What is a Closed Adoption?

Closed adoption refers to an adoption process where there is no interaction of any kind between birth mothers and prospective adoptive families. This means there is no identifying information provided either to the birth families or adoptive families. However, non-identifying information such as physical characteristics and medical history may be made available to those involved. There are closed adoption benefits for birth parent and adopting families.

Closed Adoption Benefits for the Birth Parents May Include:

  • Sense of closure– Some birth mothers and birth families report having a closed adoption provides a sense of closure enabling them to move on with their lives.
  • Privacy– For people who feel threatened and vulnerable by their decision to place a child for adoption, a closed adoption can offer greater privacy.
  • Reduced fear– For birth mothers with concerns about explaining their decision to others, a closed adoption can offer a way to avoid confrontation.

Advantages for Adoptive Family

The closed adoption experience varies from one adoptive family to another. For adoptive families, potential advantages include:

  • Family Freedom– When birth families are not involved, adoptive families are free to enjoy their family time without the potential complications associated with the outside intrusion.
  • Absence of fuzzy boundaries– Eliminates the risk of complications that can arise from birth parent interference or co-parenting concerns.

Advantages for the Adopted Child

The closed adoption advantages vary from one child to another. For the adopted child, potential advantages include:

  • Absence of fuzzy boundaries- Eliminates the risk of complications that can arise from birth parent interference or co-parenting concerns.
  • Protection from unstable birth families- Offers the adopted child protection from unstable or emotionally disturbed birth parents or birth family members.

The closed adoption experience varies for each adoption. Communication continues to be a vital factor in the adoption process. As communication about wishes, desires, expectations, etc. improves, the more comfortable everyone involved will be in the adoption process.
In a closed adoption, communication normally occurs through an adoption agency or adoption attorney.

Next Steps

It is helpful to talk to an adoption professional where you can explore adoption in greater detail. You can ask questions and learn more about the process without pressure.

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Advantage lists adapted from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse