Living in Open Adoption


How to maintain contact with your adopted child’s birth family in open adoption, from letters and texting to phone calls and in-person visits.

the author's preteen children pictured with their birth mother during a visit

“Meeting Jennifer” – Opening a Foster Adoption

“Meeting Jennifer” – Opening a Foster Adoption

After adopting my children from foster care, we eased into contact with their birth mother. She and I—a conservative, suburban mom—couldn’t be more different, and I’m glad that’s the case. The kids have a special relationship with her that they can’t have with me.

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Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.

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Readers share the holiday gifts they exchange with their children's birth families, including homemade ornaments, photos, and other ideas.

Parent-to-Parent: Holiday Gifts for Your Child’s Birth Family

We asked our readers: If you'll be giving your child's birth parents a gift this holiday season, what is it and how will you give it to them? Read the answers from adoptive parents.

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parent-to-parent advice about open adoption

“Take It from Us!”: Open Adoption

Real-life advice from the Adoptive Families community on understanding openness, navigating visits and contact, explaining birth siblings, and more.

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My Mixed Feelings as An Adoptee Giving Birth

Motherhood? Me? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

Having children was something that other people did. But giving birth has given me a sense of connection I never felt before.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Just Found Out That My Child Is Friends with His Birth Mother on Facebook

“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”

in adoption, we must keep our eyes and hearts open to all perspectives—birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents

“Seeing the Bigger Picture in Adoption”

I used to see adoption from only one viewpoint—that of the adoptive parents. But working in the field before becoming an adoptive mother opened my eyes to how complex and bittersweet adoption can be.

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Parenting teens: a dad sits outside with his son at a picnic table

Letting Teens Take the Reins

As teen's desire more control over their lives, they want to be the decision-makers in determining contact with birth family.

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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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