When the domestic adoption para- digm shifted from closed place- ments to open adoptions several
decades ago, naysayers worried that children
might be confused or feel a sense of divided
loyalty to two sets of parents, that birth parents might feel their privacy had been invaded, and that adoptive parents might feel
as if they were “co-parenting.” Now that the
children placed in those earliest adoptions
have grown up, they are speaking out and
the messages are clear: Openness trumps secrecy. Having answers to your questions precludes the need to wonder “why” and “what
if” and leads to healthier identity formation.
Having relationships with your biological
family members and seeing your parents
encourage and facilitate those connections
leads to closer relationships all around.
A group of teens and young adults who
were adopted through Open Adoption &
Family Services, an agency founded on the
philosophy of openness 30 years ago, share
their long-term experiences.
Meet the adoptees:
Adoptees on Open Adoption:
“I Have All My Pieces”
Teens and young adults who grew up in fully open adoptions discuss their
relationships with their adoptive and birth families and the many benefits
openness has brought them.
Taylor as a younger teen with her birth mother and birth
siblings (left) and her adoptive parents (right).