Private, Open Adoptions are Healthier for Kids and Families

domestic adoption blogWhile my family is still considering an international adoption with an agency, we have not totally ruled out an open, domestic adoption… yet. We prefer going the international route — I like the thought that the bio parents will live far, far away — but I would be amenable to open adoptions too.

Adoption research by Deborah H. Siegel, Ph.D. and Susan Livingston Smith show how years of secretive, closed adoption information among prospective adoptive parents and children stigmatized everyone. Only 20 years ago, when adoption was shrouded in so much secrecy and stigma, that adoptive families knew nothing about each other or the child.

Our new reality today is that a large majority (well over two-thirds) of adoptive families will establish either a partial open adoption or a fully open adoption where birth families and adoptive families stay in touch through the years.

•    “Closed” infant adoptions have shrunk to a tiny minority (about 5 percent), with 40 percent “mediated” and 55 percent “open.” Now, in fact, 95 percent of agencies offer open adoptions.
•    In the overwhelming majority of infant adoptions, adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption meet, and the expectant parents pick the new family for their baby.
•    Women who have placed their infants for adoption – and have ongoing contact with their children – report less grief, regret and worry, as well as more peace of mind.

“The good news is that adoption in our country is traveling a road toward greater openness and honesty,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. His recommendations include counseling and training for all the parents involved (expectant and adoptive), as well as post-placement services.”

Would you be agreeable to an open, domestic adoption where you might socialize with the kid’s bio family?

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