Pros and Cons of Closed Adoption
Adoption is not an easy choice to come to, and deciding on what type of adoption you want is even more challenging. If you’re considering adoption, you’re probably weighing all of your options evenly. While a closed adoption is not particularly common in the modern world, it’s not unheard of. Adoption is not for everyone. Likewise, open adoption is not for everyone. Some situations just don’t lend themselves to open adoption. It’s important that you understand all of the pros and cons of a closed adoption from all sides before making a choice.
Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you with information and answers to all of your questions during this difficult time. You are not alone, and we want to help you make an educated decision.
Pros of Closed Adoption for the Birth Mother
Any adoption type means you get to keep living your life child-free. Adoption allows you to continue your education, travel, or live a secluded life on a country farm with lots of goats. A closed adoption could open your schedule a bit more since you won’t have any communication obligations with the adoptive family and baby.
- Emotional Closure
Open adoption can be too emotionally painful for a lot of parents. The feeling of losing someone and trying to grieve for them while they’re still around is a high mental hurdle to jump on its own. Also, being in contact with that person adds a few spikes to the top of the hurdle. A closed adoption could be better for you mentally and make it easier to get closure and move forward.
- Safety and Privacy
It may be obvious, but if you need to keep your pregnancy and adoption a secret from people in your life, closed adoption can give you that. If you’re in a toxic, unsafe, or abusive situation, keeping that secret with a closed adoption is easier.
- Less Effort
Don’t discount this benefit as being too selfish or lazy. Trying to maintain a bond with an adoptive family takes a lot of mental effort. When you already struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues keeping up relationships and friendships can be hard enough. Keeping up with a relationship that comes with old wounds can be unfathomable. In any case, it’s okay to be selfish. You should be selfish sometimes. It’s good for you.
Pros of Closed Adoption for the Adoptive Parents
Similar to the birth mother, closed adoption can make it easier to find closure for the adoptive parents. When the adoption process is over, they can close that chapter and move forward.
- Parenting Freedom
In a closed adoption, the adoptive parents can benefit from not having to worry about co-parenting. They are free to parent without any potential pressure from another outside parent.
- Clear Lines
With a closed adoption, the agreements are pretty clear cut. There is no room for miss communications, misinterpretations, or trying to navigate fuzzy lines.
Pros of Closed Adoption for the Adoptee
- Protection and Privacy
While closed adoption doesn’t have a lot of benefits for children if there are dangerous people, the child might be exposed to; otherwise, closed adoption protects them and gives them privacy.
Cons of Closed Adoption for the Birth Mother
- Emotional Challenges
Not getting updates about how the baby is doing can be rough. Additionally, dealing with guilt and shame are common for birth mothers in a closed adoption. Without contact, you may not get the assurance that what you did was for the best.
You may deal with regret as time goes on. Closed adoptions are complicated to open once they’re closed, especially if the files are sealed. Similarly, it’s tough for adoptees to contact birth parents even once they are of legal age.
- Anonymity isn’t Certain
Even if your child’s adoption files are sealed in a closed adoption, it may be harder to remain private in today’s age of at-home DNA kits, social media, and public records. It’s easier than ever to trace relatives and track you down, even if you don’t want to be found.
Cons of Closed Adoption for Adoptive Parents
- Limited Information
Since closed adoptions do not allow for sharing personal information, it may be difficult or impossible for the adoptive parents to get important information, like medical and mental history.
Some adoptive parents might experience feelings of guilt for not being able to answer questions about the birth mother. Again, since neither side can access information about the other, adoptees won’t get to know what their biological parents were like, or even what they look like.
- Missed Opportunity for a Relationship
In open relationships, the birth mother and the adoptive parents tend to have close relationships and act as additional support systems for each other. In a closed adoption, adoptive parents can feel like they missed an opportunity to be close with their child’s biological parents.
Cons of Closed Adoption for Adoptees
- Self Identity Problems
Since they grow up not knowing their background, adoptees can face a lot of mental health and identity issues. Without answers to where they came from, it can be hard for them to form their sense of self and personality in a healthy way. They never get the chance to embrace their culture and heritage because they don’t know it.
- Feelings of Abandonment
Without answers, adoptees can feel like they were abandoned and unwanted. They don’t get the chance to ask and understand why they were put up for adoption.
- Missed Connections
Adoptees miss out on the opportunity for a relationship with their birth mother in closed adoptions. Oftentimes, children of adoption say their relationship with their biological mother is the most unique benefit of being in an open adoption. However, in a closed adoption, they don’t get the opportunity for that connection.
Pros and Cons of Closed Adoption
Understanding how everyone involved is affected by adoption is important. Everyone will encounter different pros and cons of a closed adoption. Closed adoption can often be either completely written off immediately or automatically assumed to be the best option without much consideration from either side. Typically open adoption is the most healthy and beneficial adoption type for the birth mother, adoptive parents, and the baby. However, your situation may not be conducive to open adoption, or you just don’t want an open adoption; and that’s okay! Understand that you have choices, and you should trust yourself and your decisions.
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years’ experience as a freelance writer, and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”