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How Does Open Adoption Work?

By Jan Douglas

Are you an expectant woman seeking information for adoption in Yuma or adoption in ChandlerAdoption Choices of Arizona is a private adoption agency that has been helping pregnant women for over a decade. Our adoption specialists treat you with respect and dignity and ensure you receive the birth mother benefits you need. We offer adoption help with locations across the state of Arizona. 

Making an adoption plan is a positive choice for women who are not yet ready to become parents. It enables you to give your child a loving family and a wonderful, stable life. Adoption can be a tough decision to make. As an expectant mother, it is important to research your options carefully. Adoption Choices of Arizona can help you understand the different types of adoptions and the services available.

Three Types of Adoption

If you are considering placing your baby for adoption, you have three options for the kind of adoption: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. There is flexibility in open adoptions and semi-open adoptions. 

Closed adoption is an adoption where there will be no contact between the birth mother and the adoptive family or child. The two parties will not share names. The only information given to the adoptive family is the birth mom’s medical and social history. Closed adoptions were the standard way of doing things years ago. However, the more common types of adoptions today are either open adoption or semi-open adoptions. A pregnant woman may choose a closed adoption due to the facts surrounding the pregnancy.

Difference Between Open Adoption and Semi-Open Adoption 

Adoption Choices of Arizona helps all sorts of women with private adoptions in Arizona. Our compassionate adoption specialists will explain the adoption process in Arizona. And the adoption requirements in Arizona. You do not have to walk the adoption journey alone. Open adoption and semi-open adoption are similar in that there is some level of contact between the birth parent and adoptive family/child. There is a range of progression of openness in these two types of adoptions.

In a semi-open adoption, the birth mom and adoptive family will share some identifying information. The birth mother will have the option of choosing the adoptive family. And many pregnant women will choose to meet the family before placement. Meeting the adoptive parents may help the birth mom find peace of mind knowing the parents who will raise the child. There may be an exchange of first names and possibly where the adoptive family lives. The birth mother can also choose to have yearly updates of the child through emails, letters, and photos. However, semi-open adoptions typically do not include visits or regular contact between the birth parent and child. 

What is Open Adoption? 

You may be considering an open adoption plan for your baby. Open adoption allows you to stay in touch with your child’s family over the years. In open adoption, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby and even meet them in person. What does that mean, exactly? How does open adoption work? More importantly, how can you make it work?

But what is open adoption? Open adoption allows birth parents to meet and contact the adoptive family and child regularly. Open adoptions allow for flexibility and adjustments. Every open adoption plan is unique. No two adoptions are the same. At Adoption Choices of Arizona, we allow you to define what “openness” will mean for you and your child.

Generally speaking, in an open adoption:

  • Expectant mothers have the option to choose the family who will raise the child. They can talk with them, meet them in person, and, if they wish, have them at the hospital.
  • Birth parents have some level of ongoing contact or relationship with the adoptive parents and the adopted child, depending on what feels comfortable for everyone.
  • Children know they have been adopted and may have relationships with their birth parent(s) and even birth grandparent(s).
  • Ongoing communication takes place between the birth parents and the adoptive family. Contact may involve letters, pictures, phone calls, emails, and occasionally in-person visits, whatever is comfortable for everyone involved. 
  • Some open adoptions involve just the exchange of letters and pictures. Other open adoptions will include families celebrating holidays together. The level of contact is typically defined first by the birth mother and then by the adoptive family.

How Does Open Adoption Work?

Open adoption details largely depend on the level of openness. At Adoption Choices of Arizona, you have all three options:

  • Open Adoption – having direct contact with the adoptive family  
  • Semi-open adoption – choosing the adoptive family and yearly updates; additionally, our adoption agency will mediate contact so that you can maintain privacy
  • Closed adoption – complete confidentiality

Open adoptions work best when there is open, honest, and direct communication between the adoptive family and the birth parents. Open adoptions involve sharing identifying information – names, emails, phone numbers, places of residence, etc. A relationship forms between you and the adoptive family. For example, a birth mother may want the adoptive parents to send letters and pictures of the child yearly. Or, the birth parent may wish to have ongoing conversations with the child and adoptive family over email, Skype, texting, or FaceTime. It is important to remain flexible in an open adoption, as everyone’s needs and wishes may change over time.

What Makes Open Adoption Work Well?

Successful open adoptions will have a mutual love for the child and a focus on their best interests. It requires trust, open-mindedness, and respectful relationships between both families. Open adoption works best by:

  • Keeping your child’s needs and best interest a top priority
  • Establishing clear roles and expectations with the adoptive family in the very beginning
  • Pursuing ongoing counseling to ensure your emotional stability
  • Maintaining respect for everyone involved in the adoption, including yourself
  • Preserving trust in your adoption relationships
  • Always keeping communication open, honest, and consistent.
  • Staying open-minded and flexible as needs and feelings change
  • Make your open adoption plan with an experienced, trusted adoption agency like Adoption Choices of Arizona. We will be there for you both now and in the future.

When a pregnant woman decides to place a baby for adoption, she has options within the adoption framework. There is no right or wrong way to make an open adoption plan. However, you can take steps to ensure your adoption plan is positive and successful. 

Adoption Choices of Arizona offers adoption help for adoption in Yuma and adoption in Chandler. We are a private adoption agency with locations in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. If you do not live in one of these cities, an adoption specialist can meet you somewhere in between. We are available 24/7. A trained adoption professional will help you understand the adoption process. They can explain your birth parents’ rights. And will help you access personalized help and financial support.