No two open adoptions are alike, and adoptive families can work together with their adoption professionals and birth family to come up with an agreement that works for everyone.
What Are My Options?
About Open Adoptions
Contributed by: Laura Teeter is a Licensed Certified Social Worker who works for Adoptions Together.
Open adoption brings up many feelings within all members of the adoption community. It can elicit fear and uncertainty as well as comfort and hope. Many adoptive families are concerned that open adoption can lead into a situation that feels like co-parenting. To address this, adoption professionals (social workers, attorneys, adoption agencies) work to support adoptive parents as the parents of the child, and the birth parents as important people in the child’s life. No two open adoptions are alike, and adoptive families can work together with their adoption professionals and birth family to come up with an agreement that works for everyone.
From the early 1900s through the 1970s, adoption professionals focused primarily on hiding adoption from children and the public under the assumption it was what was best for everyone involved. It was assumed that with this secrecy, birth parents could more easily move on with their lives, and adoptive parents could raise their child with a very concrete sense of family and belonging. Over time, it was realized this did not help birth parents forget or remove the children’s curiosity about their personal histories.