Open Adoption

Everything you need to know about open adoption.

Open Adoption


The spectrum of adoption spans from confidential adoption, semi-open adoption to open adoption. Open adoption is also referred to as a fully disclosed adoption. As opposed to confidential adoption, open adoption often allows the adoptive parents and the adopted child to maintain interactions with the child's birth parents. Interactions in open adoption may occur via visits, telephone calls, letters and emails. How often these interactions occur is a decision that has to be made by the adoption triad; birth parents, adoptee and, adoptive parents, together with the mediator (case worker/attorney/adoption agency) who liaises between the parties throughout the adoption process.

The motivation behind open adoption is primarily to ensure the long lasting sustenance of the relationship between the adopted child and his/her birth parents. As the child grows up, open adoption creates room for the child to be aware of all important people in his/her life. Moreover, adoptive parents are freed of having to laboriously convey the fact that he/she is adopted, when the child asks questions.

src="//"> Parties coming into agreement on the level of disclosure of information with regard to the adoption are entirely mutual. Therefore, current laws and regulations in the U. S that govern open adoption are based on mutual consent. Some states maintain mutual consent registries, in which information is maintained about the parties involved in adoption processes. If a certain adoption triad is willing to disclose information to each other, they can record information in a mutual consent registry. At present almost 23 states maintain mutual consent registries as aid for open adoption cases (source - Bulletins for Professionals; Openness in Adoption, Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2003). Legal constraints are not very rigid in the area of open adoption. In the sense, adoption parties can enter into agreements with regard to information disclosure. Yet, the agreements are not considered as legally binding in many states. Moreover, many states allow an adopted adult to seek for his/her original birth certificate via a petition forwarded to courts. Application of laws in open adoption, therefore strictly runs on a case by case basis.

Open adoption is more an emotional topic of discussion than is technical. Biological parents, adoptive parents and the adopted child are all driven by their own desires and expectations. It is important that all parties learn to respect the other's emotional needs and be as open minded as possible. With time, any relationship may under go changes; children grow up, families disperse, new additions are introduced to families. Adoption parties need to be mindful about these changes and take action in line with the best interests of each other in order for open adoption to be successful. The mediators of adoption may play a vital role in helping the adoption triad and deal with open adoption. Adoption agency staff can assist parents in counseling and negotiation of terms of openness as they prepare for adoption process.

open adoption