29 Oct Open Adoption
Openness in adoption refers to the amount of contact among birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adopted child. The amount of contact may vary from family to family and, within a family, may change over time. This communication may range from little or no contact; to mediated contact through a third party, anonymous email, or post office box; to ongoing communication with shared identifying information; to occasional in-person contact, holiday visits, or regular communication and visitation when all parties wish it to happen. There is not one type or degree of openness that is right for every family.
Openness in adoption has evolved over the last 25 years because of the input from adult adoptees and research by mental health professionals. Longitudinal adoption research has shown that open adoption is better for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.
Many people at the beginning of their adoption journey have never heard of or considered open adoption, and thus are often wary. It is common for prospective adoptive families and birth parents to initially have fears or concerns regarding openness (contact) with one another. It is very important that both adoptive parents and expectant parents become educated on open adoption and their options for creating an ongoing relationship that will work for all parties in the best interest of the child. Developing a relationship may help allay many of these fears.
- Are Open Adoptions Worth the Hassle? (blog)
- Open Adoption (10 min. video)
- Open Adoption: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (1 hr radio interview with experts)
- Best of the Best Children’s Books on Open Adoption
- Top Ten Tips For A Successful Open Adoption (fact sheet)
- Open Adoption in Difficult Birth Parent Situations (1 hr radio interview with experts)
Adoptive Families Magazine provides a collection of resources on open adoption from both birth families’ and adoptive parents’ perspectives. Blog topics include: what should be included in an openness agreement, working through miscommunication, and adoptive parents and birth parents accounts of adoption, among others.
If you have any questions regarding open adoption or you are ready to begin your adoption journey, contact Adoption Choices of Arizona!