Openness in adoption refers to the amount of contact among birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adopted person. 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. This section includes resources and information on the range of openness options available to help you determine what level of openness might be best for your family.
Creating a Family
Offers information about openness in adoption, including interviews with adoption professionals, blogs, and suggested books.
Open Adoption Bloggers
Features an extensive list of blogs representing the perspectives of adult adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and family members.
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.
Openness in Adoption: From Secrecy and Stigma to Knowledge and Connections
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (2012)
Presents a report depicting how extensively adoption in the U.S. has changed over the last several decades - from a time when it was shrouded in so much secrecy that birth and adoptive families knew nothing about each other, to a new reality today in which the vast majority of infant adoptions are "open," meaning the two families have some level of ongoing relationship.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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What Is Open Adoption?
Insight – Open Adoption Resources and Support
Offers information for birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. This website was created by birth parents and focuses on open adoption as a child-centered arrangement.
Understanding Open Adoption
Adoptive Families Magazine
Provides an overview of the challenges of open adoption and findings in current research.
Open Adoption and Mediated Post Adoption Contact Agreements (PACA) (PDF - 271 KB)
Child Protection Best Practices Bulletin
New Mexico Court Improvement Project
Describes the advantages of open adoption and reviews the process for open adoption mediation in New Mexico. This brief also clarifies the roles for various participants in the adoption case, including the judge, permanency worker, attorneys, birth, foster, and adoptive parents, adopted child/youth, and others.