Adoptions With Love Blog

What is Semi-Open Adoption and Is It Right for You?

You may know about open adoption and closed adoption, but have you ever heard of semi-open adoption?  A semi-open adoption is a level of communication among birth and adoptive families that is in between a closed and open adoption.  It can look different for every family and, as you might expect, it falls somewhere in between open and closed adoption. That is simple enough, but how does a semi-open adoption plan work?

Open, Closed, and Somewhere in Between

Every adoption plan is unique. While these guidelines help with general understanding, your adoption specialist can help you work on a plan that will fit your individual needs and make you feel comfortable with your decision. Adoption is a positive choice, but it is your choice. No one can make it for you.

Open adoption simply means that there is ongoing communication between birth and adoptive families. In a fully open adoption, an expectant/birth mother will most often choose and meet the family for her baby, as well as maintain a relationship with them after placement. This relationship typically involves direct contact through emails, phone calls, letters, pictures,  and  in-person visits. This amount of openness may not be the right choice for everyone.

Some birth mothers prefer a bit more anonymity or boundaries in their adoption arrangements. If you want all your information kept private, you may be thinking about a closed adoption. Some birth mothers choose closed adoption because they feel it will be easier to have a clean break and a fresh start once the adoption is complete. A closed adoption means there is zero communication between birth and adoptive families.

If you are not ready for an open adoption, but you do not want to have a fully closed adoption, either, then you may be interested in the third option: a semi-open adoption.

A semi-open adoption plan can be the right choice if you feel that a fully open relationship with your child’s family is just too overwhelming at first. Still, you might want to choose an adoptive family to raise your baby. You may decide that you want to receive updates of your child over the years. This is completely understandable and is attainable through a semi-open adoption plan.

A semi-open adoption plan is defined by you, the expectant/birth mother. With semi-open adoptions, birth and adoptive families typically maintain indirect contact with one another. No identifying information is revealed, and everyone’s privacy is respected. The adoptive family does not have the birth mother’s last name, phone number, address, or other personal information. Rather, their communication is mediated by an adoption agency.

Communication During Pregnancy

While communication between birth and adoptive families is limited with a semi-open adoption plan, you can still make empowering decisions. A semi-open adoption allows you to lovingly select an adoptive family for your baby. This often brings comfort to expectant/birth mothers. In making this decision for your child, you can rest assured that they will be raised by a healthy, stable, and loving family.

After Baby’s Arrival

Every adoption plan is unique. While there is limited to know direct communication between birth and expectant families in semi-open adoptions, you can decide if you want to make an exception to that rule for the start of baby’s life. If you would like, you can speak with the adoptive family you have chosen over the phone, email, or in-person at the hospital the day your baby is born. In the hospital, you can decide how much you want to see and care for your baby, and whether you would like the adoptive family to be there with you. Your adoption agency can help you determine a hospital plan beforehand if you wish.

After Placement

In a semi-open adoption, contact between the adoptive family and birth family will be stay anonymous and confidential. It may take place over the phone, over emails, or through letters and pictures, all of which would be mediated by the adoption agency. At Adoptions With Love, for example, we have had a thriving letter and picture program for 37 years. Adoptive families send us letters and pictures of their child regularly, and we share these updates with the birth mothers when they request.

Find the Right Plan for You

As a full-service open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love ensures that all our waiting adoptive parents have agreed to at least a semi-open adoption plan. Letters and pictures can be exchanged through our agency regularly so that you can always have recent updates of your child on file. Many birth parents feel more peace of mind in knowing how their child is growing and thriving. Studies show that an open or semi-open adoption relationship also positively impacts the child.

Just as no two people are alike, every adoption experience is unique. You can decide whether an open, closed, and semi-open adoption plan is right for you.

It is important for your adoption agency to get to know you and your needs, as well as your hopes for your baby, to help you design the perfect adoption plan.

Adoptions With Love is here to help, no matter which adoption plan you choose for your baby. Reach out to us any time at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072 for more information. We will be here to answer your call any time of day, any day of the week.



Get the eBook

Research shows that birth mothers who make open adoption plans generally report greater peace of mind. They have comfort in knowing how their child is doing and
growing. They are able to move forward with their lives without any anxieties or unknowns. They can also begin beautiful, lasting relationships with their child’s
adoptive family.

Download Now