What are some common adoption terms?

Adoption is a very emotional process for the birth parents and the adoptive parents. No matter which side of the case you are on, you should make sure that you fully understand what is going throughout the case. Seeking out answers to your questions is a good step to take, but you should also go into the process with a basic knowledge of some common adoption terms.

What are open, closed and designated adoption?

Many people who are going through the adoption process will hear about different types of adoptions. Most commonly, these are closed adoption and open adoption. A closed adoption is one in which the birth parents don’t have any contact with the child. An open adoption is one in which the birth parents have some contact with the child and the adoptive parents. A designated adoption is one in which the birth parents decide who will adopt the child.

What is the adoption triangle?

The adoption triangle is a term that refers to the relationship that has been established between the adoptive child, the adoptive parents and the birth parents. This term is commonly used in open adoptions. It can also be used in other adoptions.

What is non-identifying information?

Non-identifying information is any information that is shared between the birth family and the adoptive family that doesn’t reveal who they are or how to contact them. In some cases, this can include education information or health records for the adoptive or birth parents that might be needed. This information is usually collected by the facilitator and passed along to the proper parties after all identifying information has been removed.


 FindLaw, “Glossary of Adoption Terms,” accessed April 13, 2016

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