parents and three siblings spread across the
world, and if I can have that, then why can’t
you have what you want at the same time? It
just all works out.
Brianna: Living in an open adoption has
made my family a lot bigger. I’ve gotten a lot
more influences from a lot of different types
of people, so it’s helped me to be really open-minded.
Taylor: It makes me really, really open to
other cultures, other family structures, and
the ways other people live. I’m open.
9What do you want the world to know about open adoption?
Brianna: It’s a way to provide your child with
the life they deserve and still be in their life. It
dispels these fears of, “Oh, my parents didn’t
want me and they didn’t love me,” because
your birth parents are there and you know
that they love you.
Taylor: I think it’s important because it’s
about the child. It’s a way for birth mothers,
especially, to not have to choose between
their own future and their child’s future, and
for the child to have a future with her birth
mom, as well.
Justin: I think open adoption is the way
adoption should be done. It made me able to
have a much better life for myself, and for the
families involved. My birth mother and birth
father are separated, and she was 17 when I
was born, he was 18, and they weren’t able to
take care of me to the best of their abilities,
so they decided to place me for adoption. I
definitely have a better life because of it, and I
respect their decision.
Darcy: I think open adoption leaves less
up to chance. With closed adoption, it’s like
you’re putting up a wall between the child
you’re adopting and her birth parents, and
people always want to climb over walls or
bust through them. But open adoption is
more like a gate. It’s closed most of the time,
but you can still pass through.
OPEN ADOPTION & FAMILY SERVICES (openadopt.
org) is a non-profit, pro-choice agency that was founded on
the philosophy of openness in 1985, and now has offices in
Portland and Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.
Claire with her twin sister, their birth mother, and their
birth brother (top) and with her adoptive mother (bottom).
More Open Resources Find more on open adoption,
including birth parents’ perspectives on contact, at