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What Is an Open Adoption?


Daughter greeting mother at front door
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Question: What Is an Open Adoption?

An open adoption is an adoptive family and birth family keeping in contact for the benefit of a child. Contact in an open adoption can mean different things to different families as contact can range from letters and emails, to phone calls or regular visitation. It all rests on the adults to create a plan that fits everyone's needs and expectations. Especially the needs of the child.

Ideas for Contact in an Open Adoption

  • letters
  • cards
  • update packages include: homework samples, school pictures, drawings, baby teeth, hand print/footprint, lock of hair or grade cards
  • emails
  • phone calls
  • text messages
  • internet networking sites: Myspace, Facebook
  • holiday and birthday visits in the home or at neutral locations
  • regularly scheduled visitation: monthly, bi-monthly, weekly
  • weekend visitation
  • Sunday dinners
  • attendance at school and/or church functions
  • attendance at sporting events

An open adoption can be arranged in domestic adoptions including foster care adoption. Birth family contact can include birth parents, grandparents, and/or siblings. There have even been cases of open adoptions in international adoptions.

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