Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Are My Adoption Options?

When it comes to adoptions, there are many choices that are available to both the adoptive families and the birth families. Some of the choices include open, semi-open and closed adoptions, international adoptions, new born adoptions, special needs adoptions, foster adoptions, embryo adoptions, agencies and independent adoptions. There is an extensive list of possibilities that families can choose from. There are also legalities that surround adoptions; laws that can vary from state to state, country to country when adopting internationally, sealed and unsealed records, and even families bringing in attorneys during the lengthy process.

For an introduction to open adoptions, please see the video provided from YouTube below from The Adoption Center of San Diego.

Introduction to Open Adoption

Closed adoption is the process in which the adoptive families and birth parents do not meet and have minimum to no contact with each other. The families will also know very little information on the other family. Although most international adoptions are considered closed, birth parents do have “some very basic information about the birth parents such as medical history, ethnicity and cultural information” and it has become the exception. However, an adoptive child may choose to search for his/her birth parents at the legal age in which he/she can make a decision.

International adoption is exactly what the word international implies. Adoptive families and birth families are from all corners of the earth. However, there are more hurdles in this process. The laws of the country in which you plan to adopt your child from are observed; additionally, documents and translation of said documents must also be completed. When an adoptive family is considering an international adoption, some things to consider could include race and medical needs in addition to their age and gender. Some of the laws surrounding international adoption include:

• If you want to adopt from Korea, you cannot weigh more than 30% over the normal weight for your height when you work with certain agencies.
• If you are single, male or female, forget about adopting from Armenia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka (among others). No single adoptive parents allowed.

Surrounding the adoption process, the family dynamics are changed. Upon the completion of an adoption, families’ now have to divide resources differently. If an infant is adopted, things such as diapers, formula, bottles, clothes, and education are added to expenses. Will the family decide to relocate to a different neighborhood because of schooling options? Will the family begin saving for the child’s college education or pay for college when the time comes? All these factors change the mental and emotional state of the family unit.

1. If you are considering adoption in your future as a parent, which method would you choose?
Open? Closed? International? Other?

2. What are your thoughts surrounding some of the laws and requirements surrounding international adoptions? Do you think they should be kept, amended, or abolished?

What Are the Different Types of Adoption

Posted by Nancy Chen, Kendall Eifler, Cassandra Knox, Jessica Powell, and Courtney Vataha


  1. I think that the decision between open and closed adoption can be a very difficult one for parents. On one hand, they want the process of assimilation to be as smooth as possible, and they might feel that an open adoption would interfere with that. On the other hand, they may feel like they are cheating the child or birth parents out of an important relationship if they chose a closed adoption. If I was adopting, I would probably chose to leave the decision to the birth parents. They can decide what kind of involvement is right for them. Since they gave me the gift of a child, I feel like I would owe them this decision and courtesy.

  2. It has been really interesting reading about adoption, because one of the things you hear all the time is how there is practically a waiting list in the United States for infants to adopt. Parents are put on lists and wait anxiously for huge stretches of time because they desire so badly to have a baby from birth that was born to a family similar in culture, race, or ethnicity to them. I completely understand, especially for couples who have been struggling with infertility, that adoption is a way to have a child that can be as much yours as one you gave birth to - and as result people are searching for the most similar situation to what would have been the case if they had gotten pregnant themselves.
    However, from a personal point of view, I think especially after researching, if I was going to adopt I would want to do it for different reasons. I would love to adopt even if I had kids already or could in the future, with the intention of giving a child a home who wouldn't have one otherwise. In this case, I would probably go with international adoption because as expensive as it can be, as crazy as some of the loop holes might be, and as difficult as family assimilation might be, I think it would be so rewarding that these things would cancel out. And in terms of closed or open, I would ideally love a child who is already in foster care, a little older, and in that case I would want my child to be abel to explore their family history in the future if they so desired.

  3. I have almost no knowledge about adoptions, but I know people who were adopted and I've seen documentories as well as entertainment shows/movies about it. I don't know if I could say with certainty what type of adoption I'd go with if I was adopting a child, there is so much to consider and many more people are effected than just the child, birth, and adoptive parents. If I the means and the opportunity to adopt a child now, I think I'd consider either any type of adoption. It really depends on the circumstances.

    As for the adoption laws, again, I don't know that much, but I know that many of them are in place to protect everyone involved in the adoption process. I'm sure that some of the laws are too old and should be changed, but I don't know if a complete overhaul of everything will ever be an option.

  4. Thank you everyone for choosing a topic that I have such an interest in. I’ve always found the social factors of adoption very interesting, especially the different ups and downs from the different types of adoption such as open, closed and international. Even though adopting a child is something that would be very far off into the future for me it something that I have considered before. I’ve considered it because I’d want to be able to help a child who wouldn’t otherwise have a good family and give them a chance at a secure life. International adoption could do that by taking a child from an economically depressed country and bringing them to a place where they could be more privileged and have better opportunities. Though I do understand that it can be very difficult to be able to assimilate to a new culture. Open adoption does sound the best ideally because it gives the child a happy home while at the same time making their birth roots not a mystery. Though I know that some adoptive parents would not want that because they would not want any of their parental influence on their child taken away. In my answer on what I would chose I restate my earlier sentence saying that I’d adopt to take a child out of a bad situation on give them a stable life, and I believe that each of these adoption methods can do that in their own way by situation, so I would chose the situation that would give the child the best chance for a good life possible.
    From reading over the laws the surround international adoptions I do believe that some should abolished such as the law that no single males or females can adopt from countries such as Armenia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. All though two family households can at times be optimal one parent willing to provide love and stability is better than none.