Types of Adoption
There are several degrees of openness, and often, these are erroneously referred to as "open" adoption; however, they are actually less than fully open and range from an exchange of names between placing and adopting parents, to regular exchanges of letters and photos, either directly or through a third party.
In every adoption with any degree of openness, it is important that placing and adopting parents and family have the same understanding of what “open” means and that they remain committed to meeting the needs of the child throughout the child's life.
Semi Open Adoption
Semi-open adoption doesn't usually involve any post-placement face-to-face visitation. The children involved don't normally have any direct communication with their biological parents. Like closed adoption, once a child reaches the age of majority in their state, they have the option of searching for or being searched for by their biological family. However, unlike closed adoption, those involved in a semi-open adoption usually have access to some basic information which can assist in the search process.
The term closed adoption is most often used in relation to post-adoption contact, whereas the term sealed records is related to the access of legal documentation surrounding the birth and placement of the adopted child once the adoption has become final. It is entirely possible to have a closed adoption and unsealed records or an open adoption with sealed records. The two practices are not mutually exclusive.
In closed adoption, the adoption professionals involved will usually choose the adopting parents for the child. It is important to remember that having a closed adoption does not guarantee that once a child reaches the age of majority in your state he or she will not seek out and reunite with their biological families or that the biological family will not seek and reunite with the child that was placed. The closed or open adoption agreements made between the parties of an adoption at the time of the child's birth only stay in force until the child reaches the legal age in which he or she can make decisions for his or her own self.