Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption

Many children are adopted each year, and with these children being adopted there are adoptions. There are many forms of adoption used throughout the world, but the biggest forms of adoption are closed adoption and open adoption. Open adoptions are adoptions in which the birthmother, the biological mother of an adoptee, is allowed contact with the adoptee. Closed adoption is an adoption where the birthmother of the adoptee is not present in the child’s life in any way shape or form. The birth family is completely cut off and cannot give or receive any information regarding their welfare or the adoptee’s.
Closed adoptions are a better option than open adoption and should be mandatory because it would prevent confusion the child may face, allow children to actually fit into their adoptive family, provide privacy and closure and protect families from unstable birthparents. Having multiple sets of parents creates confusion in a family, and mostly for the child. “Adoption was created out of the recognition that children need to feel secure about who their parents are and what their parent’s role is” (Harnack 84). This is what’s best for the child in most if not all adoptions.
The child needs to know who exactly is their parent, not a birthparent but the adoptive parent. Adoptive parents are permanent and a child may not grasp that idea with a tentative parent; the birth parent. When a child does not know who their parent is, it creates trouble. The child may even seek out trouble. Children are developing and such an unstable family creates really harsh developmental issues within the adoptee. All children need to know who their parents are and be able to trust that their parents are not going to leave them. Having a birth parent around makes things difficult for everyone, but most importantly the adoptee. The adoptee may have a reduced ability to assimilate into family-Interaction with the birth family may make it harder for the child to assimilate into the adoptive family” (“Open Adoption: Disadvantages”). This is one of many examples of how adoptive families are not as whole and full as they could potentially be because of problems with the birth parent. The feeling of rejection from a birthmother can seriously impact the intellectual growth and development of an adoptee. A recent interview of an adoptee provided more evidence and demonstrated how the privacy provided with a closed adoption would give the adoptive parents more closure.

The fourteen year old adoptee learned about her closed adoption ten years ago when she was four, her parents wanted to wait to tell her until she was eighteen but the adoptee found out through another family member. So then the adoption became open allowing the adoptee contact with her birth mother. “Now,” said the adoptee “I speak with my birthmother more than I do my mom” (Anonymous). Her birthmother being a big part of her life, the adoptee is losing her relationship with her adoptive parents. Her adoptive parents feel that if the birthmother wasn’t so intrusive in their lives that they would have a better relationship with their daughter.
This is why the closure and privacy involved in a closed adoption is so critical. Although there are so many benefits in a closed adoption some people still argue that open adoption is not completely the worst option in some cases. Among those arguing are adoptees who develop clinical illnesses in their lifetime. One thing a doctor may ask when a patient is diagnosed with a disease is for medical history. An adoptee in a closed adoption does not have access to their medical history, that information is sealed at a court house as with the contact information of the birthfamily.
In some cases the birth family is contacted and refuses to give up the vital information that would be beneficial in the treatment of a patient. “When an adoptee is denied medical information… he may feel like and adult who has no rights whatsoever” (Eldridge 269). An open adoption would ensure a medical history and prevent the scandal of being without, but this positive factor of open adoption does not outweigh the benefits of the closed adoption. One of those benefits includes escaping the risk of “an unstable birthparent [who] could cause problems” (Adamec).
Many times adoptions occur because the birthparent is unsuited to raise the child. This includes birthparents who abuse drugs, are unemployed or even felonious. Unstable birthparents provide bad examples for adoptees and much of the time influence adoptees. Children have very malleable minds; this is why it is so easy for children to learn. They pick up traits and learn bad habits through the time they spend with their birthparents. There have also been worse cases, for example there are cases where birthparents kidnap the adoptee.
The adoptive parents and the adoptee should never have to face the stress or trauma an unstable birth parent would cause. Open adoption has become conventional, almost a standard for adoptions. Closed adoptions are almost unheard of in this day and age. One would think with all the benefits of a closed adoption it would be the standard, but such is not the case. Closed adoptions are a better option because it helps adoptees to actually fit into their adoptive family, helps prevent confusion in an adoptee, provides privacy and closure, and protect the adoptive families from unstable birthfamilies.
Work Cited Adamec, Christine. “”Open” or “Closed” Adoption? ” Family Education. Pearson Education, Inc. , 2004. Web. 23 Feb. 2013. <http://life. familyeducation. com/adoption/birth-parents/45775. html>. Anonymous. Personal interview. 22 February 2013. Eldridge, Sherrie. Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. New York: Dell Publishing, 1999. Print. Harnack, Andrew. Adoption Opposing Viewpoints. Miami: San Val Incorporated, 1995. Print. “Open Adoption: Disadvantages. ” American Pregnancy Association. N. p. , Oct. 2008. Web. 7 Feb. 2013. <http://americanpregnancy. org>.

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