BENEFITS OF OPEN ADOPTION
A Summary from Blake & Associates Law Firm
By Professor Harold D. Grotevant
Research conducted by Harold Grotevant and Ruth McRoy of the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project contradicts key concerns: that contact in an open adoption is unsettling to the adoptees, increases the birth mothers’ grief, and exacerbates the adoptive parents’ fears of losing the child. But open adoption requires people to think about adoption in a new way. Rather than taking children away from their birth family and “adding” them to their adoptive family, an open adoption means that the family has been extended to form what we call an “adoptive kinship network.” The family members find themselves in a more complicated set of relationships, but one that is usually rewarding for everyone. However, adoptive and birth relatives who keep in touch need to practice flexibility, strong interpersonal skills, and a commitment to strengthening the relationships.