If you are considering adopting a child
Inevitably, you will encounter many choices as a prospective adoptive parent. An early step in adoption includes learning some definitions associated with the process. Once you learn more about the types of adoption, you will have many decisions to make. Here, you will find books, Internet resources, adoption agencies, family groups and a little advice on choosing the right adoption attorney.
Types of adoption include:
- Domestic. Adoption of a child inside the United States.
- International. Adoption of a child outside the United States.
- Open adoption. Adoption in which information and/or contact between the adoptive and biological parents of the adopted child occurs before, during and/or after the child moves to her permanent home.
- Closed adoption. Adopting and biological parents never meet, and know nothing or very little about one another. With the advent of open adoption, closed adoptions are now the exception rather than the norm in domestic adoptions. International adoptions are often by default considered closed adoptions since little is known of the child’s biological family in most cases. Children adopted from the foster-care system are also generally closed adoptions. It is important to know that closed adoption does not guarantee that the adopted child will not want to reunite with her biological parents in the future. Indeed, the agreements made between parties of an adoption at the time of the child’s placement in a permanent home are only in force until the child reaches legal age, at which time she can make decisions for herself.
- Semi-open. Non-identifying information is shared between adoptive and biological parents. Adopting parents often set up a post office box where letters and photos can be sent. Placing parents often help choose the adoptive family, and may even meet prior to placement of the child. Semi-open adoption rarely involves visits with the biological family after the child is adopted. As in closed adoption, once the child is legal age, she can decide to contact her biological family and often will have easier access to information that will facilitate the search.