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Learning more about adoption classification in California

When a parent chooses to put a child up for adoption, he or she has three different options to choose from. The parent can choose to engage in an open adoption, a closed adoption or a semi-open adoption. In a closed adoption, the adopting parents and the birth parents do not know who the other party is. While they may have some information about each other, no identifying information is provided.

In an open adoption, both sides know the first and last names of the other party. They will often exchange letters and photos either directly or through the agency that handled the adoption. It is somewhat common for a semi-open adoption to transition to a fully open adoption if both parties agree to make that transition. In a semi-open adoption, the parties may know each other on a first-name basis and meet on an infrequent basis. They may also decide to send pictures of letters through the adoption agency.

During the adoption process, the agency should give an objective description of all three adoption scenarios. If the agency tries to steer the parties toward only one type of adoption, it may be a good idea to look at another organization. Finally, birth parents and adoptive parents should ask how an agency defines an open or closed adoption to ensure everyone knows what they are doing.

Parents who are looking to go through the adoption process process may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. Legal counsel may be able to help a parent choose an adoption scenario that meets that parent's needs.

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