6. Open or closed adoption? How do you choose? Pros/cons of each
Increasingly in the US, domestic adoptions are open. Studies have shown that open adoption is beneficial to all members of the adoption triad (adoptees, adoptive family, birth family). Some closed adoptions do still occur. A majority of international adoptions are closed. Foster-adoptions tend to be closed due to the nature of TPR being involuntary, but open foster-adoptions do occur.
If you're planning on adopting domestically, you'll likely be expected to have some level of openness. Soapbox time!
Openness in adoption is NOT co-parenting. And it can mean a LOT of different things. On the semi-open side, it can mean letters and pictures sent to birth families, through a third party, on a set schedule (eg, once per year). On the very open side, it can mean visiting often and knowing each other's last names, addresses, and visiting each other's homes. And there are lots of in-betweens: a couple of visits a year at a neutral location, exchanging e-mails and texts but no visits, etc.
The best way to decide is to research what open adoption really means and if it's something that could work for your family.
Birth family knows their child is happy, healthy, and lovedAdoptive family has a resource for questions their child may have about their backgroundChild has a connection to their biological family, which can be helpful emotionally as well as knowing medical history, etc.
If the birth family is unstable (drugs, violence, imprisonment), open adoption may be harmful to all involvedNot really a con, but expectations should be set on some level so that everyone is on the same page as to the level of openness and how often contact will occur