Twenty years ago, it was almost assumed your adoption would be a closed adoption. The birthmom would select an agency, but generally had limited contact with the adoptive family itself. After the birth, the baby would be placed in the custody of an agency, lawyer, or foster care/temporary care until the adoption could take place.
Today, some level of contact with the birthfamily is more of the norm. In semi-open adoptions, the birth family and adoptive family may exchange non-identifying information, and stay in contact through their agency or attorney. In today's world, this contact may also include a private Facebook page or blog that is set up as a way to give and receive updates. In open adoption, contact after birth may include visits in addition to the letters and photo updates.
Open adoption has gained in popularity over the years, and it has many benefits. According to iheartadoption, these benefits include advantages for the birthmom, the adoptee, and the adoptive family:
Benefits of Open Adoption
How it benefits the birthmother: The selfless act of placing your child for adoption is a conscious decision to give your child the best life possible. Therefore, choosing open adoption enables you to take control of your situation. Moving forward, it is the ongoing, open relationship that enables you to heal as you see that your child is loved and cared for.
How it benefits the adoptee: Open adoption provides answers to questions like, "Who do I look like?" and, "Why was I given up?" If your child knows who you are, it will be much easier for him/her to develop an identity and understand the reasons for being adopted.
How it benefits the adoptive parents: Meeting you and getting to know you before the birth helps them develop trust and understanding. Being selected by you makes them feel entitled to parent, and for that they are honored and humbled. Having ongoing contact over the years is reassuring for them because they can always contact you with questions regarding medical history, etc...
Many agencies will let you designate what level of openness you are comfortable with, which will help them send your profile to birthmoms that desire the same level. When deciding how open you want the adoption to be, you should make sure to only agree to what you are actually comfortable with and what you will actually do. There are many myths about open adoption, do some research before making your decision.
Books that may help in your research:
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