Openness in Adoption

Every November we celebrate National Adoption Month by asking how we can best support both the biological and adoptive families in this life-changing process. This month I would like to share my insights on openness in adoption, a practice that I believe has a tremendous healing impact for both families.

Openness in adoption is a two-way street, for a domestic adoption or a foster to adopt scenario, open adoption allows the communication between the adoptive parent and birth parent to have contact.

For biological parents, there is often a guilt, or sense of wonder if the biological child is in good hands. Openness eases the biological parents guilt. As for the child, it helps them have the opportunity to understand why they were adopted, and understand the circumstances of the adoption. Often the child wants to know why they were not loved, and the birth parent can explain that it was not a lack of love rather an inability to provide the proper upbringing and care.

From a medical standpoint, openness in adoption allows the adoptive parents to reach out to the biological parents to discuss family medical history. An act of concern that can be seen as comforting. Openness also shows the adoptive child that the adoptive parent cares; honoring the child’s history and roots.

For our families who have grown through adoption, do you have an open relationship with your son/daughter’s biological parents? If so, how has this practice strengthened your forever family?