Open Adoption

The Cradle's African American adoption program embraces an open adoption philosophy and practice for all domestic adoptions. In open adoptions, birth families and adoptive families have the opportunity to get to know one another before and after placement, in a way that is comfortable and acceptable for everyone. An open adoption relationship can take the form of phone calls, visits, exchanging photos and letters - like any other relationship, yours will evolve over time.

The spirit of openness in adoption means sharing your child's adoption story with her often and creating an open atmosphere to talk with her about how she became part of your family, and helping her understand and acknowledge that her birthparents are special people who made a very special choice for her. Ultimately, you are removing the secrecy that often used to be a part of adoption and supporting the spirit of openness. You will be helping your child by giving her the language and permission to talk about her adoption, birth story and birthparents.

Because adoptive parents often have questions and concerns about open adoption, The Cradle offers preparation for an open adoption experience. We help you question and learn more about it so you will understand its value for you and your child.

Learn more about the benefits of open adoption.

An adoptive parent on open adoption

Video Transcript

Slide: Meet Bryan Carter, adoptive parent

Slide: On Openness

Bryan: Hi, my name is Bryan Carter. I’m an adoptive parent. We took a class that taught us about openness, which is you agree, along with the birth mother, to keep the birth mother involved in the child’s life. I’m one to ask a lot of questions, so when we were in the initial meeting and openness came up, I raised my hand quite a bit to ask clarifying questions as to what this really meant. Meeting with the birth mother, sometimes you may send pictures as part of the openness. You may call on a quarterly or semi-annually basis or monthly basis, whatever the arrangement is. But again, as you go through the process, as you learn about openness through the training that you receive from the counselors. Through hearing other adoptive parents and birth mothers talk about their openness relationship. Then you kind of come to the realization that this is the best thing to do for your child. And again, all parties benefit from an open relationship. We meet with our birth mother on an annual basis, and she gets the chance to see Elaine. And it’s important because Elaine is 3 and a half, we started to talk to her about adoption, talked to her about how we became her parents. And so as she sees her birth mother moving forward she’ll understand exactly who this person is and what role her birth mother played in her life.