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Our Services to Women Considering Adoption

It is so important that you make an informed decision about adoption. This decision will be one of the most important of your life and should not be taken lightly. If you are considering adoption the Northlake CPC can offer you information about the adoption process. We work closely with local adoption agencies and can get you in contact with representatives from those agencies.

Different Types of Adoption

Open Adoption Open, or fully disclosed, adoptions allow adoptive parents, and often the adopted child, to interact directly with birth parents. Family members interact in ways that feel most comfortable to them. Communication may include letters, Emails, telephone calls, or visits. The frequency of contact is negotiated and can range from every few years to several times a month or more. Contact often changes as a child grows and has more questions about his or her adoption or as families' needs change. It is important to note that even in an open adoption, the legal relationship between a birth parent and child is severed. The adoptive parents are the legal parents of an adopted child.

The goals of open adoption are:

  • To minimize the child's loss of relationships.
  • To maintain and celebrate the adopted child's connections with all the important people in his or her life.
  • To allow the child to resolve losses with truth, rather than the fantasy adopted children often create when no information or contact with their birth family is available.

Factsheet for Families. Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway.Year Published: 2003

Closed Adoptions

When many people think about adoption, they envision a closed adoption in which the adoptive family and birth mother remain confidential, with no contact prior to or after the placement of the child. For many generations, it was common practice to keep adoptions closed. However, in the early 1980s, adoption began to shift toward more openness. Today, some people believe closed adoptions to be "safer," mainly out of a fear that if the birth parents know where the adoptive family lives, that they will "take back" the child. While this fear has largely been perpetuated by television movies and sensationalized media reports, this is not true. Today's adoption laws are very clear - once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive family is recognized as the child's legal family.

Semi-Open Adoptions

Semi-open adoptions fall in between open and closed adoptions. The adoptive family and birth parents usually will know basic information about each other, such as their first names and state of residence. Complete contact information, such as phone numbers and addresses, are not shared. While adoptive families and birth parents may speak to one another prior to the birth of the child, some confidentiality is maintained. Once the child has been placed with the adoptive family, the birth parents may still stay in contact with the family via letters and pictures, however this correspondence is handled by a third party, such as the adoption agency. American Adoptions handles all correspondence between our birth parents and adoptive families in a semi-open adoption. Our agency maintains the current contact information for each party - if the birth parents or adoptive family wishes to send a letter or pictures to the other party, they simply mail it to the agency. We then repackage the letter so there is no identifying information (such as mailing address) and forward it on to the recipient.

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