The Pros and Cons of Semi-Open Adoptions in Florida

April 9, 2021

By Adoption Choices of Florida

The Pros and Cons of Semi-Open Adoptions in Florida

Written by Eve Jones

If you’re considering adoption with adoption agencies in Florida, Adoption Choices of Florida is here to help! You may already be aware that there are three types of adoption: open, semi-open, and closed. If you’d like to learn more about semi-open adoption and how to make a plan for it, this previous post covers those details. 

In general, a semi-open adoption is for when the birth mother would like to keep in touch with her baby once they’ve been placed in an adoptive family. Our adoption agency acts as the go-between through a safe and secure online portal called ChildConnect, so the birth mother and adoptive family can maintain anonymity. This way, each party can pass information to each other while respecting everyone’s privacy. If one or both parties decide to open up contact at a later date, we can help facilitate that as well. 

There are a few factors to consider when weighing the positives and negatives of giving baby up for adoption and choosing semi-open adoptions. There is, of course, the child, as well as you, the birth mother, and the adoptive family. Each will have different experiences as a result of this type of adoption, so it can be very helpful to review the pros and cons of semi-open adoption to be sure it’s the right type for you and your baby. 

Pros of Semi-Open Adoption for the Adoptee

  • Identity – Often, adoptees struggle with their sense of self and identity as they get older. Being able to communicate with their birth mothers, even through a third party, can help them understand who they are and where they came from.
  • Medical history – The child can maintain access to their medical history if they want to know what medical issues they might expect to have down the line.
  • Potential future relationship – A semi-open adoption allows for the possibility of the child getting to eventually meet their birth mother. If this is something the birth mother is comfortable with, it can be a very fulfilling experience for the child and provide them with a bigger support network.
  • Abandonment – Adoptees who might struggle with a sense of feeling unwanted or abandoned can set those fears aside because they can find out why they were placed for adoption, whether through our adoption agency or directly from the birth mother herself.

Pros of Semi-Open Adoption for the Birth Mother

  • Option to choose adoptive family – For birth mothers who have chosen semi-open adoption, you can have more of a say in potential adoptive families. You can provide your adoption specialist with preferences for the type of adoptive family you want your baby placed in. This can give you a sense of relief and can lessen any feelings of guilt that often accompany placing a baby for adoption, which can ultimately lead to a sense of closure.
  • Communication with privacy – If you’re working with our adoption agency, we’ll handle all communication, meaning you can maintain your privacy while still being able to pass along medical info and receive updates about your baby.
  • Potential future relationship – Just as the child can benefit from potentially having a relationship with their birth mother down the road, you can benefit as well, if it’s something you’re interested in.

Pros of Semi-Open Adoption for the Adoptive Family

  • Communication – The adoptive family can set their mind(s) at ease by being able to maintain communication with the birth mother. They can get a sense of closure and access medical information while maintaining their privacy. They also gain the opportunity to potentially build a relationship in the future, which can help them answer any questions their child may have about where they came from and why.
  • Specially chosen – Often, the knowledge that they were chosen for this child above other potential families can be an immense comfort and adds to the sense that they were meant to be a family together.

Cons of Semi-Open Adoption for the Adoptee

  • Troubled history – A sense of stability is very important for an adoptee, and sometimes their birth family might have a traumatic history. This can be very upsetting for the child, even if they don’t have contact with their birth family until they’re much older and better able to understand complex family dynamics.
  • Limited contact – Many children find the limited contact that comes with a semi-open adoption very challenging, especially when they’re young. The adoptive family can alleviate some of the stress through good communication, but the child may still struggle with the situation until they’re old or worldly enough to understand it.

Cons of Semi-Open Adoption for the Birth Mother

  • Too emotional – Depending on the circumstances of the pregnancy, sometimes even a semi-open adoption can simply be too painful for the birth mother. She may need to choose her own mental health over maintaining a connection with her baby.
  • Second thoughts – You might decide at some point that you’d prefer not to maintain contact with the adoptive family anymore. This can be an uncomfortable decision to make, and might hurt the child if they’re aware of a sudden loss of communication. 
  • Lack of closure – Some birth mothers feel closure through semi-open adoptions, but some do not. Not having that sense of closure can be distressing, as well as confusing as you struggle to navigate who and what you are in the child’s life after adoption. This kind of issue can have a negative impact on both you and the child.

Cons of Semi-Open Adoption for the Adoptive Family

  • Privacy – A semi-open adoption, while allowing for privacy and anonymity on both sides, doesn’t always stay that way. It can be uncomfortable for the adoptive family if they don’t want to stay in touch with the birth mother, which in turn can prevent them from having closure from the adoption process.
  • Obligation – The adoptive family might struggle with a sense of obligation to the birth mother, which can potentially disrupt the process of bonding with and raising their new child. 
  • Blended family – Although blended families and families outside of traditional norms are becoming more and more common, it can put additional strain on the adoptive family if the birth mother wants to be more involved later on. Figuring out how to communicate about their family to the child can be challenging and has the potential to disrupt the child’s sense of stability.

Choosing Adoption Options in Florida

Semi-open adoption is a wonderful choice to make for some people, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for everyone. That’s why it’s important to review these pros and cons and make sure you’ve reviewed your options. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure to contact your adoption specialist at Adoption Choices of Florida to go over it with them. Or if you have questions or concerns, you can still reach out to us and we’ll be happy to go over everything with you. Whatever you choose, you’re in good hands!

If you are a pregnant woman in Florida considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the adoption process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: (833) 352-3678