OPEN ADOPTION refers simply to “open channels of communication between the birth parents and the adoptive parents” (Silber and Speedlin, Dear Birthmother, 1982, page 1). This, as opposed to “closed” adoption, which emphasizes secrecy and maintains “there should never be contact between any of the parties involved after the legal relinquishment” (Silber and Speedlin, pages 1-2).
We believe the openness is beneficial to all parties, but is especially important for the child.
Open adoption as further defined within the philosophy and policies of our agency, is a process in which the birth parent(s) is involved in selecting the adoptive family from a group of families studied and approved by the agency. The birth parents are asked to write a letter to their child explaining why an adoption plan was made and encouraged to share photos of themselves and family members. We also ask birth parents to meet with the adoptive family at the placement and then to maintain an ongoing exchange of letters and photos with the adoptive family for the following 18 years, as well as to have 2-3 visits a year with the child and the adoptive family.
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