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What Is an Open Adoption?

The level of openness in an open adoption is typically pre-determined by the desires of the birth family and prospective adoptive family in the initial stages of the adoption process. However, these parameters can change for either party during the process. Below is a brief description of  the various levels of openness typically experienced in adoption:

Closed Adoption

In closed adoptions, the identifying information of the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents are not known by the other party. Typically, all the arrangements and paperwork occur through a mediator, such as an adoption agency or attorney.

Semi-Open Adoption

Semi-open adoptions can vary. Often facilitated by either an agency or an attorney, this arrangement involves birth and adoptive families having some level of communication but without identifying information being shared.

Open Adoption

The identities of the adoptive parents and the birth parents are shared, and together, they have come to a mutual agreement on how involved they will be in one another’s lives.

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