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Closed versus Open Adoption

Week 6, Exercise 2

Research Paper

English 141

April 22, 2012

Society has gone through changes but many of the foundations of the adoption system are

related to how the world was. The matter in which children are adopted is still based on

primitive ideas of the past. Forty years ago, the idea of a single mother was an unthinkable

and shameful situation. Women were expected to be proper and wait for marriage before

making love to a man. The social opinions were important and life altering at that period.

Society has conformed to a less conserivative outlook over the past years. The opinions of

other people is not relevant in the twenty first century, people do as they please with no

concern of others judgments. Along with the change of how people think, a change in the

system should be required. In the past closed adoption was used to protect the birth mother’s

name and not bring shame to the baby. In this new time woman, more often give up a baby

because of money issues or age, not for the fear of gossip. All adoptions should be performed

in an open adoption system. Open adoption provides a solution to the emotion distress

involved in adoption and has more good aspects then that of closed adoption.

Closed adoption is an impersonal trade-off of a new born from the birth mother to a doctor or

lawyer then passed to its new adoptive family. There is no interaction between adoptive

parents and birthparents, making the situation cold and worrisome. The

birth mother does not know the fate of her child, whether he or she will be treated well, or that

these people are the right people to raise her child. Questions will arise for the woman who

gave away a piece of herself but no reassuring answers are given in the closed adoption

system. In the process, there is a mediator, or a person who is the only contact for the

adoptive parents to find out information. Anything that the adoptive parents needed to know

is relay through a social worker or lawyer depending on how the adoption is taking

place. When the baby is born, this ‘middle person’ will inform the adoptive

parents and arrange the time and location for pick-up. In this situation, it seems as though

there is being an exchange of a lifeless object, which is why closed adoption is not a healthy

adoption system for children.

Children who are adopted using the closed adoption style are left with multiple questions. The

adoptive children have a lack of identity and are kept in the dark regarding where they came

from. “The search for identity is an essential, inescapable part of life. As children, we ask our

parents questions about where we came from, who we look like, why we’re short or blond or

freckled (Goldstein 2005) . The way that the closed adoption system works prevents the child

from contact with or even obtaining information about his or her birth parents. As children

grow up and become more conscious of life they wonder, why things are a certain way and

how or where did they come about existing. The multiple questions create a difficult

atmosphere for the adoptive parents. There is no easy way to approach the issue of adoption

with a child that feels it was abandon because it was ugly or bad. Adoptive

parents in a closed adoption do not have the ability to answer those pressing questions, which

causes even more confusion for the child. A child who has no answers to their own

background will create their own past, there parents could be movie stars or an evil family

who did not love him or her, the imagination is endless.

Everyone involved in a closed adoption gets hurt; it is a harsh, unnecessary system. In open

adoption the processes involves the two families working together. The birthmother in an

open adoption is able to choose or evaluate who she wants to take care of her baby. A mother

wants to make sure that her child will be properly taken care. Similar people would be the

best bet for choosing adoptive parents. Birthmothers’ picking the future family is a new

adoption concept, but it solves a few problems involved in closed adoption.

The contact between families helps benefit the child’s future. Through researches that have

taken place some supportive evidence has been discovered, “children who had contact with

birthparents were rated more favorably in terms of behavior by their adoptive parents then

children who had no contact with birth parents.. In open adoption, the birth

parents have a chance to be a part of their baby’s life for as long and as often as they choose

Both families decided on the amount of contact that there would be between the

baby and his or her birth parents. The emotional stability and combined support from both

families create the best adoption system.

There are multiple options for families today who cannot deal with the stresses of a new child

unexpected child or do not have the money. Adoption is an old process that provides a

solution to a complicated situation. It is a way to help the birthmother give her child a decent

future. The choices that the birthmother makes will affect the child’s life. Adopted children

have the right to know who they are and where they came from. More importantly, they need

to know their birthparents’ family medical history so they can be aware of any types of illness

that they may be prone to run in the family. Open adoption is a way to keep communication

with all of the parties involved in the adoption, making the situation aware and not hidden

away like a dark secret. The open adoption provides more answers and comfort for a growing

child, which helps all those involved in the adoption. Children are the main concern during

the adoption processes and children benefit most in an open adoption.

Open adoption is often presented as the perfect solution, but it isn't the best choice for every

situation. And although it's often a good thing, it can be difficult. Some birth families may

struggle with knowing how they fit into the big picture. Adoptive families may struggle with

knowing how to incorporate two sets of parents. While one set of parents are active in the child’s

life, the other set gave them life and brings a sense of stability and roots. If parents make

promises to stay in touch and don’t a lot of times there is disappointment. Open adoptions let the

child understand why they were adopted instead of them fantasizing why they were. They

understand why they have green eyes and black hair for instance. Most adoptive kids birth

certificates were taken away from them and were sealed, leaving them with not even a name.

Some kids were not even given a race, whether they were black or white. We should not deny a

child of their heritage. They have the right to it. If the open adoption were put into place it would

allow every kids over the age of eighteen to decide whether they want to see their birth records.

Those whose records were closed would be open upon request. It would also allow special

adopted kids to keep with them memories they carry from previous associations. Those who

want adoption open have already begun forming agencies to help find their lost ones. They have

to pay hundreds of dollars just to find their birth parents. Some even get scammed out of money.

Should it have to be taken this far; is a birth certificate and some information from the company

they were adopted from too much to ask? No one should have to resort to this. Adoptee’s do not

want to disturb their birth parents lives. They just want answers. Should they have to learn that a

deadly disease is inherited through their family by being diagnosed, knowing that it could have

been treated earlier if known. In order to continue to keep in the best interest of the child the

community must keep aware of the ongoing effects society has on adopted kids. Open Adoption

is not a plan to cure all the problems that exist with adoptions, though it helps all parties involved

to handle the situation in a healthier way. Adoption has undergone many changes and we must

continue to fight for the child’s right. In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our

heritage, to know who we are, and where we have come from. Without this knowing

knowledge, there is a bad yearning; no matter what our goals are in life, there is the most

disquieting. Finally, whether adoptions are open or closed adoptins, we have to remember the

childres are the most important in these adoption, It doesn’t matter if the adoption is open or



..."Openness in Adoption." 2003. Web. 22 Nov. 2009

Goldstein, Jennifer, ed. CosmoGirl! Nov. 2005: 100+. Web. 22 April. 2012.

"Open or Closed Adoption: Pros of Each." Divorce andFamily Law Center, 2009. Web. 22 April. 2012.

Stephenson, Mary. "Gone Too Soon." Pact Press 01 Jan. 1998: 32. Web. 22 April. 2012. .

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