Living with Openness


Maintaining contact with your adopted child’s birth family as he or she grows and matures.

Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Our First Visit with Our Child’s Birth Parents

Ask AF: Our First Visit with Our Child’s Birth Parents

A mother is nervous about the upcoming first birth family visit, wondering what it will be like, how to react if she or the birth mother get upset. Parents in open adoptions offer advice.

author Lakshmi Iyer with her family, including twins adopted as older infants in an open adoption

“How I Met My Daughters”

I may not remember when I first knew I wanted to be a mother, but the moments leading up to and the first time I saw my daughters are indelibly etched in my memory.

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author Brandy Stein with her twin daughters during an open adoption visit

“Letting Go After Months of Struggling to Parent”

After struggling to parent my twin daughters for ten months, I sadly realized I couldn’t provide them with the stable life I’d envisioned.

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hands signing a post-adoption contact agreement, or PACA, outlining birth family contact in an open adoption

Parent-to-Parent: Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

Parents in open adoptions share whether they have a post-adoption contact agreement with their child's birth parents and, if so, what it includes.

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brothers and sisters benefit from knowing about and seeing their birth siblings after adoption

Bringing Birth Siblings Into Our Children’s Stories—and Lives

The vast majority of our children have birth siblings, yet parents may wonder how to approach the topic. Adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share how they talk about biological siblings, and build brother-sister bonds.

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in a family that's built through open adoption and step-relatives, more love is more love

“More Love Is More Love”

In many families, relationships come without exact names. While adoption highlighted this truth, it was already a given in my family—and maybe in yours, too?

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“Family Is Now” - Open Adoption and Changing Relationships

“Family Is Now”

What if my daughter doesn't choose me? What if she grows up and moves to live near her other mom—her birth mom? I think about that and I get scared. Then I think, so what if she does? I can’t worry about that; I can only parent now.

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"We Are All Adopted," by Veronica Chenik Gilmore

“We Are All Adopted”

From my own search for my roots through adopting older children from foster care, life has taught me to treasure my children’s biological connections while knowing that we don’t have to look alike to belong together.

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a birth mother attends her son's second birthday party and finds she feels accepted by his family

“Finding My Place in the Family”

Though society doesn’t know what to do with birth mothers, I knew I had a place with my son’s parents. At his second birthday party, I learned that I had a place with their family, too.

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Whether you have an "open adoption" or a "closed adoption" in terms of contact, you can parent with an open heart

Parenting with an Open Heart

Whether you see your child’s birth parents frequently or have never had contact, you can still imbue your adoption and your relationship with your child with openness.

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Growing to Love Grace's Birth Mom

“A Birthday Gift for Grace”

It wasn't until my daughter's first birthday that it hit me: I was grieving her birth mom's loss. With that realization, I was able to celebrate as she would have wanted.

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Megan's Birthday Tree

[Book Review] Megan’s Birthday Tree

When Megan was born, her birth mother, Kendra, planted a tree in her backyard. Every year on Megan's birthday, Kendra decorates the tree and sends photos of it to Megan, in honor of their special bond.

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Mother and daughter talking about adoption

Questions About Being “Given Up”

Our seven-year-old daughter knows her adoption story, but, lately, she's been asking a lot of questions about why she was 'given up.'

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Setting boundaries in open adoption may be awkward, but it is necessary

Setting Boundaries in Open Adoption

In an open adoption, your child's birth parents become part of your extended family. Here are some common questions when it comes to managing those relationships.

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