Benefits of Open Adoption to Parents and Children
“Openness in Adoption: From Secrecy and Stigma to Knowledge and Connections,” an Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute report written by Deborah H. Siegel and Susan Livingston Smith.
This survey of agency practices relating to domestic infant adoption placements found that closed infant adoptions have shrunk to a tiny minority (about 5%). 40% of domestic infant adoptions are mediated and 55% are open. In addition, 95% of adoption agencies now offer open adoptions. In the overwhelming majority of infant adoptions, adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption meet prior to the adoption and the expectant parents pick the new family for their baby.
Adoptive and birth parents alike report positive experiences; more openness is also associated with greater satisfaction with the adoption process. Women who have placed their infants in an open adoption report less grief, regret and worry, as well as more peace of mind. Adopted children also benefit for open adoptions, both as children and later in life, because of access to birth relatives, as well as to their own family and medical histories.
Overall, open adoptions benefit adoptive parents, adoptive children and birth parents.