"Closed" adoptions--where the birth parents and adoptive parents do not have contact or interaction--are becoming less and less common, a new study from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has found. Only 5 percent of U.S. adoptions fit into the "closed" category.
Most adoptions fall into one of two other categories: 40 percent are "mediated," meaning that a social worker or agency acts as a communication liaison between the two parties, and 55 percent are "open," which means that there is some kind of ongoing relationship between the birth parents and adoptive family. The study says "an overwhelming majority" of adoptive parents meet the birth parents during pregnancy if they are having an infant adoption.
The study found that women who put their infants up for adoption through an open process experience less grief and sadness than women who go through a closed adoption process. But the study reports that "the primary beneficiaries of openness are the adopted persons – as children and later in life – because of access to birth relatives, as well as to their own family and medical histories."
"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 in a statement. "But this new reality also brings challenges, and there are still widespread myths and misconceptions about open adoption – so we have a lot of work to do in educating the public, professionals, the media and the families themselves so that we can continue making progress for the millions of people involved."
Image: Adoption form, via Shutterstock.