A major new report depicts just how extensively adoption in the U.S. has changed over the last several decades – from a time when it was shrouded in so much secrecy that birth and adoptive families knew nothing about each other, to a new reality today in which the vast majority of infant adoptions are “open,” meaning the two families have some level of ongoing relationship.

The institution of adoption has made significant strides in the last several decades, but elements of its clandestine, stigmatized past remain – and, as a consequence, so do many myths, misconceptions and inaccurate stereotypes. One stark example is that even though openness in adoption is fast becoming the norm within the United States (especially in the placement of infants), the very notion of “open adoption” – which entails varying levels of ongoing connections between adoptive families and their children’s families of origin – is unfamiliar, misunderstood and even incomprehensible to much of our culture.

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Authors: Deborah H. Siegel, Ph.D. and Susan Livingston Smith, LCSW
Published: 2012 March, New York NY: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute


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