Understanding Open Adoption


In an open adoption, you meet your child’s birth parents and maintain contact after placement. Find open adoption information and stories here.

Writing letter to our daughter's birth parents in open adoption

“From Our Hearts”: Letters to Our Child’s Birth Parents

“From Our Hearts”: Letters to Our Child’s Birth Parents

Writing about the little things in letters to our daughter's birth parents often tells a bigger, warmer story in the end.

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A film about birth family search.

Q&A: Bryan and Angela Tucker of Closure

After a lifetime of wondering who? and why?, an adoptee set out to find some answers. The award-winning documentary that follows her birth family search has already sparked thousands of dialogues.

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Navigating the hospital adoption experience

How Should New Parents Navigate the Hospital Experience?

Our open adoption expert explains how prospective adoptive parents can best navigate the emotional time spent at the hospital with the birth mother before bringing their new child home.

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Understanding contact with birth parents after adoption

Visiting with Birth Parents

When we adopted our son three years ago, our relationship with his birth mother was semi-open (letters, phone calls). Since then it has grown more open, and we're discussing a visit. Any advice?

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A happy birth mother reunion

“Seeing My Daughter’s ‘Happily Ever After'”

My daughter, Rubie, has the kind of life I'd dreamed of for her, and is where she belongs. I only wish I had known that sooner.

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In this study, most birth parents enjoyed their open adoptions

The Birth Parent Perspective

A major study reveals that open adoption works well for everyone involved. Hear what families say is good about the process — and what could be better.

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Our changing relationship with birth mother.

“Pulling Back in Open Adoption”

After a bump in the relationship with our daughter's birth mother, we're learning lessons about love, patience, and acceptance.

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Adoptee as a teen with her birth mother and siblings (left) and her adoptive parents (right).

Adoptees on Open Adoption: “I Have All My Pieces”

Teen and young adult adoptees who grew up in fully open adoptions talk about their relationships with their birth parents and adoptive parents and the many benefits openness has brought them.

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DNA may provide some information on an adopted child's birth family.

What Can We Learn from Our Kids’ DNA?

As genetic testing makes its way into the adoption world, our families discover its promise — and its limitations.

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A family in an open adoption talks to birth parents on the phone

A Meeting of the Open Minds

Two adoptive moms and a birth mother candidly discuss the adoption match, birth siblings, contact agreements, and more.

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Adoption expert Lois Melina on talking with adopted children about unknown birth family information

A Durable Relationship with Your Child’s Birth Parents

Over the years, an open adoption arrangement may need to evolve to accommodate the changing needs of everyone involved — above all, the child.

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A family in an open adoption

“Moving Past a Miscommunication in Our Open Adoption”

14 years into our open adoption, we've learned that conflicts can occur, as in any family. Here's how we moved past one sticky situation when our son's birth mother sent him a check in the mail.

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Open adoptions can be rewarding

“The Other Mother”

A birth mom and an adoptive mom delve into the complex — and surprising — realities of their open adoptions.

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