Open Adoption

The Cradle embraces an open adoption philosophy and practice for 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.

The benefits of open adoption

Our experience with open adoption has revealed the following benefits for all members of the adoption circle:

Open adoption benefits for the child:

  • A clearer sense of identity
  • Understanding they are loved by their birth family and why they chose adoption
  • Ready access to information about their medical and social history
  • Access to biological siblings, if there are any

Open adoption benefits for adoptive parents:

  • Knowledge that birthparents chose adoption freely and willingly
  • A feeling of entitlement and being personally entrusted to raise the child
  • Dissolution of fantasies about birthparents or fear of the unknown
  • Greater ability to answer the child's questions about his or her origins
  • Ongoing access to birthhparents' medical and social histories

Open adoption benefits for birthparents:

  • An opportunity to personally answer their birth child's questions about his or her adoption
  • Reassurance of knowing the child is safe and thriving.

Read more about open adoption research findings on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.