The Pros and Cons of Semi-Open Adoption for Pregnant Women in Missouri
Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. As Goldilocks wanders the bears’ house, she finds some items that are too much for her and some that are not enough. This is too big, that is too small, she says. This is too hot, that is too cold. But then, she always finds a third choice that falls perfectly between the two other options, and it is just right.
For many expectant mothers, semi-open adoption is that happy medium that is just right. It is the perfect mix of what they like best about open and closed adoptions. But what are the differences between each type of adoption? Is semi-open adoption even right for you? Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you find out which type of adoption is the best one for you when making your adoption plan.
The Three Main Types of Adoption Options Available in Missouri
There are three types of adoption: open, closed, and semi-open. An open adoption is when the birth mother and adoptive family have an open relationship that follows an established set of agreed-upon guidelines. Open adoption means staying in touch directly through in-person visits and planned meetings. A closed adoption is when the birth mother leaves no identifying information and has absolutely no contact with the baby or the adoptive family once the adoption process is completed. A semi-open adoption falls somewhere in the middle between the two.
Semi-open adoption usually consists of leaving behind some contact information with a mediator and staying in touch indirectly. The birth mother’s dialogue with the baby and the adoptive family is through nonverbal, written forms of communication in semi-open adoption. This usually means corresponding through e-mails, photos, or letters.
There is usually some sort of third-party mediator who oversees and directs these exchanges. At our adoption agency, we use a secure and confidential online portal called ChildConnect. ChildConnect allows you to communicate with your adoptive parents and receive updates about your child from a safe and protected distance.
The Pros of Semi-Open Adoption in Missouri
- The best of both worlds. Maybe open adoption seems intimidating to you, but closed adoption seems too final. Semi-open adoption is a nice middle ground that offers the best aspects of each. You won’t have the familial commitments or obligations of open adoption, but you will still be able to know a bit about your baby as he or she grows up. You will still have a sense of the privacy and anonymity that a closed adoption offers, but get a chance to explain a bit about yourself and why you chose to place your baby for adoption through an introductory letter.
- You are in control. Birth mothers are always in control over how much involvement they feel comfortable with, but a semi-open adoption allows for a little more control when setting the ground rules of how much contact is or is not okay. You can decide how much of your information is shared and how much you’d like to say about yourself in your letters or emails. Written communication allows you to take the time to make sure you say everything you want to say, but only what you want to say. You can decide how much of yourself you would or wouldn’t like to disclose.
- Less guilt or grief. There is almost always a sense of regret and sadness over the loss of parenthood that comes with adoption. It is perfectly natural to feel remorse after such a huge and life-changing decision. That is why our adoption agency offers mental health and support counseling for birth mothers. But semi-open adoption can help to soften that blow. You can avoid the painful reminders that come with seeing your baby face-to-face in an open adoption, but you can still have peace of mind knowing that your baby will grow up able to find the answers to any adoption questions they may have.
The Cons of Semi-Open Adoption in Missouri
- You have to be realistic and manage expectations when it comes to adoption. Let’s face it, life happens. People grow and get wrapped up in their lives and don’t always get around to writing back, even if they have the best intentions of doing so. There is always a chance that you may lose touch with your adoptive family and your child over the years. These things happen, but try to not take it personally and understand that it is because they are busy with their own lives.
- You may not have complete privacy. In a world where everything ends up online and everyone is on social media, there is a small likelihood that you will be found online outside of your mediator. Please understand that this is a possibility based on the level of your presence online, so you may not have the total anonymity that comes with a closed adoption.
- The mediator may go out of business. Fortunately, our ChildConnect portal should not be going anywhere any time soon. But, sometimes the mediator that adoption agencies offer does go out of business. Even though your adoption case history and information should be forwarded to another mediator in this event, all the confusion and red tape can make staying in touch extremely frustrating and difficult.
Contact Our Adoption Agency Today to Find Out if Semi-Open Adoption is Right for You When Placing Your Baby for Adoption
Our adoption caseworkers are ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have about semi-open adoption in Missouri. Whether you are trying to find closure with a closed adoption, have a more open and personal relationship through open adoption, or have the best of both worlds with semi-open adoption, your adoption specialist will work with you every step of the way. No matter what type of adoption you decide on, Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you make your adoption plan.
Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 1-816-527-9800
Meet the Author: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.
When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.