Closed adoption was the most common type of adoption in the United States up until the 1980s. In a closed adoption, there is no contact at all between the birth and adoptive parents during the adoption process or after the adoption placement. The agency chooses appropriate adoptive parents on behalf of the birth parents. Though the vast majority of domestic adoptions in the U.S. today are conducted through open adoption, there are still circumstances where closed adoption is preferred. Adoption is a complicated process, but the rewards of adopting a child are endless.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Understand the reasons behind closed adoption. Cases for closed adoption may include situations where the birth parents are incarcerated, abusive to the child, or addicted to drugs or alcohol. In these circumstances, the child may have been taken away from his birth parents for safety reasons. Therefore, closed adoption with no future contact with the birth parents is understandable. Most international adoptions are also closed adoptions.
Study closed adoption on adoption.com. This website has information about every aspect of the adoption process and will help you determine if you are ready to adopt a child. You can also read here about open adoption, in order to make the best choice for your family.
Consider the financial aspects of adoption. If you choose to adopt an older child through the state, the cost to you will be little or none. However, if you choose adoption of a domestic infant or international child through a private agency, the costs can be very expensive.
Contact the government agency that handles adoption in your state by visiting childwelfare.gov. Click "National Adoption Directory" in the sidebar. On the next page, pull down the name of your state. Then mark the check boxes next to any information you want. Be sure to check the box next to "Local/Regional Offices of the State (Public) Adoption Agency" to get the information about your state adoption agency.
Attend an adoption information meeting in your area to learn more about closed adoption from a state agency. You can get a list of upcoming meetings from the government adoption agency in your area. At the meeting, fill out preliminary paperwork and get the closed adoption process started.
Take part in pre-adoption classes and workshops. These classes are required to adopt through the state. They will prepare you for bringing an adopted child into your home and will give you a better idea on how the adoption process in your area works.
Complete your home study. A home study is a series of paperwork and meetings with a social worker over a period of weeks or months to ensure you are prepared to become adoptive parents. Home studies are required by law.
Get information from your agency about waiting children available for adoption. In most states, you can find bios and photographs of children waiting to be adopted on the government website. Once you have found a child you are interested in, your agency will set up a meeting with the child.
Meet with the child, and decide if you are interested in adopting him. The agency will set up the meeting in a neutral place. If all goes well, you can choose to complete the rest of the paperwork and bring the child into your home. Over the first several months after the placement, a social worker will visit periodically to make sure the adoption is going well. You will also be given counseling, guidance and other tips for making the transition a smooth one for your family and the child.
Get the adoption finalized. The court will request reports and information from the agency and the judge will enter the final decree to make the adoption of your child official. This finalization process normally takes six months after placement.