Openness in Adoption: It’s all about relationships!

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For much of the past 100 years, adoptions have been kept secret. The original thinking behind this practice was the belief that children should be protected from the “stigma of illegitimacy.” Historically, most adopted children did not know their birth parents and often were not even told that they were adopted.

Some were never told. It was commonly believed that a lack of openness would make it easier for the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the children to adapt. The sense of secrecy, however, left many children and youth, as well as their birth families, with unanswered questions and an inability to resolve feelings of grief & loss. It also left young people without access to valuable information about their identity, heritage, genetic background and medical history. Information that is particularly important during adolescence when identity formation critical.

One of the core values of our agency is openness within the adoption constellation. When we are all focused on building positive relationships . . . openness is a natural outcome. Please click the link below to find a great article from the Child Welfare Information Gateway on Openness in Adoption.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_openadopt.pdf

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