Open vs. Closed Adoption in S.C.: What’s Best for You?

When expectant mothers like you are considering adoption for their baby, they have an important decision to make: open vs. closed adoption.

As a prospective birth mother, you will always have the option to choose how much contact you want with your baby and your baby’s adoptive parents after you place them for adoption. Every woman is different, and you are the only one you can decide what kind of contact you are comfortable with.

To aid you in this decision, our adoption counselors are always available for free, with no obligation for you to choose adoption unless you are ready. You can contact them anytime if you have questions about deciding between open adoption vs. closed adoption in South Carolina.

In the meantime, you’ll find some basic information about each of these paths below.

Open Adoption

Today, many birth parents choose some form of open adoption to maintain contact with their child and their adoptive parents after placement. Open adoptions are available on a spectrum, and expectant mothers like you, along with the adoptive family, are able to decide how much and what kind of contact they want to share before, during and after their adoption process.

Pros of Open Adoption

Perhaps the greatest benefit of open adoption is the knowledge it provides you of your child as they grow up. In the past, a birth mother had little opportunity to know her child after she placed them for adoption — but open adoption allows her to see her child grow up, know how they are doing and have a personal relationship with them. When expectant mothers are deciding between open vs. closed adoption in South Carolina, the ability to know how their child is doing as they grow up is often a motivating factor for choosing open adoption.

Open adoption also gives prospective birth parents the chance to choose and get to know an adoptive family before placement. You will always have the right to select an adoptive family for your baby, and you will have the opportunity to speak with them in person and ask any questions you have before making this decision. If you wish, the adoptive family can be involved in your pregnancy and your delivery. Many birth parents create a unique but powerful relationship with their child’s adoptive parents through open adoption.

There are many different kinds of open adoption, and we would be happy to help you explore the various options. You may even have your adoption professional mediate your relationship through a semi-open adoption, if you decide that’s what’s right for you.

Cons of Open Adoption

While open adoption can be helpful for birth mothers as they heal from the grief and loss of their adoption placement, some women find that open adoption is not the best decision for their specific situation. That’s okay, too.

If you have concerns about open adoption contact, reach out to our adoption professionals for more information. They can address any concerns you may have and help you craft a post-placement relationship that fits your needs and desires. Open adoption does not have to mean sharing of identifying information and constant contact; a semi-open adoption can provide the reassurance you need exactly when you want it.

Closed Adoption

Closed adoption is just what it sounds like — an adoption relationship in which no identifying information is shared, birth parents and adoptive parents may not communicate, and there is no contact after the child’s birth. Usually, only important medical information is shared with the adoptive family for the baby’s best interest.

Closed adoptions are less common today. However, if you are considering open vs. closed adoption and leaning toward the latter, here are some important things to know.

Pros of Closed Adoption

The women who choose closed adoption for their babies often do so because they wish to keep their information private and do not desire future contact with the child or the adoptive family.

While you can choose to keep your identifying information private in an open adoption, a closed adoption can provide the privacy that some women desire in their adoption. They may still wish to choose an adoptive family but have no contact with them before, during or after the adoption. A closed adoption provides this opportunity. Some women also choose to not select the adoptive family, which is also okay.

Women who choose closed adoption may believe that the reminders and contact of an open adoption will be too much and prevent them from moving forward in their lives. Remember, every birth mother is different — and the way they cope with their adoption decision will be different, too. For these women, closed adoption can provide the security and privacy they want.

Cons of Closed Adoption

When a woman chooses a closed adoption, she will likely have no contact with the adoptive family or her baby in the future. This means no updates on how her child is doing or reassurance that they are living the life she wanted for them. Before choosing closed adoption, this should be considered.

It may also be more difficult to change the amount of contact you have in a closed adoption. If you decide you want a closed adoption when you place your baby, and then want more contact later on, the adoptive family will need to agree to this change. Sometimes, this can be complicated for all sides of the adoption triad.

Finally, while a closed adoption provides privacy for a prospective birth mother, it has the potential of unanswered questions for her son or daughter. All adoptees have questions about their birth parents as they grow up, but a closed adoption often prevents those questions from being answered. Expectant mothers should consider this factor before deciding on a closed adoption in South Carolina.

If you are considering a closed adoption, your adoption counselor can discuss with you ways to provide as much information to the adoptive family as possible, in an effort to answer to some of the questions your child may have in the future.

What’s Best: Open vs. Closed Adoption?

Only you can decide whether open adoption vs. closed adoption is right for you, as you will be the one that this choice directly affects. Because of the magnitude of this decision, we encourage all expectant mothers to research and fully understand all sides of the open vs. closed adoption debate to choose the path that is right for them.

You can always contact our adoption professionals for free to learn more about these paths. You will never be obligated to choose adoption. We will answer your questions and give you the information you need to make the right choice for you and your baby. We can also help you consult with an attorney regarding the legalities of post-adoption contact if you wish, at no cost to you.