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Openness in Adoption

Openness between birth parents and adoptive parents may benefit the child. Openness of a particular adoption can vary from one situation to another, and is dependent on the relationship between the birth and adoptive families. The degree of openness can vary from an exchange of pictures and information through the agency to a full disclosure of information between the families, and may even include meetings between the families after the final adoption.

Research on families who have open adoption placements suggests several important benefits. Adoptive families generally report that they do not fear the birth parents (who know them and the child) will return to claim the child. In addition, parents report that their children do not display confusion about who is the parent. Children can ask the difficult questions directly about the reasons they were placed for adoption. Birth parents report a confidence in the rightness of their decision when they have the security of knowing the adoptive parents and knowing how the child is doing.


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