Whether through birth or adoption, welcoming a new child into a family can be one of the most joyous occasions in life. To a certain degree, both require a certain amount of consideration, such as determining where a mother wants to give birth or with what type of adoption a family feels most comfortable. While stepparent adoptions might not have to deal with weighing the benefits of an open adoption against a closed one, many adoptive parents do face this decision during the adoption process.

An open adoption in which a birth parent retains a certain level of access to or information about his or her child has become a popular choice in Illinois and across the rest of the United States. Birth and adoptive parents typically have the opportunity to meet before a child is ever born, and birth parents can even choose the family with whom they are most comfortable raising their biological child. While the level of interaction varies from adoption to adoption, some adoptive parents send photographs of or cards from the child on holidays, while others stay in touch on a more regular basis.

Alternatively, closed adoptions may be what most people in Illinois think of in terms of adopting a child. Usually there is little-to-no contact between birth and adoptive parents, and an agency facilitates the entire process. Once the adoption has been completed, the adopted child typically will not have any access to his or her birth records or other identifying information until he or she turns 18 years old.

No two families or situations are alike, so determining which type of adoption is the most appropriate is an intensely personal decision. Although both types of adoption will generally be carried out through an adoption agency, many adoptive parents choose to seek valuable advice and guidance from their attorneys during the process. Being informed can help an adoptive family make the right decisions.

Source: FindLaw, “Open vs. Closed Adoption“, Accessed on March 10, 2015