Pregnant & Considering Adoption Topics

Semi-open adoption pros & cons

Many women want a semi-open relationship with the adoptive family and their baby.  For these women, semi-open adoption may be the best choice.

There are three types of adoption: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption.  However, there are pros and cons to all three.  One size usually doesn’t always fit all.  This article focuses on the pros and cons of semi-open adoption.

What is semi-open adoption?

In a this type of adoption, the birth parents and the adoptive parents know each other’s identities.  They may not have direct contact with each other.  This adoption is also called mediated adoption because a third party, or mediator, coordinates all of the contact.

Here are some things that typically describe a semi-open adoption:

  • Birth parents and adoptive parents don’t have to meet each other
  • All contact is coordinated by a third party mediator
  • Either the birth mother or adoptive parents may initiate contact through the mediator
  • Birth parents don’t have visits or direct contact with the adoptee
  • The parties may decide in the future to close the adoption.

Pros of semi-open adoption

This type of adoption can work really well.  Many women choose this adoption because it protects their privacy.  Here are the pros:

  • You don’t share all of your identifying information which protects your privacy
  • Birth parents can see their child grow and thrive with the adoptive family
  • Adoptive parents can access medical and other family history information
  • Adoptees can maintain contact with their birth parents in the future

Cons of Semi-Open Adoption

Before you decide if this type of adoption is right for you, consider the potential disadvantages.  The most significant disadvantage is that you must rely on a third person to stay in contact.  A semi-open adoption may become a closed adoption if:

  • The parties lose contact with the mediator
  • An agency or facilitator goes out of business or retires
  • You’ve lost contact and can’t find the other party

An example of when semi-open adoption makes sense

This type of adoption makes the most sense when everyone wants to protect their privacy.  This is usually at the request of the birth mother.

In my experience, birth mothers choose semi-open adoption because they don’t want their family and friends to know about the adoption.  If you have limited identifying information about each other, then it’s not likely that someone show up on another’s doorstep in the future.  Everyone can heal and move forward.  This is because they know that there won’t be any surprise visits or contact by the other, including the adoptee, in the future.

What a semi-open adoption looks like in real life

How do you protect your privacy in a this type of adoption?  It’s pretty easy.  Here’s how it works:

  • Set up a confidential/anonymous email address and social media page
  • Create a privacy focused hospital plan
  • Plan that the adoptive parents will pick up baby at the hospital after you are discharged
  • Make sure your private information is removed from medical records
  • Continue communicating through anonymous email and social media
  • Make sure the mediator always has your current contact information

It’s your baby, it’s your adoption choice

It’s your decision to have an open, semi-open, or closed adoption.  Make sure you are choosing adoptive parents who want the same type of adoption as you.  Remember that this type of adoption can become closed.   I recommend choosing the option that gives you what you want but still gives you options.  Open adoption is the most flexible, semi-open a little less flexible, and closed adoption most inflexible.

If you still aren’t sure which option is right for you, explore my site for more information.  You can also call, text or email and we can explore it together!

Do you have questions about adoption?