There is a definition for open adoption, but part of that definition is undefined. That part is how and when communication and contact take place.   

Open adoption is one of the three main types of adoption. It allows for birth parents to know and have contact with the child and adoptive parents. The amount and type of contact vary based on each situation and are agreed upon in advance of the adoption.

Over the years, it’s normal for the type and frequency of contact to change and evolve. It can take place in person or through emails, phone calls, photos and letters.

“My adoption is open. I’m lucky enough to have very understanding and generous people as my son’s adoptive parents. I would recommend it. I would also recommend having good boundaries. I get visits and pictures and letters, and they respect my time with them, and I respect their time. It’s a give and take,” said Destiny birth mom Shelley.

Investing in an open adoption relationship can benefit everyone’s emotional and mental health, development and healing. From developing a plan before adoption to honoring it post-adoption, there are a variety of ways that adoptive parents can stay connected with birth parents, such as: 

  • Text a photo or announcement of a milestone
  • Send a list of baby’s first words
  • Share results of doctor’s check-ups
  • Make colorings, drawings, handmade holiday cards or crafts as gifts
  • Plan a visit
  • Celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Days together
  • Create birthday traditions for your child to include contact with their birth parents
  • Use a service like ChildConnect to maintain post-adoption relationships

In her blog “Open Adoptions, Open Families,” Destiny’s Director of Community Relations, Robyn Roberts said, “I often used the term “building families” in reference to an adoptive family bringing a little one home. But what I am seeing is something much bigger and more beautiful than I first realized.”

Choosing open adoption and investing in ways to make it positive can help give an adopted child the answer to “why” they were placed. By connecting with their birth mom, everyone involved has the opportunity to move past rejection and toward connection and acceptance.

I think that we honor ourselves by honoring our past.Jimi Hendrix


Author: Destiny Adoption Services

Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.