adoption is the decision to have open lines of communication and involvement with your child and the adoptive family you choose.

Most of our birth mothers communicate with the adoptive family through:

  • Email
  • Text
  • Phone calls
  • Video chat
  • And more

By choosing an open adoption, you can begin building a relationship with the family, allowing you to stay connected to your child at whatever level you feel is appropriate. That means milestones, special events, holidays, and other opportunities to engage with your child and the family you choose are an option.

Diana, an adoptee, benefited greatly from having an open adoption.

“I credit the openheartedness of my birth and adoptive families as the reason why I have such positive feelings toward my adoption. Without an open adoption, I’m sure I would feel as if I were missing a part of myself, and I’d likely have some resentment.” 

You are in complete control of your adoption. When you create your adoption plan, you can work with your specialist to better understand the open adoption definition and decide how much openness you prefer.

Complete this free online contact form or call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more. You can also check out this in-depth guide to open adoption.

Did You Know?

Approximately 95% of birth parents choose to have an open adoption.

What if I Don’t Know How Much Contact I Want?

That’s OK! Many birth mothers aren’t sure how much contact they want with the adoptive family.

When you decide which family best fits your adoption plan, you can take things slowly while you decide how much contact makes sense for you. There is no set rule on how much interaction birth parents are supposed to have when pursuing adoption.

Your adoption professional can help mediate contact with the family until you’re ready to manage communication on your own. If you prefer that your specialist continues to mediate contact post-placement, that’s okay, too.

To help you better understand the different types of contact with family, such as open, semi-open or closed adoption, call 1-800-ADOPTION to talk it over with an adoption specialist. This can help you prepare for the journey ahead and establish your comfort zone during your journey and post-placement.

What are the Benefits of Open Adoption?

"I credit the openheartedness of my birth and adoptive families as the reason why I have such positive feelings toward my adoption. Without an open adoption, I’m sure I would feel as if I were missing a part of myself and I’d likely have some resentment."

- Adoptee Diana,
  More on her story here.

Caitlin placed her baby for adoption with our agency and knows in choosing adoption, she is part of an exclusive club. She was able to help a couple become a mom or dad when otherwise they never would have. This appreciation and admiration can be felt for years to come. 

“He gets this family who can take care of him and do everything I couldn’t, but he can also know that I didn’t just give him away,” Caitlin said. “I had a purpose for him, and it was meant to be.” 

Open adoption benefits your child and the adoptive family by:

  • Providing important medical history.
  • Avoiding your child struggling with identity issues.
  • Allowing your child to get answers to their questions.
  • Developing meaningful relationships.

Not every birth mother feels comfortable remaining connected to the family. The decision is entirely up to you.

Call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete this free contact form to learn more about contact with the family.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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