Open Adoption, Closed, or Anonymous?

Families are surprised to learn that most adoptions today are considered “open” (around 95% of adoptions) and that is becoming true for embryo adoption, as well.

What options are available? What is the best fir for you, your matched family, and especially your child?

Direct Contact

This form of communication means you’re are in direct contact with the placing family. It is mutually agreed upon and personal contact information is exchanged. The identities of the placing family are fully known.

Pros: Children will benefit from knowing about their genetic background, family members, and medical history. They have the knowledge that if they have questions in the future, they have the resources available to seek the answers.

Cons: For some families, this is a difficult communication level to jump right into—they may find close contact to be uncomfortable at first. A direct, open relationship takes time to build, so finding a match who wants this level of communication right away may take a bit longer.

Semi-open (Mediated Communication)

In a nut shell, a semi-open adoption means communication boundaries are mutually established by both families. This can range from mediated or direct contact on a scheduled or casual basis. You are provided more information about the placing family than with an anonymous or closed adoption, with the opportunity to learn more in the future. Full identities of the placing family may or may not be fully known. This is the most common form of communication provided by adoption agencies.

Pros: Children will have access to their genetic background and medical history in the future. Semi-open adoption also allows the families to be flexible and grow into a more directly open situation should both parties mutually agree to the change.

Cons: If you are on a scheduled communication basis with the family, it can be a challenge for some to remember what was contractually agreed upon. If you are communicating through a mediated platform, it may not be possible for a quick answer to an urgent health related question of the genetic family in the event of a medical emergency.

Closed

If you choose a closed adoption, this means there is no contact with the matched family after the adoption is finalized. Placing families might request notification of a FET or birth through the agency or another mediated platform, but no further information is given or requested. You may know more information about the placing family than an anonymous adoption, but no contact information is provided.

Pros: Allows for some limited information sharing. Leaves the door open for potential communications in the future if desired.

Cons: Children are more likely to have negative emotional consequences in the future when questions about their origins cannot be fully answered.

Anonymous

If you opt for an anonymous embryo placement, this means absolutely zero contact with your matched family. Minimal details are known about the family beyond their basic characteristics and brief medical history. This also means that no identification information is provided.

Pros: Depending on the organization, there are higher number of embryos placed anonymously (usually through clinic donation programs), which may result in a faster matching time if they have embryos available.

Cons: It has been found that children born from an anonymous embryo donation (and sperm and egg donation) are more likely to have negative emotional consequences in the future. This usually stems from when questions concerning genetic origin and biology cannot be answered.

To learn more about open adoption through embryo adoption, watch our newest video here and visit EmbryoAdoption.org.