by Yvonne Haase, LMHC
November is National Adoption Month. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many who have expanded their family through this amazing process. Although a family’s reasons for choosing adoption may vary, from having fertility problems to simply having a passion for adoption, one thing is for certain: many families are opening their hearts and homes to adoption.
No matter the reason, families typically share one question in common: What type of adoption is right for my family? Many families who begin the adoption process are unaware that there are different types of adoptions to choose from, and that adoptive parents can be matched with birth parents who are interested in the same type of adoption.
It is important for families to consider the needs of their family prior to beginning the adoption process. There is no right or wrong choice, but rather what aligns with your family’s needs and values.
Closed adoptions – This is the most traditional type of adoption, however, it is declining in popularity. In closed adoptions, there is no disclosure to the birth parents of any identifying information regarding the adoptive parents. Typically, third parties such as adoption agencies, rather than the birth parents, choose the adopting family. This is the style that comes to mind for many people when they think of adoption, but adopting families and birth parents now have more open styles to choose from.
Semi-open adoptions – Many families, both adoptive and birth, report feeling most comfortable with this type of adoption. In this type, the birth parent selects the adopting family, and they typically meet prior to the birth of the baby. The families often spend some time together getting to know each other, but do not exchange identifying information such as last names, addresses or telephone numbers. They may exchange correspondence after the adoption, such as letters and/or pictures, however this is handled through a third party such as an adoption agency or an attorney.
Open adoptions – It should be understood that open adoptions will vary with each family as they establish the guidelines for themselves. Birth parents will choose the family in this type of adoption and often exchange personal information such as last names and telephone numbers. Contact with the adoptive family is more liberal in this type, and many open adoption cases will allow for visitation after the adoption is finalized.
If you are still unsure as to what type of adoption you would be most comfortable with, counseling is available to provide you more detailed information. No matter the style you choose, adoption can be a powerful way to complete your family, and with choices that align with your family’s needs and values, the adoption process is even easier.
Yvonne Haase, LMHC is a psychotherapist, certified DISC facilitator and communication specialist, qualified parenting coordinator, member of the Florida Adoption Council, and The American Psychological Association. She specializes in couples and families in transition. She provides Infertility Evaluations, Adoption Home Studies, and Couples Retreats. Haase is the Clinical Director of the International Holistic Center (IHC), a boutique center that fuses conventional and non-conventional therapies to address problems at the core, not just the symptoms. She is also the co-director of Suits, Stilettos and Lipstick, the women’s division of IHC.
For information or to schedule an appointment, call 954-903-9426 or visit IHCHealthFusion.com. See ad page 32.