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Semi-Open Adoptions: Pros and Cons

When you are placing your baby for adoption, there are three different types of adoptions for you to choose from. To determine which one is right for you, it’s important to define what you are looking for in an adoption. How much contact you want with the adoptive parents. If you want information post adoption about how your child is doing. Do you want to know anything at all? Are you willing to establish a relationship with the adoptive parents and be an active part of both their and your child’s life?

If choosing between no contact or a lot of contact seems too extreme and you want something between, semi-open adoptions may be the best fit for you.

What are Semi-Open Adoptions?

Semi-open adoptions have often been called “the best of both worlds” or a “happy medium” in the adoption industry, as they are the in-between with the amount of involvement you have with the adoptive family and your child. It is a popular choice for birth mothers who want to continue with their life, but still have updates on how their baby is doing. Contact between the birth mother and adoptive parents is mediated through the adoption agency, and only non-identifying information is shared, providing some privacy.

In semi-open adoptions, it’s common for birth mothers to meet with the adoptive parents before the baby is born. Sometimes, the adoptive parents are able to be there for the actual birth and delivery. Letters and photos can be exchanged over the years through the adoption agency, and if either family would like an adjustment to the arrangement, perhaps to permit greater contact, that can easily be discussed. Beyond this, there is not typically continual contact.

Semi-Open Adoption Pros

1) Information about Your Child 

A major pro for birth mothers with semi-open adoptions is the ability to learn how her child is doing post adoption. The letters and photos she receives from the adoptive parents give her peace of mind and comfort that she made the right decision.

2) Limited Contact

It’s not uncommon for birth mothers to feel that consistent communication and establishing a relationship with the adoptive parents is too much. That she won’t be able to live her life the way she wants and that there won’t be the amount of separation she needs to healthfully heal and move forward. The limited amount of contact within semi-open adoptions gives her this chance.

All she needs to know is that her child is happy, healthy and safe. That he or she is loved and being cared for in the way she wanted for them. Knowing this is enough.

3) Protection of Privacy

Another benefit with semi-open adoptions is that you don’t have to communicate directly with the adoptive parents. The adoption agency does that for you. An adoption caseworker will act as a mediator with conference calls or emails, and help you set up a profile on ChildConnect.

This safe, confidential and secure online resource allows you to receive updates from the adoptive parents once or twice a year, depending on the agreement you all made during the adoption process. It also ensures that sharing pictures and letters back and forth goes smoothly. If you want to have any of those printed out, ChildConnect lets you create a Lifebook photo album you can print and have with you in your home.

Semi-Open Adoption Cons

1) Loss of Contact with Adoptive Parents

After the adoption has been finalized and time passes, you may begin to lose contact with the adoptive parents. Whether this is your choice or theirs, it’s been known to happen. This can also include the bond you made with the adoptive parents during the initial adoption process.

2) Agency goes out of Business

Because the majority of the contact is mediated through Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, it can feel like an additional loss if you lose contact with the adoption agency. This could happen if the mediator leaves his or her position with the adoption agency, retires or the adoption agency itself goes out of business. However, in a situation like this, all client files, pictures and correspondences are immediately given to another agency or the state so that you are not left in the dark.

3) Internet decreases Privacy

In our current age of technology, there’s a risk that identities can be revealed through the magic of the Internet. That either party could find themselves via social media. Complete privacy may not be as possible as it once was. So, this is an important factor to keep in mind.

Semi-Open Adoption Pros and Cons

Choosing the type of adoption you want for you and your baby is a big decision. It can take time, and that’s completely natural. Research all you can about the three different levels of openness in adoption. Discuss your options with your adoption caseworker or speak with trusted friends and family members who have adopted, if you feel comfortable doing so. Ask them why they chose what they did. All of this can help you determine which is the best fit for you.

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: 405-310-8790Email

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