Closed Adoption 101: Important Things to Know about Choosing Closed Adoption in Oklahoma
You’re sitting across the table from your adoption caseworker. You’ve laid out many of the expectations and requirements you have for the adoption process, and what you’d like your child’s life to look like. In response, your adoption caseworker has carefully written everything down in detail to ensure that nothing is forgotten. When they are finished, your adoption caseworker asks you what type of adoption you want in your adoption plan. They lay out the three choices — open, semi-open or closed. With where you are in your life right now, open and semi-open feel intimidating. You point at the term, “closed adoption” and ask for more information.
While open and semi-open adoptions have become more popular in the past few decades, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma understands that every birth mother’s preferences and situations will vary. This is why we still offer closed adoption. To help you learn more about closed adoption, and how it could impact you and your baby, we’ve put together this resource. It highlights all the important things you’ll need to know about choosing closed adoption in Oklahoma.
What is Closed Adoption?
By definition, a closed adoption seems like a simple one. When a birth mother chooses this, communication between her, her child and the adoptive parents is not permitted. No identifying information is shared, and all adoption records are sealed when the adoption becomes finalized in court.
However, like most things, a closed adoption can present more complex social and emotional situations. For the birth mother, this could cause feelings of grief or loss. For the adoptive parents and adoptee, a closed adoption can create a disconnect with not knowing the birth mother and not having access to information, such as medical records.
How does Closed Adoption Work?
As aforementioned, closed adoption ensures that there is no contact between the birth mother and the adoptive parents before, during or after the adoption process. She doesn’t get to learn anything about the adoptive parents, and vice versa. This allows her to maintain her privacy and be anonymous through her whole adoption journey.
Everything is kept very separate, right down to choosing the adoptive parents. In a closed adoption, the birth mother may not have the option to select the couple or individual who will raise her child. Our adoption agency takes care of that for her. She still has control over the rest of the adoption process, though, and can list what kind of life she’d like her child to have.
Choosing a closed adoption in Oklahoma can be appealing for many birth mothers for a variety of reasons. For instance, a birth mother may choose a closed adoption to prevent emotionally painful communication or seeing photos of the child. She may also be in an unsafe or unhealthy environment that she doesn’t want the child to be a part of. Or, perhaps, she wants to move on with her life, and knowing that the child will be taken care of is enough for her. Whatever her reasons, a closed adoption is still a valid option for birth mothers to choose.
Why is Closed Adoption Less Common Practice Today?
Closed adoption is a less common choice today for a few reasons. For one, the lack of contact can be emotionally taxing on both the birth mother and child and cause a period of grieving. The birth mother may still choose a closed adoption today, however, if privacy is what she wants. It is always important to consider the pros and cons of all the types of adoption before making a final decision in your adoption plan.
A second reason why closed adoptions are less common today relates to the adoptee. Growing up, adoptees won’t have access to important medical and health information. They may have more questions than answers in regards to where he or she came from, potentially causing struggles with identity and their sense of self. Even if they want to know about their birth heritage and culture, they won’t be able to until their adoption records become unsealed when they turn 18.
Is a Closed Adoption Right for Me?
There is certainly no right or wrong form of adoption to choose. However, we do strongly encourage all of our birth mothers who are considering closed adoption to weigh the pros and cons of all that this type of adoption entails. For example, if you want to receive photos and updates on your child post adoption, then closed adoption may not be the right choice for you. However, if privacy is important to you, closed adoption can offer that.
Choosing adoption in itself can present you, as the birth mother, with difficult decisions. But, rest assured, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is here to help you determine what you want out of the adoption process, and if closed adoption is right for you and your child.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email
Meet the Author: Becca Kent was born and raised in San Diego, California. She has discovered that finding purpose in life without that aspect of family life can certainly be a whirlwind. She has been on an interesting journey — moving from San Diego, CA to Chattanooga, TN. After graduating high school, she enrolled at Chattanooga State and later transferred to UT Chattanooga.
She worked as a licensed veterinary technician from 2012 to 2020. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geology, she moved to north Alabama to pursue an entry level career in manufacturing/engineering. Becca currently works in quality control in a ceramic tile plant.