Foundations for Growth            

Specializing in Adoption Services, Adoption Education & Support,
and Counseling services for Women, Teens, & Families

Adoption Blog

Understanding Open Adoption and the Benefits

Posted by on August 6, 2018 at 9:05 PM

When planning for the expansion of your family through adoption, it is important to understand the types of adoption and the impact it will have on the adoption triad - the birth family, adoptive family, and the adopted child. Understanding the different types will help you choose the best option for your family. This is one of the first parenting decisions you will make for your child - becoming educated about adoption.

Research shows that open adoption is best practice and benefits all members of the adoption triad. Today, 95% of infant adoptions in the United States have some level of openness. (source: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute)

What does an open adoption look like?

In an open adoption, birth and adoptive parents share full identifying information, and typically have direct communication during the pregnancy, while making an adoption plan, and also following the placement, with the guidance and support of an adoption professional. Prospective birthparents are able to select the adoptive family of their choice, and both parties are able to determine the type and frequency of ongoing contact. Contact in open adoption ranges from sharing pictures and letter or email updates, to calls/video chat, and/or in-person visits.

It is very important that birthparents and adoptive families who are working towards a mutually agreed upon adoption plan have the guidance and support of a qualified adoption professional to ensure the necessary steps are taken for best outcomes of long-lasting, healthy family connections and birth family relationships. Foundations for Growth are advocates of open adoption and our social workers provide this guidance through comprehensive and compassionate match support services to birthmothers and adopting parents.

What are the benefits of open adoption?

Research shows that open adoption is best practice for the following reasons:

  • Supports everyone in the adoption triad (birthparents, adoptive parents, adoptee)
  • Acknowledges and supports the grief and loss process
  • Results in better psychological outcomes 

The greatest benefit of openness is accessed by the adopted child. The child understands he/she was placed out of love and has a better understanding of the meaning of adoption. The child has a connection to and an understanding of his/her heritage, family history, medical information, and personality traits. Through active communication with his/her adoptive parents and an ongoing connection to their birth family, the child is able to establish a secure identity, self-confidence, and sense of belonging. At times, post-adoption counseling or support from an adoption professional could be beneficial to navigate any needs that may arise. Check out our post-adoption support and counseling services for adoptive families to learn more about what we offer for families and how post-adoption counseling can benefit your family.

In an open adoption, birthparents are able to have a role in the child’s life, often similar to an extended family member or friend relationship. Through ongoing contact and connection, birthparents often feel reassured with their decision when they know the child is happy, loved, and taken care of. The continued contact with the family and child promotes healing in the grief and loss process.

Adoptive parents benefit from openness as it provides them with a sense of entitlement and ownership in parenting due to being selected by the birthparent(s). Due to the ongoing contact and relationships with birthparents, any concern that he or she wants to “take my child back” or regret their decision is alleviated. Lastly, the adoptive family has direct access to their child’s medical and family history and information that will assist them in raising their child and discussing his/her adoption story openly.

For more information about open adoption, visit our educational workshops or contact us for a free consultation to discuss our adoption services!

Categories: Open Adoption , Considering Adoption , The Adoption Process

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