No contact between birth and adoptive
families. No identifying information is provided.
Only non-identifying information such as
height, hair color, medical history, is provided through a third party
(e.g., agency or attorney).
Non-identifying contact is made via cards,
letters and pictures through a third party (e.g., agency or attorney).
Direct interaction between birth and
adoptive families. Identities are known.
- Provides real choice for birth parents
when compared to open adoption.
- Some feel this provides a sense of
closure and ability to move on with life.
- Allows for some information transfer
between birth and adoptive parents (and perhaps the child).
- Some privacy.
- Increased ability to deal with grief
- Comfort in knowing child's well-being.
- Sense of control over decision-making
- Potential for more fully defined role
in child's life.
- Potential to develop a healthy
relationship with the child as he or she grows.
- Less pain and guilt about the
- May make the decision to place for
adoption easier (compared to a contested termination of parental rights
- No need to physically share the child
with birth parents.
- No danger of birth parent interference
- Greater sense of control over process.
- Roles may be more clearly defined than
in either confidential or open options.
- Increased sense of entitlement
compared to confidential adoptions.
- Enhanced ability to answer child's
questions about his or her history.
- Increased sense of having the "right"
to parent and increased ability for confident parenting.
- Potential for authentic relationship
with the birth family.
- More understanding of children's
- Increased empathy for birth parents.
- Less fear of birth parents reclaiming
child because they know the parent and their wishes.
- Delight of being "chosen" as a parent.
- Protection from unstable or
emotionally disturbed birth parents.
Only true when relationship is "shared"
with the adopted child
- Genetic and birth history known.
- Birthparents are "real" not "fantasy."
- Positive adjustment is promoted in
- Direct access to birth parents and
- Need to search is eliminated.
- Identity questions are answered (Who
do I look like? Why was I placed?).
- Eases feelings of abandonment.
- Lessening of fantasies: birth parents
- Increased circle of supportive adults.
- Increased attachment to adoptive
family (especially if the birth parents support the placement).
- Preservation of connections (e.g.,
with siblings, relatives).
- Lessens loyalty conflicts (according
to recent research).
- Exposure to racial and ethnic
- Ability for evolving, dynamic, and
developmentally appropriate account of the adoption.