A Closer Look at Closed Adoptions

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Choosing the right type of adoption is just as important as the choice of adoption itself. This is a lifelong choice that affects all parties involved. A birthmother’s choice for an open, closed or hybrid (semi- open) adoption will impact her, her child and the adoptive parents. It is important to understand the ins and outs of each adoption type and what that looks like for everyone during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. Let’s take a closer look at a closed adoption.

A “closed adoption” refers to an adoption where birth mothers have no contact with adoptive parents and the adoptive parents have little if any information about the birth mother. This is a very private adoption choice.

What does a Closed Adoption look like for Birth Mothers?

A closed adoption choice is a choice of privacy and closure. There are several unplanned pregnancy scenarios, where a closed adoption is more beneficial to the birth mother. Birth mothers may not be able to be involved in the child’s life and selecting a closed adoption ensures that privacy.


– Sense of closure

– Privacy

– Safety for the child. In some situations a pregnancy may be from a traumatic, abusive, or toxic scenario

– Reduced fear of having to explain her choice to others


– Dealing with potential feelings of grief & guilt (feeling as though they abandoned their child)

– Dealing with denial (that they had a child and placed it for adoption)

– Unable to have any information or contact with the child if you change your mind later

What does a Closed Adoption look like for Adoptive Parents?

For adoptive parents a closed adoption can bring a sense of freedom but also a lack of information. Medical history can play a large role in future health conditions and preventative screenings.


– Family freedom

– Adoptive families are free to enjoy their family time as they please without potential complications from outside intrusions

– Eliminates potential complications of co parenting & fuzzy boundaries


– Increased fear that birth mother will change her mind

– Lack of medical history for the child

– Less control (having to rely on an agency for communication)

What does a Closed Adoption look like for Adoptive Children?

Adoptees may struggle with a closed adoption as there are many potential “cons” for them as they get older and question their family history. Unless there are protective factors going into this adoption choice, a fully closed adoption can be hard for the child to cope with later on in their lives.


– Eliminates potential complications of co parenting & fuzzy boundaries

– Protection from unstable birth parents


– Lacking answers to many questions

– No link to heritage and ancestry (Identity issues)

– No access to family medical history

– Potential struggle to find biological parents

– Dealing with abandonment (Unable to ask parents why they chose adoption)

Depending on the situation, personal circumstances and the reason for selecting adoption, a closed adoption may be the best choice for birth mother, adoptive parents and child. It’s important to understand that selecting a closed adoption is a lifelong commitment, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the adoption type that is right for you and the baby.

Understanding the differences in adoption options and deciding what’s best for you can be stressful, but the team at A Birthmother’s Choice is here to offer support and resources to help you understand and exercise your adoption rights every step of the way.

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