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What’s the difference between open and closed adoption?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Adoption, Family Law

When you want to adopt a child, there are two general types of adoption in Texas: open and closed. It’s worth weighing the pros and cons of both types of adoption before choosing which one is for you.

Open adoption

In an open adoption, the child still has contact with their birth parents. Some studies have shown that the happiness of adopted children is greater in open adoptions. A reason for this may be because they know why their birth parents placed them for adoption. They have reassurance that it wasn’t because their biological parents didn’t love them.

It’s only natural for a person to be curious about their genetic history. With an open adoption, the biological parents can teach them about their family history as well as any important medical concerns that they may have to watch out for.

Some adopting parents worry about the birth parents trying to take back parental rights in an open adoption. Texas law prevents birth parents from doing that. Once they sign the papers to give up their child, the agreement is legally binding.

If you don’t like the thought of directly communicating with the birth parents, you could opt for a semi-open adoption. You would communicate with the biological parents through a third-party.

Closed adoption

In a closed adoption, you don’t have any contact with the birth parents during any stage of the process. This is to help protect the identity of the biological parents. A downside of this type of adoption is you may not have access to the parents’ medical history. Adoptees often face feelings of abandonment, shame and guilt from a closed adoption. These feelings tend to affect their self-esteem. In some situations, however, a closed adoption could be the better choice for the child if their safety is at risk.

Open and closed adoptions are necessary to address the different needs of adoptees, their birth parents and the adopting parents. Carefully consider the pros and cons before choosing what route to take.