Adoption Plans: Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption




At Your Options Medical, our job is to educate each patient on the truth about each of their three legal pregnancy options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. Many of our patients are hesitant to discuss adoption as there seem to be some negative connotations surrounding adoption. Today, we will discuss some of the laws and regulations surrounding adoption and comparing the two different styles of adoption plans: Open Adoption and Closed Adoption.

***PLEASE NOTE: All the laws discussed in this blog post reflect the state laws of Massachusetts. If you want more information regarding the laws surrounding adoption in your state, click here for a state by state guide.


First, let’s define some adoption terms in alphabetical order:

Adoption Agency

An organization licensed to facilitate legal adoptions servicing both the mother placing for adoption and the parents planning to adopt.

Adoption Plan

The plan created by the birth mother to place her child for adoption.

Adoptive Parents

The mother and/or father that legally adopts the child.

Birth Mother

The biological mother of the child.

Closed Adoption

An adoption plan that involves closed or sealed records.

Open Adoption

An adoption plan that involves some type of involvement between the adopted child and his birth mother.

Next, let’s discuss the differences between open adoption and closed adoption:

Open Adoption

There are two types of adoption under this header: Open Adoption and Semi-Open Adoption. In both cases, the birth mother is able to select the family she would like to allow to adopt her child. She has the option of meeting the family before any final decisions are made regarding placing her child with a particular family.

In an open adoption, the birth mother decides how many contacts she would like with her child after placement. She can determine how often she would like to receive updates and photos of her child and how they will communicate. With semi-open adoption, the contact between birth parents and adoptive parents must be done through the agency. The birth mother can decide how often she would like to receive updates and pictures, but all communication is done through the agency.

Closed Adoption

With a closed adoption, the birth mother gives an adoption agency permission to select a family for her child. No identifying information is given as the mother has decided not to continue contact with her child after placement.

Whether a mother chooses an open or closed adoption, she is in control. She selects which plan she would like and what suits her needs best. Many women choose an open or semi-open adoption plan to ensure that they will still have a role in their child’s life after placement. Often times, adoptive parents welcome the birth mother to be a part of their family and may even become very close. If you or someone you know might be pregnant and want to discuss your options or learn more specifically about adoption, schedule an appointment today.


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