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August 2018   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month   

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Preserving Birth Family Connections Before and After Adoption From Foster Care

Depending on their specific circumstances, children and youth, especially older youth in foster care, may have strong ties to their birth family members as well as to former foster parents and foster siblings. Since these attachments play an important role in children and youths' sense of security and well-being, there is a growing awareness of the potential benefits of continued contact with birth families and other meaningful connections while they are in foster care and after adoption.

Additionally, child welfare practice recognizes that preserving these relationships is beneficial to maintaining a child’s identify and cultural connections. Research indicates that youth who know that they are not going to lose their relationships with their birth families and other key people in their lives generally respond more positively to their placement, exhibit fewer negative behaviors, and are more inclined to consider adoption.

Child welfare professionals working with birth and adoptive families can help facilitate and safeguard these connections and support successful adoptions with various degrees of openness. Collaboration among resource, birth, and adoptive families and agency staff is essential to keeping the focus on the best interests of a child from a perspective of mutual respect, clear boundaries, and a commitment to maintain open communication.


3 Resources About Preserving Birth Family Connections


By Adoption Learning Partners

Partnerships With Birth Families

By New York Adoptive
and Foster Family


Open Adoption and Contact With Birth 


By Child Welfare
Information Gateway 



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