Adoptive relationships, like all relationships, change and evolve over time as birth parents, people who have been adopted, and adoptive families reach different stages in their lives. As this occurs, all parties may need help establishing or navigating their relationships, roles, and boundaries. Mediation (meeting with a neutral third party, such as an agency or adoption professional) may help sort out changing needs and roles. This section includes resources to help facilitate contact and maintain relationships in adoption, including mediation resources.
4 Facts About Post-Adoption Contact
Provides answers to frequently asked questions about postadoption contact agreements. The article discusses topics such as termination of parental rights, visitation agreements, and connections between siblings.
Adoption Best Practices Manual (PDF - 1, 396 KB)
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (2020)
Presents an overview of adoption and related best practices for professionals in Tennessee. The manual also includes information regarding open adoption.
Agreement for Post-Adoption Contact or Communication (PDF - 1,850 KB)
Vermont Judiciary (2016)
Offers an example of a postadoption contact agreement that shows the standards each side must adhere to legally.
Children Can Benefit When Adoptive, Biological Parents Share Adoption Stories
University of Missouri-Columbia (2016)
ScienceDaily, August 10
Reviews a study of open adoption relationships that shows ongoing communication between adoptive families and birth families can benefit the child and parents.
Fostering the Adoption Connection With the Help of Mediation
Highlights the benefits of using mediation to assist in the creation and ongoing implementation of postadoption contact agreements.
Foundation for Love: General Principles for Post-Adoption Communication Agreements (PDF - 828 KB)
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Rudd Adoption Research Program
Discusses boundaries, communication agreements, and accountability for children, their birth families, and adoptive families for having lawful communication.
From Face-to-Face to Facebook: The Role of Technology and Social Media in Adoptive Family Relationships With Birth Family Members (PDF - 570 KB)
Black, Moyer, & Goldberg (2016)
Adoption Quarterly, 19(4)
Examines adoptive parents' engagement with their child's birth family on social media and discusses how best to engage birth families using technology, how to manage these relationships, and how to set appropriate boundaries for children and youth.
Mediating a Family: The Use of Mediation in the Formation and Enforcement of Post-Adoption Contact Agreements (PDF - 404 KB)
Journal of Dispute Resolution, 2(7)
Explores the use of mediation to assist adoptive and birth families in forming and maintaining postadoption contact agreements.
Openness After Adoption
Details the experiences of one mother who placed her son for adoption and the connection and openness they had in their relationship after his adoption.
Post-Adoption Contact Agreements
Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
Describes the use of postadoption contact agreements.
Post-Adoption Contact Agreement State Review
National Council for Adoption
Outlines information on postadoption contact agreements in each State, including whether they are legally enforceable.