Open adoption means that the woman choosing adoption and the adoptive family know who each other are. It is everything from face-to-face visits between the woman and the family wanting to adopt, to the exchange of photos, letters, and cards. In an open adoption, the woman choosing adoption, with the help of her advocate, usually selects and interviews a prospective adoptive family. Together, they create an adoption plan that feels right for everyone.
A semi-open adoption involves sharing first names, medical histories, and other very limited, but pertinent information. The information sharing can be similar to an open adoption in that you are sharing cards, letters, or photos. However, with a semi-open adoption, the sharing is limited to non-identifying information.
Several very important factors should be considered in making the choice for open adoption. One particular factor that sometimes gets overlooked, is which option best meets the needs of the child.