Ongoing contact between birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee (also referred to as openness in adoption) allows family members to communicate and stay connected. Supporting these relationships is in the best interests of the child, as ongoing communication with birth family members may minimize feelings of grief and loss, reduce the trauma of separation, and help children and youth develop a stronger sense of identity. Agencies should emphasize the importance and value of maintaining these connections despite possible resistance from families. Contact may include infrequent communication; mediated contact through a third party, email, or letters; or ongoing, in-person interactions. This section includes resources and information on maintaining connections in adoption, including State and local examples.
6 Key Factors to Consider for an Open Adoption
Suggests six items to consider during open adoption to ensure the child feels loved and supported by all family members and others involved in the adoption process.
Fears and Consequence in Choosing Open Adoption
Reviews questions adoptive parents may have about open adoption and facilitating a relationship between birth mothers and the adopted child.
Is Open Adoption Right For You?
Discusses open adoption basics and how families can decide whether open adoption is right for them.
Managing Shifting Expectations in Open Adoption Over Time (PDF - 131 KB)
Adoption Advocate, 84
Highlights the challenges of open adoption and the importance of keeping realistic expectations. The article also describes contact with the birth family and how to be sure all parties are comfortable with the level of contact between the adopted person and family members.
Open Adoption Is the New Norm and Here's What It's All About
Explores how open adoption has become the preferred method of adopting a child and reviews the basics of open adoption.
Open Adoption: What It Is and What It Isn't and the How and Why to Making It Work (PDF - 1,270 KB)
Itzkowitz & Roth (2014)
Center for Adoption Support and Education
Presents myths and facts about open adoption and discusses why parents should consider it. The presentation also gives an overview of the history of closed versus open adoptions and provides examples of research on open adoption.
Openness in Adoption
PACT, an Adoption Alliance
Describes open and closed adoptions and gives information on the history of adoption in the United States. The website also answers frequently asked questions about open adoption and how it works for birth families.
Openness in International Adoption (PDF - 3,789 KB)
Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 163
Examines the emergent interest in openness in international adoption and research that demonstrates that open adoption is in the best interest of children as they grow and develop a sense of identity.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 551KB)
Why Choose an Open Adoption?
Outlines the pros and cons of open adoption.
Open Adoption Agreement: Legal Representation on Open Adoption for Foster Parents (PDF - 5,038 KB)
Connecticut Alliance of Foster & Adoptive Families (2017)
Presents information about open adoption for foster parents who are considering adoption. The brochure discusses open adoption, why legal representation is important for parents who are adopting, and postadoption contact agreements.
What Is Open Adoption
Explains different types of openness in adoption, the history of open adoption in California, the rights of parents, questions adoptive parents should ask, and postadoption contact agreements.