What is the difference between Open and Closed Adoptions?

Open Adoptions Defined:

108698484An open adoption is one in which the birth mother and the adoptive parents know each other and agree to continuing contact, in some manner, following placement of the child. Benefits of choosing an open adoption with Shorstein & Kelly (the “Firm”):

  • Exchange of information between the birth mother and the adoptive parents,
  • Selection of the adoptive parents by the birth mother,
  • Communication between the birth mother and the adoptive parents both during the pregnancy and following placement, and
  • Receipt of pictures and updates by the birth mother for 18 years following placement.

The Matching Process…

For an open adoption, birth mothers are encouraged to list preferences as to various characteristics for their choice of adoptive parents.  Religion, family size, geographical location, hobbies and interests may all be important considerations.  The Firm then matches the preferences listed by the birth mother with the many, many waiting families in the Firm’s vast network.  Next, the birth mother is presented with photographs and profiles of prospective adoptive parents. The birth mother may choose from the profiles presented or request more profiles to review.

Talking to/and Meeting Adoptive Parents.

183924553Birth mothers can speak with the prospective adoptive parents by telephone and/or in person prior to making a decision. After selecting the adoptive parents, the birth mother communicates with them on a regular basis throughout the pregnancy.  Most adoptive parents have become comfortable with texting and email as part of the communication process.  After the placement of the child, the birth mother receives photos and updates for 18 years, if she desires.

Closed Adoptions:

For a closed adoption, birth mothers choose to have little or no information about the adoptive parents and they are not normally involved in selecting the parents.  Additionally, there is very little communication between the birth mother and the adoptive parents both during the pregnancy and following placement.  Today, very few adoption plans are completed as closed adoptions.

Semi-Open Adoptions:

There are many variations between the types of adoption described as “Open” and “Closed”.  These variations are sometimes referred to as “Semi-Open Adoptions”.  For example, some birth mothers desire to participate in the matching process but prefer the adoption to remain closed following the placement of the child.  In all cases, Shorstein & Kelly allows the birth mother to choose which aspects of the adoption process the birth mother feels most comfortable as an active participant.


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