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Open Adoption Information

What Is Open Adoption

An Open Adoption occurs when Birthparents and Adoptive Parents share identifying information and contacts. Open Adoptions are informally practiced and are not legally enforceable. The level of openness can vary and is unique with every adoption. Adoptive families and birthparents can be in contact through letters, pictures, email, phone calls, text messages, online blogs or visits. Each family needs to evaluate their preference for what level of openness is best for them. “Adoptive family relationships, like all family relationships, are constantly changing, and open arrangements will evolve and develop as the child and the families grow” (Berry, M. Risks and Benefits of Open Adoption, 1993).

An Open adoption does not mean co-parenting. A birthmother doesn't want to overstep boundaries and interfere with parenting. With our counselors help, birthmothers have discussed and evaluated the possibility of parenting and have chosen to make an adoption plan. Birthmothers love their children immensely and want what is best for them. Boundaries between birthparents and adoptive parents are not blurred; in fact they are very clear and not confusing to the child.

BENEFITS OF AN OPEN ADOPTION

Adoptees

  • A clear sense of identity
  • Higher self-confidence
  • Understanding why they were placed for adoption
  • Immediate answers and access to information and personal history
  • Reduced sense of abandonment
  • Reassurance about birthparents’ love
  • Contact to biological siblings (if any)
  • Birthmother is not an abstract concept, but a concrete reality
  • No need to fantasize or search for birth family

Birthparents

  • Continue and maintain relationship with child
  • Cope with feelings of grief associated with sense of loss much more quickly and easily
  • Reduced feelings of guilt about placing the child for adoption
  • Develop a positive relationship with adoptive family, who can become part of her extended family network
  • Feel reassured and comforted from knowing the child is safe and thriving
  • Able to offer reassurance to child that he / she was placed for adoption out of love

Adoptive Parents


  • Will become familiar with the birthmother –trust and understanding of one another develops
  • Ongoing access to information (social and medical history from birth family)
  • Reduced fear of the unknown and reduced concern about birthmothers intention
  • Develop positive relationship with birthmother, who can become part of the extended family

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