Choosing adoption is rarely an easy choice for couples. It can be especially difficult if you and your partner have been pursuing fertility treatments for a long time. However, adoption can offer both you and your partner the opportunity to extend your family and welcome a child into a loving and happy home. When considering adoption, it is important that you and your partner decide which type of adoption you would like to pursue. Closed adoption is one type of adoption that some couples investigate. Once very popular, closed adoptions are now becoming more rare, however, they can be effective in certain situations.
What is Closed Adoption?
Closed adoption is recognized as the traditional type of adoption. In closed adoption, complete confidentiality for both the birth and adoptive parents is maintained. There is no contact between the birth and adoptive parents, either before or after adoption. Typically, an agency chooses appropriate adoptive parents on behalf of the birth mother and/or father. No identifying information is passed between the birth and adoptive parents and the adoption records are sealed as soon as the adoption takes place. There is no contact between the birth parents and adoptive child after the adoption placement.
History of Closed Adoption
Closed adoptions began in the late 19th century and remained popular until the early 1980s. They grew out of a need to protect birth mothers and adoptive parents from the social stigma that surrounded adoption at the time.
Birth mothers who needed to pursue adoption were often seen as social outcasts by society. Many adoptive parents were also seen as outcasts due to their inability to bear their own children. For this reason, closed adoptions, which protected the identities of both birth and adoptive parents, skyrocketed in popularity. However, in the 1980s, pressure from social groups and organizations who believed in the importance of open adoption led to a decline in the number of closed adoptions.
Why Choose Closed Adoption?
Closed adoption is often a popular alternative when confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Closed adoption can also provide both birth and adoptive parents with a sense of closure and privacy. Closed adoption is most often chosen in international adoptions, when open adoption is impossible.
Types of Closed Adoption
Like open adoptions, closed adoptions actually vary, depending upon the birth parents and agency involved. There are two types of closed adoption:
Fully Closed: A fully closed adoption maintains complete confidentiality of both the birth and adoptive parents. No identifying information is passed between the parents and the birth and adoptive parents never meet. The birthparents do not select the adoptive parents.
Semi-Closed: A semi-closed adoption maintains partial confidentiality of the adoptive and birth parents. The birth parents select the adoptive parents from a number of profiles provided by an agency. There is no contact between the birth and adoptive parents after placement.