This means: Birthparents have the opportunity to talk to, write to, and see the adoptive parents and their birthchild on a schedule decided between them.
*Note: If you are required to send pictures, letters, gifts or any other material through your agency you do not have an open adoption. If you do not know the full names or the physical address of the adoptive parents you do not have an open adoption.
No identifying information is disclosed. Birthparents will not know the adoptive parents last names, where they live, or have any means to contact them directly. All communication is done through the agency or attorney. If birthparents do have an agreement for visitation it will be set up by the agency and take place at a third party location.
Birthparents receive pictures and letters, through the agency, on a schedule decided with the adoptive parents. Birthparents may also send letters and pictures to the adoptive parents via the agency. No direct phone calls take place between birthparents and adoptive parents unless set up and conferenced through the adoption agency.
This means: You will get pictures and letters from the adoptive parents and be able to send your pictures and letters to the adoptive parents.. All materials that you send to the agency WILL BE OPENED and read through. Any identifying information that you disclose in any letter/package/photo will be BLACKED out. The materials are then re-packaged (either in a new envelope or box) and then sent to the adoptive parents. Vice versa for the adoptive parents.
*Note: Please notice the difference between semi-open and open. It is BIG. When you choose a semi-open adoption please KNOW that you will not have any means to contact the adoptive parents should they decide not to send the pictures and letters as promised. If you do choose a semi-open adoption it is important to GET TO KNOW the person in charge of receiving and sending all materials.
No identifying information is given to either parties. There is no adoption agreement made and there will be no pictures, letters, or visits. No contact or communication is set in place nor will either party have permission to contact one another by any means.
This means: You severe all ties to your birth child and his/her adoptive family until the possibility of reunion.
*Note: It is not recommended to enter into a closed adoption. If unsure about your desire to see your child or know your child, please consider a semi-open adoption. With a semi-open adoption you will always have the opportunity to receive pictures and updates when you choose. With a closed adoption you loose any chance of this. Keeping your options open is always the best recourse.
· While there are 3 distinct types of adoption arrangements, each triad will cultivate their own arrangements between themselves. I.e.: how many pictures and letters will be sent, how many and how frequently visits will occur, appropriate times to phone and e-mail one another, when it is okay to send gifts.
· Open is open. Meaning while there are various levels of openess, unless you have identifying information you are in a semi-open or closed adoption. Your adoption plan may be "Very" Open which means you talk on the phone frequently with the adoptive parents, you visit often, and you share letters, pictures, cards, gifts without any Time/Date put into place. Your adoption plan may be "Somewhat" Open which means you have scheduled days/times to talk on the phone and a date put into place for when pictures and letters should be sent, and visits only occur on specific pre-determined dates and are less often. You have an OPEN adoption regardless of "how" open as long as you have identifying information and are not required to use the agency as a go-between.
· Don't fall into the "We'll just see how it goes," or the, "We'll do whatever you want," trap. And yes, it is a trap. Not being assertive, not creating a plan and agreeing to it will make your arrangment FAR too vulnerable and it will be at much greater risk for closing. Even though your arrangement may change over the course of time as you each develop a relationship with one another, that's okay. The important thing is that you have an initial agreement to start with.
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.