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Open and Closed Adoption in Kansas: What’s Right for You?

Many women considering adoption are anxious about what will happen after they place their children with adoptive parents. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that the vast majority of adoptions were a closed, secretive affair. If you’re familiar with this part of adoption history, then it’s understandable that you would be worried about what post-placement means for you and your baby.

You may be thinking: Will I see my child again? Will I be able to watch him or her grow up? Can I still have contact with them after the adoption?

If you have any of these fears, you can rest easy. The vast majority of domestic infant placements have some degree of openness in adoption. You can have as much contact with your child and his or her family as you’re comfortable with.

But, how does open adoption work and what should you expect? We’ll be happy to answer that question and others like it in this guide to open adoptions in Kansas.

What is Open Adoption in Kansas?

In an open adoption, a prospective birth mother will have a relationship with her baby and the adoptive family through some degree of contact. Open adoption contact can occur before, during and after the adoption process. But how much contact and what is shared will always be determined by the prospective birth mother’s preferences.

The best thing about an open adoption is that it’s not set in stone. As your child grows up and circumstances change, you and the adoptive family might change the type and frequency of contact you share. When that happens, you have the freedom to work with your adoption professional to fine-tune your open adoption plan until it works for you again.

How Does an Open Adoption Work in Kansas?

Every open adoption is a little bit different, because no two adoptions are the same. Because you’re in charge, your open adoption plan is entirely up to you. You’re the only one who gets to decide how much contact you’re comfortable with.

A few things that you might decide to share in a fully open adoption in KS are:

  • Your contact information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and mail addresses
  • Pictures, letters, video chats, texts and phone calls
  • In-person visits
  • And much more

As long as you and the adoptive family are on the same page (and, thanks to your adoption professional, you will be), then you’ll be able to share as much information as you would like!

Are there Disadvantages of Open Adoption in Kansas?

Open adoptions are great, but they’re not for everyone. Some prospective birth parents feel that too much contact can make it harder for them to move on after placement. Too much openness also implies a lack of privacy, which can become an issue if boundaries are not clearly laid out ahead of time.

Before making your decision, it might be helpful to take a look at open adoption pros and cons. While there are plenty of open adoption benefits, there might not be enough to make it worth it in your situation. If you’re having trouble deciding if this path is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the open adoption agencies in KS for more information.

What Is a Closed Adoption?

The differences between a closed and open adoption are vast.

Closed adoptions used to be the norm before the 20th century. In these situations, a prospective birth mother and her child would have no contact. At that point, it was believed that this type of “clean break” in adoption was best for everyone involved.

However, after years of research and open vs. closed adoption statistics, it’s been proven time and time again that open adoptions almost always win out.

While closed adoptions affect everyone in the triad, they have the most impact on adoptees. Children who grow up in closed adoptions often struggle with their identity and sense of self. They may have a hard time reconciling being placed for adoption and have little to go on if they choose to reconnect with birth family. They may also be missing valuable medical and family history, making them feel like something is always missing. And most importantly, they may never know why they were placed for adoption.

For this reason, children who grow up in open adoptions are much happier with and proud of their adoption stories than those in closed adoptions.

Can I Still Choose a Closed Adoption in Kansas?

Yes. If you know that an open adoption isn’t right for you, then it makes sense to consider the privacy of a closed adoption. However, there are some important factors that you should consider when thinking about an open vs. closed adoption.

When you choose a closed adoption, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship will be closed forever. Thanks to modern technology and DNA registries, it’s easier than ever to find biological relatives. Although you might plan for a closed adoption now, you may actually end up in a situation where you’re unexpectedly contacted by your child years later.

In a closed adoption, you won’t receive any updates about how your child is doing or about their life with their adoptive family. You won’t see any of their important milestones, know how their life has changed, or remain a special part of their life.

If you’re thinking about choosing a closed adoption, we strongly recommend speaking to an adoption specialist first. They’ll be able to give you all the information you need, like closed and open adoption articles, to make sure that this is the right decision for you. The good news is that even if you choose a closed adoption, you still have the opportunity to choose the adoptive family for your baby and create a hospital plan that meets your needs.

Please know that you shouldn’t feel guilty for weighing a closed adoption vs. open adoption. Prospective birth mothers come from all walks of life, and you might be in a situation where closed adoption is the safest option for you.

Remember, only you know what’s best for you and your child.

Is There Something in the Middle?

If you’re unsure about an open adoption vs. closed adoption, then there’s another option for you: a semi-open adoption. With this type of adoption contact, you and the adoptive family will share non-identifying contact with one another. Most of the time, any contact that you have will be mediated by your adoption agency.

This type of adoption is great for prospective birth mothers who want to be involved in their child’s life but still want to protect their privacy. Like other types of adoption relationships, what your semi-open adoption will look like will vary based on your preferences. If you want to leave the option for more contact open later on, you can always discuss that with your adoption professional.

What’s Next?

Choosing your post-placement relationship is one of the hardest decisions that you’ll have to make as a prospective birth mother. But, you’re not alone.

If you have any other questions about the difference between open and closed adoption or about open adoptions in Kansas, please reach out to an adoption professional.