Closed adoption is an adoption in which all identifying information about the birth parents is sealed in agency and court records. Open adoption is an adoption in which there is contact and exchange of identifying information between birth and adoptive families. Open adoption allows birth parents to maintain a connection with a child after placement in an adoptive family. It offers a range of options, and there is no single open arrangement that is right for everyone; everyone's situation is unique. Find resources in this section to assist in making open adoption arrangements and postadoption contact agreements with the adoptive parents of your child.
My Perspective on Open Adoption and Recommendations for Birthparents (PDF - 395 KB)
Adoption Advocate, 41, 2011
Shares one birthmother's story of how and why she chose open adoption for herself and her daughter. The article also offers a series of recommendations for expectant parents who are considering making an adoption plan.
American Adoption Congress
Includes articles addressing grief and open adoption; ethical considerations in open adoption practice, and legislation on open adoption agreements in California.
Open Adoption Bloggers
Features an extensive list of blogs representing the perspectives of adult adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and family members.
Openness in Adoption
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Recommends that agencies and families pursue as much openness as possible, taking into consideration the best interests of each child.
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.
Recommendations for Parents Considering Placement of a Child
American Association of Open Adoption Agencies
Provides considerations about openness for expectant parents considering adoption.
What Is Open Adoption?
Insight – Open Adoption Resources and Support
Offers relevant 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.