Improving Your Relationship With Your Kids

Things to Know about Semi-Open Adoptions If You Are Not Ready to Be a Mom

by Marianka Van Veenen

Choosing to give up a baby for adoption is rarely an easy decision for a birth mother to make; however, it is often the best decision for the baby depending on the circumstances. This baby deserves a good life, and this is what adoption offers a child when the birth mother is not yet ready or able to give the baby the life he or she deserves. If you have made the difficult decision to give up your baby for adoption, you may be able to choose the family that adopts your child and the type of adoption you choose. For many birth mothers, choosing a semi-open adoption seems to be a good choice. If you would like to explore this option, there are several things you should know.

What Exactly Is a Semi-Open Adoption?

There are three main ways adoptions can be handled. The first two options are closed adoptions and open adoptions. A closed adoption is one where the birth mother and adoptive family do not know each other. They do not meet, and they basically know nothing about the other party involved. An open adoption is one where the birth mother and adoptive family know each other. The birth mother typically chooses the family and they meet. The two parties also have the ability to stay in contact, and this allows the birth mother to see the child as he or she grows up.

A semi-open adoption is a combination of both types, and it tends to work well for many families. A semi-open adoption typically allows the birth mother and adoptive parents to meet at least once. They typically do not know each other's names, addresses, or specific details, but they can stay in contact with each other through the adoption agency they use.

For example, the adoptive parents can send pictures and updates about the child to the agency. The agency can then forward these items to the birth mother. This allows the birth mother to watch the child grow up through pictures, yet it keeps enough distance between the two parties to avoid conflicts and problems.

If both parties in a semi-open adoption decide they want to change the adoption to an open adoption, they will have the right to do this at any time in the future. Both parties would have to agree to this, though, and they would both have to contact the adoption agency to get this change made.

What Benefits Does This Offer Compared to the Other Options?

There are numerous advantages of semi-open adoptions over the other two options. One major benefit is the ability to share updated medical information. Many illnesses and diseases are hereditary. If a birth mother is diagnosed with some type of hereditary disease, it could be very helpful for the adoptive family to know this. In a closed adoption, this would not be possible.

Another benefit to consider is the aftereffects a birth mother may go through following her child's birth. Many birth mothers suffer from emotional trauma, and a lot of this can stem from wondering where the child is and what he or she looks like. Through a semi-open adoption, a birth mother will not have to wonder these things. She will know what the child looks like as well as the health of the child and his or her interests.

In addition, a semi-open adoption will make it easier for the child to locate his or her birth mother if the child ever chooses to do so at a later point in life.

You should also realize that a semi-open adoption reduces the problems both parties may have when an open adoption is entered into. In an open adoption, it may be hard to control the frequency of visits by the birth mother, and this can confuse a child who has the wishes of two or three parents from different households to handle. As the birth mother, you may have a hard time coping with seeing your child on a regular basis and not having any parental rights to the child, but a semi-open adoption provides a structure in which to work.

There are pros and cons with all types of adoptions, but choosing adoption is a great decision to make when you are not ready to be a mother. If you would like to learn more about your options, contact an adoption agency today through a website like