Could a semi-open adoption be the best for you and your child?

I realize that it’s been a while I hadn’t written about adoption. I apologize, I am so busy trying to figure out a new routine in Vancouver, I will write about it soon. But today, I decided to talk about the difference adoption’s options. There are 3 different type of adoption: closed, semi-open and open adoption. To understand the difference between them, we need to read the definition.

I chose the definition from the website According to this website, we call closed adoption, the process where there is no interaction of any kind between birthmothers and adoptive families. This means that there is no exchange information, no contact between the birth families and adoptive families. That’s why, the closed adoption is also called confidential adoption! However, medical history may be available to those involved.

Unlike the closed option, the semi-open one authorizes the birth family to pick the adoptive parents from a profile and to stay updated by receiving pictures and other information through their connection with the adoption agency. This type is also called mediation adoption, because the adoption agency is playing the mediator role.

As you can guess by the name, the open adoption allows a relationship between adoptive family and birth parents. That means information as well as contact are shared between both parties. The birth families can directly contact the adoptive family and the adopted child via letter, phone calls, email, etc.


Which one between those tree is the best choice according to you?

Before giving you my pros for my favorite, let me talk you about my experience. My mom picked an overseas open adoption because she knew she wouldn’t have a lot of answer about African culture, she wanted me to know my root and be comfortable in a while family. So, she agreed for sharing, pictures, letters and phone calls. The first 5 years, she heard nothing from Africa. Everything started when I learnt how to read and write at school. It was confusing for me. One part of myself was curious to know more about this birth family and not feel the only black in this family. I had for long time the feeling of being the stranger of my adoptive family. So, the only thought of having some physical similarities with someone else was pleasant. I wanted to have a lot of brothers and sisters with who I can play and tell my secret. The feeling was nice for a while…

Then, my birth family starting to write me to send them money and toys. Naïve, the first time I blackmailed my mom to do it if she wanted me to stay in her family. Stupid little Flopi. Without knowing, I gave my birth family a good reason to keep in touch with me. They started talking just for more toys, clothes or money. I took the decision to stop contacting and replying to them at the age of 9. From the age of 9 to 15, I hadn’t heard from them and that helped me to grow up and have a “normal” life. I knew they were living in Ivory Coast and I didn’t really have a thought for them since then. Knowing where you came from helps to not create the empty hole in your head and heart. You don’t feel the need of searching for your birth family.

Okay, after knowing that, I can tell you the best choice to me. For me, the closed adoption will just increase the need of knowing your root to know who you are and the reason of this abandonment. However, the open adoption can be too confusing for everybody: the adoptive parents and birth parents may be confused on their respective role and the kid may be confused and feel guilty by having feelings for the adoptive family if he/she notices the birth family is sad or vice versa.

After having this experience, I think the best choice is the semi-open adoption for several reasons:

  • Kids will grow up knowing their biological families and there is never any unanswered questions about where they came from, why they were adopted, their culture and even who they look like.
  • Being able to ask for the birth family the reasons for the adoption can help limit or reduce the child’s sense of abandonment.
  • For the adoptive parents, the role as parent is clearly defined.
  • For the birth family, the semi-open adoption reduces the feeling of guilty because they can stay update and have a limit contact with the adoptive family

I don’t know if you agree with me or not. If you are planning to adopt at one stage, think about this option, that will give you enough knowledge about your future child’s root and you will be able to answer any questions your kid might have later.

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