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What are the different types of adoption?

There are two types of adoptions: confidential (or closed) and open. Both the birth and adoptive parents have to agree on what type of adoption they will have.

In a confidential or closed adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents never know each other. Adoptive parents are given some background and medical information about the birth parents, but they never meet or talk before or after the adoption is complete.

In an open adoption, the birth parents and the adoptive parents know something about each other. They decide how much contact they’ll have both before and after the adoption. In confidential adoptions, birth parents read about different adoptive families and choose the one they like best. Neither party knows the others’ names. In adoptions that are more open, birth and adoptive parents talk over the phone and exchange first names. They might even decide to meet, usually at the adoption agency or an attorney’s office.

In some cases, birth and adoptive parents choose a completely open adoption. They know each other’s names, addresses and phone numbers. They stay in contact by visiting, calling or writing each other. They may also allow contact between the child and the birth parents.

Talk to your counselor about the type of adoption that is best for you. Do you want to help decide who adopts your child? Would you like to be able to share medical information with your child’s family? These are all things to consider when deciding what type of adoption is the best choice for you.

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