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Written by Family Connections
on July 31, 2023

Are you considering placing your child for adoption(1)


   If you are a woman who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, we want you to know that you have options!  You can make choices for yourself and your unborn child.  You are in charge!  You have the right to make your own decisions without influence.


You can choose to parent the child.  Or you can choose to place your child into a loving adoptive home.  


Sometimes birth parents are afraid to explore adoption as a choice for an unplanned pregnancy.  Many fear that somehow they will be persuaded against their will to surrender their parental rights.  Please know that NO person (family member, friend, lawyer, judge, social worker, doctor, employer, etc) can force or coerce you into placing your baby with an adoptive family.  If anyone attempted to pressure or coerce a birth parent to place their child for adoption, it would be unethical and illegal in New York State. 


Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York adoption agency that has been supporting birth parent choice for over twenty years.  The core belief and practice philosophy of Family Connections, Inc. is that every person has the right to self-determine – to make their own choices without influence or pressure.  Any plan for adoption is made solely by the birth parent and is a voluntary act.  It can’t be stressed enough that no person can force a birth parent to place their baby in an adoptive family.  Adoption is a voluntary choice. 


Birth parents have several choices when making an adoption plan and can design a plan that best meets their and their baby’s needs.  You are in the “driver’s seat” - you have the power of choice.  Birth parents have the right to choose the type of adoption they wish for themselves and their child (e.g. confidential, semi-open, or open) and to choose the adoptive family they wish to place their child with. 


Family Connections, Inc. will explore with you your choices regarding a confidential, semi-open, or open adoption. 


Confidential Adoption:  You may choose a confidential adoption (aka closed adoption).  In a confidential adoption the identity of the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents is held in strict confidence. The adoptive family will not know the identity of the birth parent(s) and the birth parent(s) will not be told the adoptive family’s identifying information.  The birth parent may specify the characteristics of the adoptive family they wish for their child.  The birth parent may choose the adoptive family from profiles and/or meet the adoptive family; it is up to them!  If the birth parent decides not to choose the adoptive family, the adoption agency will chose an adoptive family who meets the birth parent’s criteria.  A confidential adoption guards the identity of the birth mother, birth father, child, and adoptive parents.


Semi-Open Adoption:  You may choose a semi-open adoption.  In most semi-open adoption relationships, the birth family and the adoptive family agree on what identifying information is shared.  For example, the birth family and the adoptive family may only exchange first names or the name of the town in which they live.  The adoption agency would know all of the identifying information for the birth parent and adoptive family, but would hold that information in confidence.  The birth parent may choose to pick a family for their child from family profiles or meetings with prospective adoptive parents.  The birth parent(s) and adoptive family may or may not develop a relationship with each other prior to and/or after the birth of the child (based upon the wishes of the birth parent).   The birth parent may or may not request post adoption contact (e.g. pictures/letters regarding the child’s growth).  Any post adoption contact requested by the birth parent would be maintained through a third party such as an adoption agency.  The wishes of the birth parent determine the degree of openness.


Open Adoption:  You may choose an open adoption.  Open adoption relationships are unique to each adoption triad (birth parent – adoptive parent – child) and vary greatly.  The level of openness with the adoptive family depends upon the choices of the birth family.   Most open adoptions are characterized by:

  • the birth parent(s) meeting and choosing the family for their child
  • the sharing of identifying information between the birth and adoptive family
  • the development of a relationship between the birth family and adoptive parents prior to the child’s birth (if possible), and
  • the maintenance of a relationship between the birth parent, adoptive parents, and adopted child throughout the child’s childhood through pictures, letters and visits.  


The overwhelming majority of birth parent(s) choose the adoptive family for their child.  You can specify the characteristics that are important to you an adoptive family.  You may designate:

  • The religion of the adoptive parents
  • Type of family (two-parent family, traditional stay-at-home mom, two career couple, same sex couple, single parent, childless couple, multi-child family)
  • Racial composition of the family
  • Education level of adoptive parents
  • Age of adoptive parents
  • Financial status of family
  • Place of residence (city, suburban, rural)
  • Any other characteristic important to the birth parent


Again, like all other aspects of adoption, your choice of a family will not be influenced by your adoption agency, counselor, lawyer, judge, doctor, etc.  The decision belongs to you!


Adoption is a choice and a birth parent has many choices.  Family Connections, Inc., can provide birth families guidance and support as they consider all of their options.  Family Connections, Inc.would be happy to explore your adoption options with you. All services are free and all conversations are confidential.  Please contact us at 607-756-6574 or dan@adoptfamilyconnections.org.


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