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Pros and Cons of Closed Adoption

Pros and Cons of Closed Adoption

Though closed adoption is not necessarily seen by experts as the most beneficial to the adoption triad, perhaps the most common reason why a birth parent or an adoptive parent chooses a closed adoption is because of an inclination for anonymity and confidentiality. In closed adoption cases, the birth parent(s), the adoptive parent(s) -- or sometimes both -- seek a sense of closure in order to move on with their lives. It is especially important to weigh the pros and cons of closed adoption because there are fewer pros and more cons for the children involved.

Remember, adoption is all about being mindful of what is in the best interest of the child. Adoption Choices of Florida provides resources for all types of adoption. If you need help now, call or text us at 800-985-8108.

Pros of Closed Adoption:

-   For the child:

·  Closed adoption rarely has any benefits for children, but can help protect the ones who come from a troubled family or background. Sometimes, confronting a troubled family history can be traumatic for a child; therefore, it may be better to opt for a closed adoption.

-   For the birth parent(s):

·  Closed adoption is often a good choice for women who gave birth as a result of a sexual assault. Closed adoptions often help her feel a sense of closure and give her the ability to move on with her life.

·  Closed adoption may help to alleviate the feelings of shame, embarrassment and guilt that women often feel after a sexual assault, due to the anonymity and confidentiality aspects. Even if a sexual assault did not occur, feelings of guilt may also stem from birth parents who made the decision to place their child for adoption rather than parenting the child themselves.

·  With closed adoption, there is no need for the birth parent(s) to feel obligated to maintain contact with their child and their child’s adoptive family.

-   For the adoptive parent(s):

·  Adoptive families, like birth families, often like to feel a sense of closure from their adoption, too. Once the closed adoption is finalized, the ability to move on might feel a little easier.

·  Closure for adoptive families might also come from the anonymity and confidentiality aspects of closed adoption. When the adoption process ends, this may also help them to move on with their lives.

·  In closed adoption cases, there is also no need for the adoptive parent(s) to feel obligated to maintain contact with their child’s birth family.

Cons of Closed Adoption:

-   For the child:

·    As a child grows up, he or she may have questions that can only be answered by a birth parent. Without a birth parent in the child’s life, he or she may never get answers to these questions.

·      Children who do not know their birth parents often struggle with their identity or sense of self. This is usually due to the lack of answers to the questions children who have been adopted often have about their birth families.

·      In a closed adoption, a child will have no opportunity to build a relationship with their birth parent(s). Once the child reaches adulthood, it is up to them to determine whether or not to search for birth family. However, lack of information may make it difficult to find them.  

·      Children who have been adopted often struggle with feelings of being unloved, unwanted or abandoned by their birth parent(s). It is usually easier to eliminate these feelings when a child’s birth family is involved in his or her life.

·      Until they become adults, children who have been adopted through a closed adoption will likely be unable to access birth certificates and medical information and history. Remember, two of the most important factors of a closed adoption are anonymity and confidentiality. Access to this kind of information might reveal information about the birth family that they do not want to share.

-   For the birth parent(s):

·      Unlike with open and semi-open adoptions, closed adoption does not allow for the birth parent(s) to review and select an adoptive family for their child. The birth parent(s) will likely not receive any information about the adoptive family of their child.

·      Birth families often struggle with feelings of guilt surrounding the decision to place their child for adoption. With a closed adoption, sometimes birth families feel less closure because they have no information about their child or about their child’s adoptive family.

·      Guilt can also come from missing the opportunity to build a relationship with the child and the adoptive family. Unless the child decides to search for birth family in the future, a birth parent will never know how the child grew up or the kind of person the child grew up to be.

-   For the adoptive parent(s):

·      Some adoptive families may feel a lack of closure not having or knowing any information on their child’s birth parent(s). It is also common for adoptive families to feel some guilt because they are unable to give their child answers about his or her birth parent(s).

·      When they opt for a closed adoption, adoptive families miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with their child’s birth parent(s).

·      Because of the emphasis on anonymity and confidentiality in closed adoptions, adoptive families will also be unable to access their child’s birth certificate, as well as potentially important medical information and history.

Pros and Cons of Closed Adoption

Though all types of adoption should be carefully considered, closed adoption is the only choice for some because it is an important part of their healing and moving on process. Often, closed adoption is chosen by birth mothers who have been victims and are survivors of sexual assault. Sometimes, it may seem like these women are selfish, putting themselves before their children, but this could not be further from the truth. 

Remember, it takes a great deal of emotional strength to parent a child. A woman who chooses to place her child for adoption after a sexual assault does consider what is in the best interest of her child. She knows that at some point, she might be ready, but the healing process is unpredictable. This is when she makes the most selfless decision to place her child for adoption and give another family the opportunity to become parents. Though it is important to be mindful of a child’s best interest, in these cases, it is important to also remember that the birth mother or parent needs time to heal. For more information on closed adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Florida at 800-985-8108.



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