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What Are the Different Types of Adoption?

There are two types of adoptions, confidential and open.

Confidential: The birth parents and the adoptive parents never know each other. Adoptive parents are given background information about you and the birth father that they would need to help them take care of the child, such as medical information.

Open: The birth parents and the adoptive parents know something about each other. There are different levels of openness:

  • Least open—You will read about several possible adoptive families and
    pick the one that sounds best for your baby. You will not know each
    other's names.
  • More open—You and the possible adoptive family will speak on the
    telephone and exchange first names.
  • Even more open—You can meet the possible adoptive family. Your
    social worker or attorney will arrange the meeting at the adoption
    agency or attorney's office.
  • Most open—You and the adoptive parents share your full names,
    addresses, and telephone numbers. You stay in contact with the
    family and your child over the years, by visiting, calling, or writing each
    other. Fifteen States have enacted laws that recognize post-adoption
    contact between adoptive and birth families if the parties have voluntarily
    agreed to this plan.

Talk to your counselor about the type of adoption that is best for you. Do you want to help decide who adopts your child? Would you mind if a single person adopted your child, or a couple of a different race than you? Would you like to be able to share medical information with your child's family that may only become known in the future?

If you have strong feelings about these things, work with an agency or attorney who you feel will listen to what you want.

If you do not have strong feelings about these things, the adoption agency or attorney will decide who adopts your child based on who they think can best care for the child.

Resource: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

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