Contact within an adoption falls along a continuum with open communication at one end and no contact at the other. (See Graphic) Contact can be made directly between the adoptive parents and birth family or through a mediator, like an agency caseworker or lawyer. In confidential or closed adoptions, no identifying information is exchanged. The amount of contact can be negotiated and renegotiated as the relationship and time goes forward. Some contact can be as frequent as several times a month to every few years.
An adoption that has no contact with the birth/first family of the adopted child. It also includes total confidentiality and sealed adoption records.
An adoption in which a child's birth parents and pre-adoptive parents may exchange primarily non-identifying information. After the child is placed in the adoptive home, contact with the birth family may involve letters or pictures or other communications sent through the mediator of the adoption agency or the attorney who assisted in the adoption.
An adoption that has some degree of contact between the birth/first family and the adoptive family. Contact can range from letters and phone calls to visits. Contact can occur with the families moderating it themselves or with adoption agency as a go-between.