“Open Adoptions” vs. “Closed Adoptions”
People will often refer to an adoption as being either an “open adoption” or a “closed adoption”. Basically, the difference is whether or not the child’s birthparent(s) retain some rights to contact with the child or rights to receive information about the child.
A closed adoption generally means that the birthparents do not retain any visitation or contact rights with the adopted child. In contrast, an open adoption generally means that the birthparents retain certain visitation rights with the adopted child.
In the past, almost all adoptions were closed. More recently, the trend has been towards more open adoptions. Whether an adoption is open or closed will depend on the wants and needs of both the birthparents and the adoptive parents. If the adoption is open, the amount and nature of the visitation rights retained by the birth parents will depend on an agreement between the adoptive parents and the birth parents. The terms of that agreement are usually incorporated into a formal document which is made part of the court’s Judgment of Adoption and become an order of the Court.