Types of Adoption

There are many adoption choices you will be asked to make during your pregnancy. Once you start your adoption plan, you will need to choose an Adoptive Family, decide how much contact you want with them during your pregnancy and if you want to maintain contact after you place your child into his/her new home.

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Some adoptions are open, some are closed, and some are somewhere in between. Some Birth Parents find peace of mind knowing that they can visit, talk to, or see photos of the child they placed with the Adoptive Family. Others find it easier to move forward with their lives by abstaining from contact with the child or the Adoptive Parents. You should discuss your options with your adoption professional and figure out which adoption arrangement would work best for you.


Most adoptions these days are open, which means that children grow up knowing who their Birth Parents are and maintain a connection with them. You will have the opportunity to talk to the Adoptive Family during your pregnancy and after placement. It allows Birth Parents to receive photos and written updates about their child, or even perhaps have visits. Receiving updates about their child may reduce or eliminate feelings of regret and depression.


An adoption professional will work closely and sympathetically with an Expectant Mother to explore reasons for adoption and alternative options. Make a list of questions you want answered and go talk to someone. Talking to someone who is an adoption professional in no way promises them that you will place your child through them. They are there as a resource. Ask your questions without holding back. This is your child and your decision.

While Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents will agree on the type of post-placement contact they are comfortable with, it needs to be noted that you or the Adoptive Parents may feel differently as the years progress, and the child may have his/her own wishes and needs for contact.


A semi-open relationship may involve limited phone calls, emails and texts, and possibly meeting before the birth of the baby and limited plans for contact after the placement of the child in the adoptive home. Birth and Adoptive Parents typically know one another’s first names. There may be an agreement to send photos or letters regarding the child’s progress and development through an adoption professional after placement. Contact reassures Birth and Adoptive Parents of the other’s identity, as well as making it possible to ask questions or share information as the child grows.


In a closed adoption, your information is kept private. Any information between a Birth Parent and Adoptive Family is shared through a third party, such as an attorney or adoption agency until the child reaches legal age. Legal age is defined differently from state to state and is typically between 18-21 years of age. When the adopted child reaches legal age, in some states, records can be opened and contact can be made between a Birth Parent and their biological child.

Your comfort level in making an adoption plan for your child is paramount in deciding if you will have personal contact during the pregnancy and after the placement. It will determine your ability to find out how your child is doing and be available to give information should questions arise over the years. It will provide your child with direct information to help them understand your decision and circumstances surrounding their adoption, as well as remove the mystery of who you are. Consider what seems right for you at this time and be prepared to adjust your level of contact over the years, as you and your child’s lives evolve.

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