Choosing Semi-Open Adoption

What is a Semi-Open Adoption, and is it the Right Choice for Me?

Choosing Semi-Open Adoption

For birth mothers, the creation of an adoption plan is a many-step process. One of the most obviously important aspects is choosing an adoptive family. But equally important is determining what kind of adoption you want—that is, open, semi-open, or closed. And like with every step of your adoption, we at All About U Adoptions can help. Our adoption specialists are here to answer questions and guide you through uncertainties. It is our job to do our best to make sure you get what you need from your adoption process.

Some birth mothers may find it difficult to choose the level of openness they want from their adoption. After all, it determines the relationship you can forge with your child and their adoptive family. You may want communication to be fully open, or you may prefer complete privacy. And for those who are not sure, there is a third option to consider: semi-open adoption.

Choosing the Level of Openness During Your South Dakota, Nebraska, or North Dakota Adoption Process

When determining your adoption’s level of openness, there are three options to choose between. They are:

  • Open adoption: You maintain direct contact with the adoptive family and your child. You know each other’s names and contact information. Calls and in-person meetings can be arranged at times and frequencies that suit both parties. 
  • Semi-open adoption: Contact with the adoptive family is limited. The exchange of mail and messages is mediated by the adoption agency. Communication is likely to be one-sided; that is, the adoptive family sending updates to the birth mother. In-person meetings may be possible, but likely infrequent. 
  • Closed adoption: There is no contact between you and the adoptive family. No identifying or contact information is exchanged. Additionally, the amended birth certificate will show the adoptive family as the parent or parents. 

For some birth mothers, semi-open adoption may be the perfect middle ground. It may be a particularly compelling choice for birth mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. You can know how your child is doing without being overly involved. Contact is limited but not completely cut off. You can form a personal opinion of adoptive families before you make your decision. In short, a semi-open adoption allows you to control the level of contact without shutting the door completely.

Pros and Cons of a Semi-Open Adoption in SD, NE, or ND

Choosing a semi-open adoption offers plenty of benefits for birth mothers who want to maintain some distance. These benefits include:

  • You can still choose and meet the adoptive family to form a personal opinion before placing your baby for adoption
  • You may be able to stay in contact with your child and their adoptive family if the adoptive family agrees. Alternatively, if you would prefer contact to be one-sided, that is also an option. Make a plan with the adoptive family to receive updates at intervals that work for both of you.
  • Your child can know who their birth mother is. As they age, this may help them with questions about their identity.
  • Only some identifying information, if any, is shared, so you can maintain some level of privacy.
  • Maintaining contact with your child’s adoptive family may help you to heal emotionally. As you see that your child is happy and cared for, you can know that you made the right choice. 

When making adoption decisions, it is important to understand the whole picture. Semi-open adoption may be an enticing choice for some birth mothers, but it is not without its disadvantages. These include:

  • If something happens to the adoption agency or mediator, you and the adoptive family may be unable to contact each other
  • Contact will likely be relatively limited. Visits, phone calls, video chats, and other forms of communication may be possible, but should not necessarily be expected.
  • Down the line, you may wish you had cut contact completely. While open communication may help some birth mothers heal, it might hurt others.
  • Alternatively, if you decide you want communication to be more open later on, this may not be an option. You may find yourself locked into a form of contact that leaves you unfulfilled. 

Benefits of an Open Adoption

Oftentimes, too little is better than too much. You can always add—or do—more later, but you may not be able to take away. When it comes to placing your baby for adoption, however, the opposite may be true. If you think a semi-open adoption may someday be unfulfilling, then you may want to reconsider. Remember: Decisions regarding contact are made by both you and the adoptive family. Even if you want things to change, the adoptive family may not. It is important to consider this before making a decision.

An open adoption allows for full contact between you and the adoptive family. So for birth mothers who want some level of privacy, this may be a less than enticing choice. But one potential downside should not keep you from considering the prospective benefits.

An open adoption allows you to contact your child and the adoptive family without a mediator. If something happens to the adoption agency, you are less likely to have to worry about messages getting through. Both parties know how to reach each other. Additionally, you can still set boundaries and request limited contact. Just because a door is open does not mean you always have to use it. However, if you want to increase the frequency of communication later, an open adoption may make this easier. Without agreeing to the limited contact of a semi-open adoption, the adoptive family will likely be more flexible. In short, an open adoption has most of the benefits of a semi-open adoption, as well as a few potential extras.

Making Your Adoption Decision with All About U Adoptions

When planning an adoption in South Dakota, Nebraska, or North Dakota, it is important to consider every aspect of your decisions. There is no right or wrong answer to what level of openness you want from your adoption. But before you make your choice, think about what exactly you are looking for. How restricted are you okay with communication being? What will you want in the future? Will communication with your child hurt or heal?

Semi-open adoption has plenty of benefits, but it also has several drawbacks. Whether it is the best choice for you is dependent on what you are looking for, both now and in the future. Open adoption may relieve some of those concerns, but it may offer its own drawbacks in turn. 

At All About U Adoptions you always have the right to open your adoption further if you choose later on down the road.  Every adoption comes with a pre-adoption agreement allowing that to happen. All About U Adoptions also utilized Child Connect for all families and birth parents; regardless of the level of openness they all choose. This way, communication is never hindered by having to be handled by someone else; all contact is available 24/7 through this technology option.

If you are feeling lost, it is perfectly understandable. There is much to consider, and once the adoption is finalized, your decisions cannot be taken back. As such, it is important to be as sure as possible before making your choice. If you do not know what you want, get in touch with one of our adoption agencies. At All About U Adoptions, we do not want you to have to compromise. Our adoption specialists can help you work through uncertainties and make a decision that is right for you. 

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