Open Adoption refers to an adoption where there is an open exchange of information between placing and adopting parents that continues through the post-adoption years. While there are degrees of openness in adoption, a truly open adoption involves ongoing contact and often includes visits.
Most relative adoptions are open, such as grandparent adoption, where the child knows and interacts with his/her biological parent(s), however it has only been the 1970s that open adoption in "stranger" adoptions (adoption by non-related persons) began to appear.
Open adoption research suggests that the openness and interaction is beneficial to all parties - the child, the biological parent(s), and the adoptive parent(s); however, it should be noted that the most extensive research work on open adoptions, the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project, was conducted on infant same-race adoptions only.
Open Adoption isn't for every situation, but child psychologists who specialize in adoption and adoptive family issues, suggest that when the child's safety and well-being are not a concern, open adoption can be healthy for the child, and if the adults involved (birth and adoptive parents) can stay focused on the needs of the child, openness will benefit everyone.
To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.