What is an open adoption?

1. Decide whether the adoption should be open

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Whether you are adopting a child or placing a child for adoption, you may need to think about whether the adoption should be open.

People choose an open adoption because it can:

  • keep attachments to important birth family members
  • keep the child connected to their racial, cultural, and biological roots
  • lessen the feelings of loss that come with cutting off important relationships
  • help the child get medical, genetic, and social family history

Sometimes you don't have a choice about whether an adoption should be open or closed. For example, international adoptions are usually closed. And in private adoptions, the birth parents mainly get to decide whether the adoption should be open or closed.

Birth parents

If you are a birth parent thinking about placing your child for adoption, you usually get to choose:

  • who adopts your child
  • what type of contact you have with your child and their adoptive parents in the future

You should think about what type of contact you want to have with your child and their adoptive parents. For example, you may want to be able to:

  • speak with your child over the phone or Skype
  • visit with your child in person
  • write to your child

Adopting through a

Most children placed for adoption by a Children's Aid Society (CAS) have birth parents who could not care for or protect them.

So when you adopt through a CAS, that CAS usually plays a role in deciding whether the child would benefit from an open or closed adoption.

Usually, once a CAS has placed a child for adoption, the child's birth parents have no to the child. If a birth parent wants to continue to have any type of contact with their child after they are adopted, they must apply for an or negotiate an .

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