Open adoption refers to an adoption arrangement, either pre-finalization or post-adoption, in which an adoptee's birth parents and adoptive parents meet one another. There are varying levels of open adoption and the kind of relationship between the parents. Semi-open adoption, for example, refers to an relationship in which the triad members operate on a first-name basis and do not reveal overly personal information to one another. A traditionally open adoption means the triad members know the other person's first and last name as well as certain identifying information such as a mailing address or phone number.
Open adoption relationships are most common in infant adoptions and are used when a birth mother wants to be active in the placement process of the infant. While an open relationship during the placement process can put her mind at ease and lower the chances of a birth mother changing her mind, choosing to maintain a relationship after placement is a tough decision that makes many adoptive parents uneasy. Before working toward an adoption arrangement, a couple should decide on whether or not they want a closed, semi-open or open adoption experience.
Adoptions that stay very open after the placement, consent and finalization of an adoption are sometimes called cooperative adoptions if the birth parents make in-person visits with the adoptee.
Open adoption is a oft debated preference that has convincing arguments for and against it. People that support open adoption feel that it takes the mystery away from birth parents as an adoptee matures. Adoptive parents also feel that establishing a relationship with the birth mother before the adoption is finalized may also reduce the chance of her changing her mind about placing the child.
There are practical reasons to stay in touch with an adoptee's birth parents. Health updates, for example, may be useful. Having a birth parent in an adoptee's post-placement life may work for some family dynamics. It can also help a birth mother cope with her decision. Sending photos or updates about the adoptee once or twice a year may help her feel she made the right decision during rough times.
Pregnant women looking to place and couples seeking placement should be open about what they want out of an adoption before finding an agency or becoming pressured into a post-placement situation neither party is fully comfortable with.
See Also: open adoption records
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Letter to the editor from the Dec. 4 edition of the Baldwinsville Messenger.
December 9, 2013, 9:03 am
Our soon to be adopted FD bio had one last court date the week before TPR which was to get mom to relinquish rights before she would have lost all parental rights and we did a open adoption and she signed which I am glad otherwise she would not know anything about her kids.... I think every state...What should I do
November 20, 2013, 1:44 pm
This my be long and I apologize for any misspellings as I'm on my phone keypad. Anyways my older son who we adopted has had contact with his bio father. The father is my cousin so it was easy for me to have contact and keep up with what is going on with him. Currently he is clean and while he is I...
don't be angry
December 9, 2013, 1:46 pm
We are adoptive parents in an open adoption and we have seen first hand how much pain adoption can cause. The birth-grandmother, left before the child was placed with us and we have seen her crying really hard on the way out of the hospital, although she was OK with the adoption process, while the...Please Advise I Am At A Loss
November 14, 2013, 1:24 pm
So I have posted on here before and some of you know I am a kinship foster mom to three girls. Court goal still officially reunification, mom in state correctional facility, dad of two of the girls visits but has issues with drug screens etc.... Next court hearing CYF plans to ask for goal...
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