Adoption practice has become more open in the past 3 or 4 decades to become more open in recognition that adopted people fare better when they are given more information and access to their birth family history and allowed contact with birth relatives in many cases. Birth parents and adult adopted people have expressed their need to be connected. Adoptive parents also benefit. Often role definition and preparation can assist in this process. The Internet has made it easier to locate separated relatives. In this section, find resources related to ethics and openness in adoption.
Does Opening Adoption Records Have an Adverse Social Impact? Some Lessons from the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia, 1953-2007
Adoption Quarterly, 10(3-4), 2007
View Abstract and Document
Provides an international history of the adoption reform movement in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia from 1953 to 2007. It concludes that opening adoption records with contact preference forms or contact vetoes provides a balanced adoption disclosure system and is a viable alternative to the sealed adoption policies now used in the vast majority of American States and Canadian provinces.
Ethical Issues in Open Adoption: Implications for Practice
Reamer & Siegel (2007)
Provides a comprehensive overview of ethics associated with open adoption, including issues such as privacy, confidentiality, self-determination, paternalism, conflicts of interest, deception, and truth-telling.
Open Adoption of Infants: Adoptive Parents' Feelings Seven Years Later
Social Work, 48(4), 2003
Reports findings from a longitudinal study that examined the characteristics of open adoptions and adoptive parents' perceptions of their infants' open adoptions 7 years later.
Openness in Adoption and the Impact on Birth Mother Plans for Search and Reunion
Ayers-Lopez, Henney, McRoy, Hanna, & Grotevant
Families in Society, 89(4), 2008
Provides the findings of a study done to determine if searches planned by birth mothers related to their ages, marital status, parenting status, and, significantly, the level of adoption openness.
Prospective Adoptive Parents Bill of Rights (PDF - 89 KB)
Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR)
Supports ethical, transparent, and fully informed adoptions.
Also available: Adoptive Parents Bill of Rights (PDF - 83 KB)
Top Ten Ethical Considerations in Open Adoption Practice
American Adoption Congress (2008)
Proposes 10 principles for guiding open adoption practices.
Your Rights and Responsibilities: A Guide for Expectant Parents Considering Adoption
Discusses the differences between open adoption and openness in adoption, agency versus non agency adoption, and the rights and responsibilities of birth parents. Important questions expectant parents should ask about issues that may be covered under State law are also explained.