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Pros and Cons of Semi-Open Adoption

For birth parents and adoptive parents, semi-open adoption might be a fitting choice for those looking for a ‘happy medium’ between an open and closed adoption. Semi-open adoptions are also referred to as ‘mediated adoptions’ because communication between the birth and adoptive parents of a child is organized through the adoption agency. This communication can be in the form of letters, emails, photos, phone calls, or even in-person visits. Semi-open adoption is considered to be beneficial to the adoption triad because there is some level of communication between all three parties. As with athe other two types of adoption, semi-open adoption has its pros and cons.

Pros of Semi-Open Adoption:

  • For the child:
    • As children who have been adopted get older, they may have questionsabout who they are and where they are from. A lot of these questions have to do with a child trying to get a better understanding of a piece his/her/their identity. Often, a birth parent is the only person who can give a child these answers.
    • For children who have their birth parent(s) in their lives, they may have the unique opportunity to get to know their birth parent(s)and to potentially build a positive relationshipwith her/him/them.
    • Adopted children often struggle with feeling like they were unwantedness and unloved by their birth family. Feelings of unwantedness are more likely to go awayif a birth parent is part of the child’s life.
    • With both the birth and adoptive parents in their lives, children will have larger and stronger support systems.
    • With a semi-open adoption, there isno need for the child to searchfor birth family if the child wants to meet them in the future.
    • Semi-open adoption makes it easier for a child to gain access to important medical history and information, especially if he/she/they may be at risk for inheriting a certain medical issue or condition in adulthood.
  • For the birth parent(s):
    • A birth parent who chooses a semi-open adoption may get the opportunity to interview and select potential adoptive families to secure the child’s well-being and futurewith the right family.
    • Mediated communicationby the adoption agency can help the birth parent(s) maintain a sense of privacy, if that is what’s desired.
    • By being able to choose an adoptive family for the child, the birth parent(s) may feel a sense of closureknowing the child was adopted by a loving family. This may help to reduce feelings of guiltthat often surround a birth parent’s decision to place her/his/their child for adoption. With a semi-open adoption, the birth parent(s) may even be able toexplain to the child why it was in his/her/their best interest to be placed for adoption.
    • In a semi-open adoption, the birth family may have the chance tobuild a healthy, positiverelationshipwith both the child and the adoptive family.
    • Expectant Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call or Text 24/7)
  •  For the adoptive parent(s):
    • Semi-open adoption gives adoptive parents the ability to communicate with their child’s birth family via the adoption agency while still maintaining a level of privacy.
    • Sometimes, a sense of closureis better achieved for the adoptive family when they are able to get to know their child’s birth family, rather than wondering who the birth family is and where they are.
    • Adoptive families may have the opportunity to build a healthy and positive relationshipwith their child’s birth family when they opt for a semi-open adoption.
    • With a semi-open adoption, adoptive parents have easier access to medical history and information, which is important if they want to know whether their child is at risk for a medical issue or condition currently, or in the future.
    • For adoptive families, knowing they were selected specificallyby their child’s birth family can be comforting.
    • Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.

Cons of Semi-Open Adoption:

  • For the child:
    • In some cases, a child’s birth family has a troubled history. A child may have to face this, as some of this history may come up with the birth parent(s) in the picture. A troubled family history may be traumatic for a child to confront.
    • The limited contactaspect of semi-open adoption can be difficult for children who want more communication with their birth family.
  • For the birth parent(s):
    • For birth parents who are trying to move on, semi-open adoptions can be difficult. For example, if a birth mother was sexually assaulted and had a child as a result of that assault, being involved in that child’s life may be too emotionalfor her.
    • It is important to remember that semi-open adoptions can become open adoptions. For birth parents who seek full anonymity and confidentiality, semi-open adoption may not be the best fit.
    • Semi-open adoption is meant to allow for some mediated communication between the birth and adoptive families, but it isn’t uncommon for the birth family to lose contact with the adoptive family. It often happens once the adoption process is finalized and as time passes. Also, some birth parents may decide they want more contact with their birth child and the adoptive family. Unless the adoptive family agrees, limited contactmay be all the birth parent(s) achieves.
    • For some birth parents, there is a lack of closurewith semi-open adoption. The possibility of new communication and new relationships is often something that the birth family is uncomfortable with. The birth parent(s) of a child may feel obligated to maintain contact with the child and the adoptive family, even if they do not wish to.
    • With semi-open adoption, the birth parent(s) might find it difficult to understand her/his/their role in the child’s life. This could negatively impact the way that birth parent sees herself/himself/themselvesand could also damage the newfound relationship with the child and/or the adoptive family.
    • Expectant Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call or Text 24/7)
  • For the adoptive parent(s):
    • Semi-open adoption may not be the best choice for adoptive families who seek full anonymity and confidentialityfrom their adoption process. Adoptive families may feel a lack of closure from a semi-open adoption because they might feel obligated to continue contact with their child’s birth family. This may be uncomfortable for the adoptive family.
    • It happens often that the adoptive family loses contact with their child’s birth parent(s). In those cases, it is usually because the birth parent(s) wishes to remain anonymous and is trying to move on. Some adoptive families may seek more contact with their child’s birth family, however, limited contact with birth family is also common in a semi-open adoption.
    • Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.

For birth and adoptive parents considering semi-open adoption, what it often comes down to is communication. Whether you are a birth or adoptive parent, you must determine how much contact you want with the other party. It is also important to consider the level of privacy you want and, of course, what is in the best interest of the child. For more information on semi-open adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Texas. Expectant Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call or Text 24/7). Prospective Adoptive Family please inquire here.




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