Adoption Icon depicting a heart interconnected with a "plus" symbol.

Adoption

Adoption Icon depicting a heart interconnected with a "plus" symbol.

Adoption

Birth Parents & Open Adoption

Openness in adoption is becoming more and more common within public adoptions.

Prior to the adoption, the birth parent(s) may provide input about the kind of family they would like for their child. In some situations the birth parent(s) select an adoptive family. The values, lifestyle, education, religion, cultural heritage and other characteristics, which are important to the birth parents, are considered carefully when choosing the child’s adoptive parents.

Open adoptions:

In certain circumstances it may be in the best interests of an adoptive child to maintain contact with their birth parents or someone else with whom the child had a meaningful relationship. Research shows that an open adoption can:

  • Create a greater sense of identity and increased self-esteem and a sense of security for the adopted child
  • Keep attachments to significant family members
  • Lessen the feelings of loss associated with severing significant relationships, as well as disconnection from racial, cultural and biological roots
  • Improve communication within the new family about adoption issues
  • Help the adopted child access to medical, genetic and social history
  • Help birth parents to know that the child placed for adoption is safe

An open adoption does not necessarily mean access visits. It does allow for some form of contact between the child, new family and the agreed upon significant individuals from the child’s past. The degree of openness a child needs, a birth parent wants, or an adopting family can accept, is carefully considered early in the adoption process and will depend on the best interest of the child. It could range from a photo, a letter or to face-to-face contact between birth families and children.