Open or Closed Adoption: Which Is Right for You As the Birthmother?



Pregnancy often comes with many life-changing decisions, even more so when you are considering putting your child up for adoption. One of the toughest decisions for a birthmother is choosing whether to have an open or closed adoption. It’s natural to have questions, doubts, and uncertainties about both options, but it is important to select the best option for you and your baby.


In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at open and closed adoptions, their pros and cons, and delve into what you can expect from each. Our goal is to empower you as a birthmother to make an informed decision that benefits you and your child.


Defining a Closed Adoption

A closed adoption is a confidential process in which the birthmother gives up all rights and connections to her child. All aspects of the adoption are kept secret, including the adoptive parents’ names, location, or any identifying information. In short, the birthmother is unknown to the adoptive parents, and vice versa.


Pros of a Closed Adoption:

One of the benefits of closed adoption is that it provides protection and privacy to the birthmother. This type of adoption may be a good choice for birthmothers facing social, cultural, or religious stigmas. For some birthmothers, it can be a way of avoiding legal or financial complications. In a way, it provides an opportunity for the birthmother to start afresh and move on with her life, knowing that her child is well cared for.


Cons of a Closed Adoption:

The biggest challenge for a birthmother in a closed adoption is the inability to watch her child grow and thrive. She doesn’t have any control over the child’s life and may never know how her child is doing. Moreover, it deprives the child of knowing their roots, which can affect their sense of identity, emotional well-being, and self-esteem. A closed adoption can also prevent children from accessing crucial medical or genetic information about themselves.


Defining an Open Adoption

An open adoption is a process that involves birthmothers, adoptive parents, and the adopted child. It is an agreement between these parties to remain in contact and share information over time. Birthmothers have some degree of ongoing involvement and may choose to have varying levels of interaction with the adopted child and adoptive family.


Pros of an Open Adoption:

The primary benefit of open adoption is that it allows birthmothers to form a relationship with their child and maintain a connection as the child grows. Birthmothers can witness the bond between their child and adoptive parents, share in the child’s milestones, and be an emotional support as the child navigates life. Open adoption offers the child an opportunity to learn about their family history, culture, and heritage.


Cons of an Open Adoption:

One concern with open adoption is that it’s not a legally binding agreement in most cases. Adoptive parents may change their minds and cut off contact with birthmothers after a certain period. Birthmothers may also find it challenging to deal with the emotions of seeing their child grow up with someone else’s family. Striking a balance between maintaining a healthy relationship and respecting boundaries can be difficult, and it can also be frustrating if adoptive parents don’t provide enough information about the child.


Choosing between an open and closed adoption as a birthmother is never an easy decision. It’s essential to consider your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, your child’s needs, and your long-term goals. Both open and closed adoptions have their advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one may not be suitable for another.


Tips on Making the Decision as the Birthmother

Consider What’s Best for Your Child: When making the decision between open and closed adoptions, your child’s needs should be the top priority. If you think that occasional contact with the adoptive family will be in the child’s best interest, then choose an open adoption. But if you believe that no contact is better for the child’s emotional well-being, a closed adoption may be the better choice.


Think About Your Own Emotional Needs: This decision will impact not only your child’s life but also your own. If you feel that you need to maintain some level of contact with your child, then an open adoption may be better for your emotional well-being. But if the thought of staying in touch feels overwhelming or painful, a closed adoption may be a better choice.


Weigh the Pros and Cons of Each Option: When deciding between open and closed adoptions, it’s important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of each. For example, while an open adoption may allow you to stay connected to your child, it may also be emotionally challenging. A closed adoption, on the other hand, may provide a sense of closure but can also be very final.


We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding the difference between open and closed adoptions and what they entail. Remember, there is no one “right” answer to this question—it’s up to you as the birthmother to decide which option is best for you and your child. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, stay informed, and prioritize the best interests of your child.


For help during the adoption process, reach out to our team at Arizona Adoption Help.