About Open Adoption
Open adoption is adoption that brings birth and adoptive families together and recognizes how important they all are to each other and to the child.
Why Open Adoption?
Open adoption evolved from the belief that people handle their lives and their destinies best when addressed with trust and honesty - instead of protective secrecy and half truths. In open adoption all of the control and the choices are in the hands of the birthparents and adoptive parents. The birth family becomes extended family like other relatives within the adoptive family (Silber & Dorner).
Alberta legislation requires that every private adoption be open to the extent that full names of birthparents and adoptive parents are on the legal papers each must sign. Adoptions finalized after January 1, 2000 will be open when those adopted persons reach the age of 18 years and 6 months.
To us open adoption means so much more. Our adoptions involve some degree of contact between adoptive family and birth family. This has ranged from only a phone call after the birthmother has chosen a family for her baby to open ended visiting after placement. Many birth and adoptive families have close, loving relationships with regular contact. The typical amount of contact tends to be one or more meetings before placement with an ongoing exchange of letters and pictures and/or visits after placement.
We believe in the benefits of maintaining connections with birthparents and their families. These benefits extend to the child, the adoptive family and birthfamilies. You can read letters and stories written by birthparents about their open adoption experience and connections.
You may have many questions and concerns about this as it sounds new and radical. But it isn't new. And it's more common than you think. Adoption Options has been facilitating successful open adoptions since 1985, and has brought together over 1700 families through this process. Most of the fears we hear from people are based on myths or lack of understanding of the adoption process. We are hear to help you better understand open adoption, through our educational support, pre-adoption seminar, and by connecting you with other families who are living with open adoption relationships.