Open Adoption

What does Open Adoption mean?

Open Adoption Definition

An open adoption is an adoption which allows the birthparents, adoptive parents and the adopted child to share information and to have ongoing contact throughout the life of the adopted child. Open adoption differs from a close adoption where the birth parents sever all contact with the adopted child and the adoptive family and not have regular access to information or direct contact with them.

The benefit of open adoption is it allows the adopted child to know where they came from, why they were given up for adoption and get information about their medical history and background. Open adoption removes the mystery from the adoption process and allows the adopted child to have a wider circle of family and support.

Critics of open adoption argue incorporating two sets of parents into a child's life can be difficult and boundaries may be hard to define. There can also be unrealistic expectations by both the adoptive parents and the birthparents about the role each set of parents will play in the child' life. Finally, it is quite possible that the birthparents and adoptive parents may have different morals, ideals and expectations that could cause conflict after the adoption and throughout the life of the child.

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